For close to 23 years, Jared Houliston has built a reputation as one of the foremost experts in the removal and exclusion of wildlife across Southern Ontario.
However, as Houliston explained, his organization, Ontario Wildlife Removal which he founded in 2016, offers services that differ from what others typically do within the industry.
“Many people think we’re guys with a trap that come to your house and set them… we don’t do that. We are general contractors that specialize in the wildlife trade…we’re the people that get to fix things [and are] going to solve the problem. Pest control companies that deal with a situation like using traps and poisons are putting something in measure to deal with the issue at hand right now. But you’re not doing anything to correct the problem for the future,” said Houliston.
Houliston continued, “We’re different. We’re here to deal with the issue with the animal right now. And we’re here to fix the problem. When we do our job once you shouldn’t see us again. And that’s where the difference between exclusion specialists like us, compared to a pest control company…they have to come back every couple of months to rebate traps and poisons to get the animals that keep coming in.”
Houliston, who has always had a love of animals since childhood, has continued to grow his business by being at the forefront of maintaining safe and humane animal removal and exclusion processes.
“We don’t release the animals and trap them or take them away…we use what’s called one-way doors which are custom-made. If you could picture a dog door, it is like that… the animal can get out of the house, it swings open one way but closes behind them. And we’ve done prevention on the homes, and they can’t get back in and it forces the animal to go relocate himself,” explained Houliston. “We don’t even need to be there when the animal comes out…we come back the next day and remove our one-way door, knowing the animals are now gone… and then we just patch up the hole, seal it permanently, and prevent it. Then the customers are now animal-free.”
However, throughout the years, Houliston has led an array of complex projects throughout Brant County as well as in locations all across Southern Ontario, which have included Kitchener, Cambridge, London, Niagara, Oakville, Burlington, Hamilton, Simcoe, and Long Point.
“We’ve done some massive projects including up to 320-unit property management complexes that have raccoon and squirrel infestations; we have to go to each individual unit and assess them and then get the animals which include taking their babies out…if you don’t know what you’re doing, you can really damage the building or hurt or kill wildlife. So those are the things my team and I love doing. We love those challenges and we’ve always welcomed them,” Houliston said.
Along with these complex jobs, Houliston has been part of many other successful efforts, especially with key partnerships in the Brantford community.
“We work a lot with rescue agencies…like the Brant County SPCA who rely on us because we are insured, we have ladders and we are experienced on roofs to rescue animals and assisting [them] on things they can’t do. We have saved raccoons on telephone poles, birds of prey that are entangled in netting and rescued deer, bald eagles, owls, hawks, pigs, and cows, and we have even dealt with pets, like snakes, that have gotten loose in buildings,” said Houliston.
Houliston continued, “The only thing I have not dealt with and I’m waiting for the call is an alligator; that’s my dream call. I almost got to do one; it was in Brantford, but I was out of town and I couldn’t assist the police and the Brant County SPCA at the time….I think it was a four-and-a-half foot or five-foot long alligator that the Brantford police found while doing a drug raid on a house.”
Despite the continued success of his business, powered by strong customer service, quality of services rendered, referrals, positive reviews, and consistent advertising, Houliston’s desire to expand has been somewhat hampered.
“I have a solid crew that has been with me for years…these guys are an amazing team. But lately, I’ve wanted to hire two or three guys to expand the business even further. And the workforce just isn’t there anymore…I’ve done everything in my power to appeal to people and show this is a good place to work…That’s the most challenging part in my business,” said Houliston.