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The HY-GUARD EXCLUSION Certified Installer Program

April 17th, 2024 | 4 min. read

By Louis Greubel

The HY-GUARD EXCLUSION product logo with a

In the world of wildlife exclusion, training and certification are essential to career development. Homeowners in need of wildlife control services have several choices nowadays, and an extra certification or two could be the difference between landing their business or missing out on a service opportunity.

At HY-C, we manufacture hundreds of wildlife exclusion solutions under our HY-GUARD EXCLUSION brand. As the manufacturer, we know all the ins and outs of these products, what kinds of animals they exclude, and, most importantly, how to install them.

Wildlife control operators (WCOs) with a HY-GUARD EXCLUSION Certified Installer certificate are experts in our wildlife exclusion products. Not only do they have the technical know-how to put the devices to use, but they also have a verifiable, manufacturer-backed endorsement to set them apart among other WCOs.

In this guide, we’re going to cover everything you need to know about the HY-GUARD EXCLUSION Certified Installer program. We’ll cover who’s eligible, why an operator should seek certification, and how they can go about earning their certificate.

What is the HY-GUARD EXCLUSION Certified Installer Program?

A man on a roof installing HY-GUARD EXCLUSION Roof Vent guards over box vents.

The HY-GUARD EXCLUSION brand is split into a few categories and subcategories of products. These categories include:

  • Exclusion screens
    • Soffit vent screens
    • Foundation vent screens
  • Exclusion guards
    • Roof vent guards
    • Chimney guards
    • Dryer vent guards
  • Chimney caps and chase covers
  • Accessories
    • Vent cleaning tools
    • De-webbing tools

The products themselves, typically made from steel, are designed to cover a number of vulnerable home entry points to keep out a number of common critters. Their steel construction helps them stand up to tampering and chewing from birds, bats, squirrels, raccoons, and more nuisances.

The Certified Installer program trains operators in the installation and management of HY-GUARD EXCLUSION products. Operators learn where to use the products, the situations and critters for which they’re best suited, the sizes in which each product is available, and more.

The program also encompasses the ventilation systems these products cover, and the kind of wildlife damage common to these systems.

Who is Eligible for the HY-GUARD EXCLUSION Certified Installer Program?

The logo for the National Wildlife Control Operators Association's Exclusion Product Installation Certification course against a white background.

The HY-GUARD EXCLUSION Certified Installer Program is powered by the National Wildlife Control Operators Association (NWCOA). Those who pass NWCOA’s Exclusion Product Installation Certification (EPIC) course will also receive a HY-GUARD EXCLUSION Certified Installer certificate.

The EPIC course is open both to NWCOA members and non-NWCOA members alike. Seasoned and novice wildlife control operators are welcome, as are wildlife control business owners.

More broadly, the course is open to any individual interested in rounding out their Integrated Pest Management (IPM) skill set. Whether you’re a veteran WCO or a pest control operator looking to try their hand at wildlife control, the EPIC course and the HY-GUARD EXCLUSION Certified Installer certificate are open to you.

Why Should You Earn a HY-GUARD EXCLUSION Certified Installer Certification?

Now that you have a bit of background information on the certification itself, it’s important to consider why you may want to earn a certified installer certificate. There are plenty of reasons, but we’re going to highlight three here.

1. To Gain Product Expertise

From left to right: a black HY-GUARD EXCLUSION Roof Vent Guard, three stacked foundation vent guards with Insect Armor, three stacked soffit vent guards with Insect Armor, and a strip of Stainless Steel Pest Armor Ultimate all laying on a concrete floor.

When you’re within 25 miles of a saltwater coast, should you use galvanized steel Pest Armor or stainless steel Pest Armor? Is a slip-in chimney guard good enough to keep out raccoons, or should you use a bolt-on style? Which size dryer vents do 6-inch and 8-inch dryer vent covers fit over?

Installing wildlife exclusion devices requires plenty of technical knowledge and an in-depth understanding of the products themselves. NWCOA’s EPIC course drills down deeply on the ins and outs of these products, providing critical insights into how you should use them on your customers’ homes.

In earning your certificate, you’ll become familiar with HY-GUARD EXCLUSION’S repertoire of wildlife exclusion solutions, and you’ll gain proficiency in installing them correctly.

2. To Network

A group of wildlife control operators in a large room listening to a NWCOA training seminar.

Though there are thousands of wildlife control operators throughout the United States, the industry itself is relatively niche. Wildlife control and exclusion devices both require specialized sets of knowledge, and WCOs everywhere gain valuable insights from talking to each other about the industry.

When you take NWCOA’s EPIC course, you’ll spend a lot of time with many other wildlife control operators. You’ll have the opportunity to swap stories and compare notes about animal exclusion methods that have served you well in the past.

You’ll also get to know key professionals in the wildlife control industry. In a business built on relationships and referrals, it never hurts to know as many people as possible.

3. To Build Your Resume and Reputation as a WCO

Three people standing in front of a NWCOA Certified Training banner at a NWCOA event.

Of course, exclusion products aren’t the only aspect of the wildlife control industry. Some WCOs tend to focus on specific animals, especially depending on the region in which they operate. Some specialize in traps, while others may offer a combination of wildlife control and pest control services.

Whatever your focus, becoming a HY-GUARD EXCLUSION Certified Installer allows you to diversify your skill set. You’ll walk away with a completed training course under your belt and a signed certificate to add to your resume.

But perhaps the best reason to complete the course is to increase your revenue earning potential. After all, just about any WCO can remove wildlife from a home. But you’ll have the unique ability to offer homeowners the option to keep those critters out for good.

How Can You Gain Your HY-GUARD EXCLUSION Certified Installer Certificate?

Those are the particulars of the HY-GUARD EXCLUSION Certified Installer Program. Not only will you gain great understanding of a new facet of wildlife control, but you’ll also open up several opportunities to help bolster your career over the long term.

So whether you’re a highly experienced wildlife control operator or you’re just starting to break into the industry, how can you earn your certification?

To start, visit NWCOA’s education page online. There, you’ll see the full spectrum of training and certifications the organization offers. On the page, look for the “E.P.I.C. Course” option. Register for the course, and you’ll be on your way to earning your HY-GUARD EXCLUSION Certified Installer certificate!

Louis Greubel

Louis earned a bachelor's degree in English with a focus in rhetoric and composition from St. Louis University in 2017. He has worked in marketing as a content writer for over 5 years. Currently, he oversees the HY-C Learning Center, helping HY-C subject matter experts to share their decades of home solution products experience with homeowners and sales partners across the country.