As a Cache County Exterminator, most people assume I hate animals. Not true. I probably appreciate animals more than your average Joe, because I understand them so much better. I have to understand them to do my job right.
I’ve seen more crazy stuff in my career than most people realize. I’ve got stories that’ll make you laugh until you cry and stories that are more gruesome than a bad horror flick. I’ve worked with guys who scream like little girls when a little baby mouse jumps out at them from a garbage can. I’ve pulled raccoons out of chimneys in pieces. I’ve seen maggots and fleas raining down out of a ceiling lamp because something was rotting in the attic. I’ve seen buildings overrun with pigeons and pigeon droppings. I’ve seen porcupines eating the undercarriage of a car for the salt. I’ve seen it all. And, I still love every kind of animal I deal with. Well, okay, I’m still not crazy about snakes, but since most are relatively harmless, I just deal with it.
One of the most common calls I get, though, as Cache County Exterminator is to remove rats out of someone’s house or business building. And, surprisingly enough, I really love rats. They’re pretty amazing creatures, really, built to survive. They can jump up and run off after a 50 foot fall. They have a great sense of taste and a fantastic memory. They’re excellent swimmers and can live in the water for three days, which means they can survive being flushed down a toilet and return to your building by swimming upstream through the same pipes. They climb vertical and horizontal surfaces, and can get through a hole only a half-inch wide. They’re smart and social and pretty incredible, and I personally own two domestic rats: Shiny and Igor.
But, that doesn’t mean I’m okay with wild rats living in my home. They transmit all kinds of nasty diseases and parasites, which infest homes and businesses. Dead rats can build up in wall spaces or attics or basements, further contaminating the building. They have to chew constantly to keep their teeth down, so pipes, wood, wiring, plastic are all fair game. I know of several buildings that went up in flames because rodents chewed through electrical wires, and I’ve helped people who have water damage because rats gnawed through the pipes in the wall. Most people who have rats in their building have to throw out a lot of food that’s been contaminated, and even couches or clothes that rats used as nesting materials and bathrooms. One guy found out he had a rat problem when he discovered a snake eating one under his kitchen sink.
Yeah, I really do think rats and most animals I deal with are amazing creatures, even though my livelihood as Cache County exterminator is removing wild animals out of homes and businesses. As amazing as they are, they still damage people’s property and make people sick, which is why I do what I do.