Old Bridge trapper's day a bit on 'wild' side
By MARIA PRATO • STAFF WRITER
OLD BRIDGE — It was unexpected hiss that rang out near the front door as Frank Spiecker’s wife jingled her keys into the lock.
While the caged alligator that sat nearby somewhat startled the nurse, who had justed ended a long shift, it shouldn’t have been too big of a surprise, considering Spiecker’s line of work.
Since 1998, he’s been professionally trapping wildlife, in both his interior and exterior pursuits, to include groundhogs, raccoons, bats, birds, skunks, snakes, coyotes, foxes and beavers, among many other pests.
“Animal control doesn’t provide removal of wildlife from your home,” Spiecker said. “When someone calls in and says they have a squirrel in the house, provided it’s not attacking anyone, it’s the responsibility of the homeowner. They assume because they pay taxes that that’s what they get for their taxes.”
A hunter since adolescence, Spiecker also was in construction for more than a decade, making him somewhat of an authority on the subject of trapping — especially indoors.
So when he got laid off from his construction job in 1994, Spiecker returned to school at Middlesex County College, majored in bio chemistry and eventually landed a job with Rutgers’ integrated pest management office.
When he finally decided to branch out on his own, Spiecker started in the pest control industry, specializing in the extermination of insects. However, he soon realized there was a growing market for wildlife trappers and exterminators.
That’s when Harbor Wildlife was born, an Old Bridge company with services encompassing more than just removal of unwanted animals.
“An animal is not just cute and furry that’s why they call it wildlife,” he said. “Confronting an animal in an attic is a whole lot different than confronting one in your garbage. We go out and we grab it. I have oops gloves so if I’ve missed, I’m preventing it from ripping my face apart.”
Spiecker’s services also include a warranty-covered repair of a home or building as well as the safe cleanup of anything a pest may have left behind — the most concerning of those items being the waste products, Spiecker said.
“Some people can be a penny wise and a dollar foolish,” he said. “They will go the cheapest route rather than the most complete. We’re three times (more costly) what a contractor will be. However, our warranty is one-to-five years and the warranty is to ensure that the animal doesn’t get back into the area.”
Dust spores from waste cleanup can give an unsuspecting person anything from a severe upper respitory infection to parasitic worms that can make their way to brains, hearts, lungs and more, he said.
“Damage is not just the exterior damage,” Spiecker said. “They urinate and deficate all over the place. They do carry diseases that people are not aware of.”
Some animals are euthanized and others are released, based on the animal, where it’s caught and the resources available, Spiecker said.
While the company does provide emergency 24-hour services, the definition of emergency could differ from person to person, he noted.
“It’s an emergency if the animal is in the living space,” he said. “If it’s in the attic then it’s probably been there for awhile.”
“I like to do a complete service,” he said. “It’s a very rare occasion that we have to go back because of an animal.”
For more information on Harbor Wildlife Control, call 207-450-7971, email or visit www.wildlifecontrolexperts.com.