The Bill, Taggart, Holby Blue, Life on Mars and for you older ones out there Juliet Bravo and Dixon of Dock Green. What do they have in common? All police shows that were or are on the telly; showing us the problems of the day-to-day life of the police force
And now for something different (as Monty Python might say!). All of the programmes below show the daily life of pest controllers or “Exterminators” as they say state side.
The Life of Grime
Help me Anthea, I’m infested
The Rat Pack
Speaking to my colleagues there is a split; some will not watch these as after a hard day at work you want some escape. The last thing you need is pests coming into your living room. I on the other hand watch some of them (haven’t seen the new one yet – The Rat Pack) because it gives me a chance to see how other pest controllers do things differently, I can then show the wife the pests I deal with and also find faults!
The American programme Verminators is one which for me is a target, excuse the pun. Now it may seem petty to you, and I appreciate that things may be cut for filming, but there are three things (for starters) on this programme that rile me.
- They call rats different names. The Brown Rat is the Norwegian Rat, fair enough the latin name is Rattus norvegicus. And the Black Rat is called the Roof Rat. Yes, they are good climbers and in an urban environment may climb on roofs of buildings. But for one of the places I inspected where this species of animal lived, there was just one roof and they weren’t living on it. So tell me, what would they call that then?
- Watching an episode where they had cockroach activity, they followed the same procedure as us with spray treatments but then after spraying they told the client it was pest free and that was that. Cockroaches are extremely resilient as I have found on many of my calls, and if a spray treatment was used you would have to do a couple of follow-ups to ensure that nothing had survived the first dowsing.
- A bees nest was accessed by using a circular saw, cutting into the brickwork of a building. Finding nothing in that particular area he then cut another chunk of wall and finally located it. Speaking later to a tech who has been with the company for over twenty five years he laughed, saying that if it was one of his clients they would have gone mental had he has left large chunks of wall exposed.
I suppose that training methods in the USA are different than here and they have a lot more free range to tackle tasks that come to them.
As for pest control shows it looks like they are popular as they have “urgh” factor (as opposed to the X factor which starts again on Saturday). So if people want pests in thier living rooms, as long as they stay inside the confines of a television programme – who am I to complain.