You might not need the services of a wildlife consultant if you wish to try your own hand at solving wildlife problems.
Attic-dwellers, such as bats, squirrels, raccoons, birds: If possible, flush them out physically through an open window, or by the way they came in. Never corner them. Purchase or rent a live trap from the local animal shelter if the animal refuses to go on its own. Use appropriate baits and check the trap often. Then board up or screen (with heavy mesh) all attic entry holes you can find. Make it a tight fit. Bats can get through a quarter-inch slit. Before you begin. Make sure there are no young to be left behind. (If there are, consider letting parent and young remain temporarily.)
Chimney-dwellers, such as bats, birds, raccoons: Visually check that any young are able to move on their own. Then open the damper and place a pan of ammonia in the hearth. Don't expect everything to go up the way it came in. If you suspect an animal is stuck, open the nearest window and eliminate all other li,,ht in the room. Then open the damper to let it in the house, and leave the room. When the animal has -one, cap your chimney.
Deer in your orchard: If you want to get rich, don't bother with mousetraps; build a better deer repellent. Already tried, but not universally successful, are scarecrows, loud music, and lights, as well as Tabasco sauce, egg whites, or commercial repellents sprayed on the attracting plants, or nylon stockings filled with blood meal or human hair. If all else fails, nothing beats an eight-foot fence.
Skunks, opossums, or groundhogs digging under the foundation: Sprinkle flour around the entry holes and then keep an eye out for outward-bound tracks. Once everyone leaves, board or fill in the holes. Determining if babies are present is difficult, but a strong light and handheld mirror may help you see into burrows. Spring is usually birthing time, but some species have more than one litter per year, so consult your field guide, and don't close the opening when young may be present. Consider undertaking this operation during a bout with insomnia, since skunks and opossums are nocturnal.
Ducks and geese at the pond: A major shift in the migratory habits of ducks and geese has made many year-round northern residents. If you made them "wild pets by feeding them unwanted bread ends, reduce their rations gradually, then stop completely. In most cases, they'll move on.
Rabbits or groundhogs in the garden: A wire fence is about all you can do. It should be three feet tall, with a foot of fence extending underground to discourage digging. Groundhogs can climb, so bend the top 7 over at a 90-degree angle facing away from your crop.
Woodpeckers tapping territorially on the side of the house, or blackbirds, starlings or other birds eating your fruit crop: Try cutouts or inflatable images of natural predators, such as owls, hawks, or snakes. Other scare tactics include pinwheels or strips of black plastic that blow in the breeze.
Skunks digging up the yard: They're looking for insects and grubs just under the surface. If you must, you can remove the food chemically and the skunks will soon learn how sterile your dirt is. If yours is a mole or gopher problem, consider making your own underground live trap.
Snakes Most encountered in a backyard are beneficial, and can actually control rodent and insect populations. But if you absolutely can't tolerate the thought, remove the habitat. They like the heat from your rocks and the easy food in the bushy undergrowth. A well-manicured lawn is no guarantee, but if they've got no place to hide. Snakes won't feel comfortable and probably won't stay.