Skip to main content

«  View All Posts

5 Reasons Retailers Should Stock Wildlife Exclusion Products

June 14th, 2024 | 4 min. read

By Louis Greubel

A cartoon squirrel along two cartoon birds picketing on top of a HY-C chimney guard. Their signs express anger toward being locked out of the chimney.

In 2015, there was an article published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information called, “Wildlife in U.S. Cities: Managing Unwanted Animals.” The article contains an eye-opening statistic:

Of 1,000 randomly surveyed households across 100 of the largest U.S. metropolitan areas, 57% of residents admitted to having nuisance wildlife problems in the previous year.

That’s more than half.

As a retail buyer, that means there’s a clear demand for pest management products among over half the people who walk into your stores. And you likely have plenty of solutions in your aisles including traps, baits, lures, poisons, and more.

But there’s also a big swath of pest management products you likely don’t stock, a subcategory of products that may well be your next big opportunity: wildlife exclusion products.

In this guide, we’re going to cover why retail locations that already carry pest control supplies should add wildlife exclusion to their selection.

We’ll get into why there’s an increased demand for these kinds of products, how the wildlife exclusion industry is growing by double digits each year, and how you as a retail buyer can capitalize on the success.

By the time you’re finished here, you’ll have the information you need to decide whether or not wildlife exclusion is right for your stores.

What Are Wildlife Exclusion Products?

We’ve done a deep dive on what exactly wildlife exclusion is on this blog before, but we’ll provide a quick overview here.

Critters and wildlife of all kinds manage to get inside houses all the time. And solutions to these problems are usually implemented post-wildlife invasion. Homeowners (or the professionals they hire) will locate, trap, and remove the animals after they get inside their home.

Wildlife exclusion, on the other hand, aims to prevent wildlife problems before they happen.

A man installing a HY-GUARD EXCLUSION roof vent guard on a roof over a roof vent. He is using a gray and black drill.

Wildlife exclusion products typically consist of steel screens and guards that are attached to common wildlife invasion entrances on homes, including:

These products allow the vents and openings to function normally while making them virtually invulnerable to penetration by most nuisances and pests.

5 Reasons to Stock Wildlife Exclusion Products in Your Retail Store(s)

1. There’s an Increasing Intolerance for Pests Among Homeowners

A rat peering out of a hole that it's chewed in a bit of drywall.

When it comes to DIY pest and critter control, homeowners in the previous century were much more likely to deal with a squirrel, rat, or bat by themselves than homeowners in this century. And as homeowners’ tolerance for pests in their homes decreases, calls to pest control and wildlife control operators increase.

These operators buy their supplies from people like you. As homeowners continue to demand protection for their chimneys, foundation vents, and soffit vents, operators will look to sources like you to be able to provide the solutions on your store shelves.

2. You Can Provide Your Customers a Permanent Solution

By virtue of even walking into the pest control section of your store, your customer is clearly experiencing some kind of wildlife problem. Ask yourself: when they’re there, are they going to want a temporary solution, or a permanent one?

Put another way, imagine you have an oil leak in your car. Would you rather buy a few quarts of oil to replenish your vehicle every week, or would you rather go to a mechanic and have them fix the issue for good?

That’s the kind of peace-of-mind and reassurance wildlife exclusion offers.

Your customers can trap, bait, and remove critters all they want. The truth is, though, if a critter got inside their home in the first place, another will be along shortly to take its place.

Poisons, lures, and traps simply fix the symptoms of wildlife problems. Wildlife exclusion screens and guards, on the other hand, are cures.

With a permanent fix, you’ll instill trust in your business, you’ll build loyalty with your customers, and you’ll receive fewer complaints as the animals stop coming back.

3. The Wildlife Exclusion Industry Is Growing

When most people think about wildlife control, they think about cages, traps, and poisons rather than exclusion. Thankfully, though, that’s starting to change.

Organizations like the National Wildlife Control Operators Association and the National Pest Management Association work with operators across the country to help inform homeowners that exclusion is a great pest management option.

A chart showing the exclusion category performance for the HY-C company from 2020 to 2023.

We see it here at HY-C, too: wildlife exclusion is our fastest-growing category by far. With the exception of the post-pandemic reset in 2021, exclusion has been phenomenal for us, growing by double digits each year for more than 20 years.

Retailers and distributors are offering the products to operators, operators are offering them to homeowners, and more and more homeowners are choosing to have them installed every day.

4. They Can Provide a Boost to Your Pest Control Sales during Slow Months

Traps, baits, lures, poisons — these items tend not to sell year-round. If you check your POS data for sales on these items over the past few years, chances are you’ll find a seasonal lull.

This is, of course, because pest problems don’t happen year-round. The birds fly south for the winter, the bugs all vanish when it’s cold, and several common nuisances go into hibernation. But while sales are down during this time, exclusion can help you bolster the category.

In fact, it’s during these times of low animal traffic that wildlife control operators prefer to install the products, because there is less animal activity around the homes they work on.

If you’re looking for an easy way to increase dollars for your pest control category during down months, wildlife exclusion products are a great opportunity.

5. The Products Take Up Minimal Shelf Space

As a manufacturer, we know that, for retailers, shelf space is very valuable real estate. Thankfully, to get started with wildlife exclusion, there are five products that will address almost all of your customer’s needs:

  1. Chimney caps
  2. Foundation vent screens
  3. Soffit vent screens
  4. Code-compliant dryer vent guards
  5. Universal vent guards

A chimney cap, two dryer vent guards, a soffit vent screen, and a foundation vent screen, all in their retail packaging on a concrete floor.

Retail packaging included, we estimate that the necessary products will only take up two shelves on a four-foot-wide gondola. Of course, there are plenty of display options, and we’re always happy to work with each of our partners to discover what’s best for them.

Should You Carry Wildlife Exclusion Products?

There’s no doubt that the wildlife exclusion industry is growing. And there’s no doubt that more and more homeowners across the country will discover these humane, environmentally friendly solutions and prefer them over other temporary fixes.

But there’s a question remaining: should you stock wildlife exclusion products on your shelves?

If you already carry pest control products, you’re a prime candidate to give wildlife exclusion a try. Exclusion is a small section of the larger pest control segment, meaning you won’t have to add an entirely new category. You can start providing these solutions right away.

If you can make the shelf space work and you want to provide a seasonal boost to your pest control category, give wildlife exclusion a try. Wildlife control operators will appreciate having access to the products, and your customers will appreciate permanent, lifelong wildlife control solutions for their homes.

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.