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6 questions for ... a pest controller

08/28/2008

JAMES TALLMAN

Age: 42

Job title: Service manager and pest expert at Magic Exterminating

Time on the job: 22 years

Hours per week: 40

When a regular exterminator can't tackle an infestation, they call you. So you're kind of the hired gun for the worst pest problems in the city?

Yeah. It can get hairy. I just got done with a place that we were pulling 13, 14 rats a day out of. We finally found out, because of construction next door, there was a hole in a sewer line. So we had to go underneath the place, in crawl spaces, to get to where the rodents were active.

So what's the toughest part of doing this job?

Getting dirty, of course. For example, when we do a rodent call - we're in crawl spaces, near sewer lines, basically in the deepest, darkest parts of New York City.

Ick! how often is that the case?

Every day.

What pests are the most common that you deal with in the city?

Right now, bedbugs and rodents are our two biggest pests.

What's the worst call you can get?

It's definitely the 3 a.m. call from someone with a rodent problem. We have to go down into a dark basement or space to catch the thing. It's at night, when the rats have the advantage over you, because they can see at night and you can't.

Are you ever scared?

Everyone has their days. But the good thing about our job is that every day is different. Rats do bother me, though.

Source: NY Daily News Read Full Article