Web Exclusive: Summit War Stories

By |  April 18, 2018

Right before the 2018 PMP Growth Summit took place in February, we sent out a call for entries for attendees’ “most bizarre, unusual or challenging pest management experience out in the field.” Paul Sugrue, technical director of Nozzle Nolen, West Palm Beach, Fla., won a $50 VISA gift card for sharing his story, as seen in our April print issue. What follows are three runner-up entries, edited for length and clarity. Each of them received $25 VISA gift cards:

Michael Broder, BHB Elimination: A Rat’s Tale

Michael BroderI began doing service calls when I was 15, during the summers. One day, I had to treat a small restaurant in New York City. I was on my knees under a sink when one of the cooks tapped me on my shoulder. He pointed to the other side of the kitchen and said, “Sir, rat.”

I assumed with the language barrier he meant “mouse,” which is what I was there to treat for. When I got to the part of the kitchen he pointed to, though, I saw the thick, gray tail from behind a box freezer. I leaned over the freezer and sure enough, there was my first, huge NYC rat.

Then I made my first mistake. I was all excited and told the cook he was right! There was a rat. I had no rat supplies on me, so I put a mouse glue board down on either end of the freezer. We shook the freezer, and the rat ran over the glue boards like they were nothing. A second later, it was right back behind the freezer.

The cook became angry. He grabbed a big chef’s knife and told me to shake the freezer again. I shook it, the rat ran out. He threw the big knife at it and missed it. The rat ran right toward me. I kicked it. It went flying through the air and hit the cook in the chest. He screams. The rat landed on its feet and ran back behind the freezer again.

The cook was furious. He grabbed a big plumber’s wrench and told me to shake the freezer again. The rat ran out and he started swinging at it, missing every time. The floor tiles were cracking as he ran around the kitchen. The rat ran out of the kitchen and into the dining room. The cook was still swinging and splintering the wood floor. The rat ran and hid under the dining room benches. The cook was breathing heavy. Finally, I got an idea: I grabbed a broom, told him to open the door and pushed the rat out the front door.

I’m sure the rat was just as glad to be away from us as we were to get rid of it.


Todd Leyse, Adams Pest Control: A Louse-y Job

Todd LeyseIn the structural pest control industry, we are taught to not deal with lice. It is considered a medical condition. Even though these are indeed pests, because they are ectoparasites and feed on the body, the medical profession should deal with them.

Until this case.

A patient arrived at a hospital we service, infested with head lice. Before admitting her, they shaved her head in an emergency room shower. That shower drain was soon crawling with lice, and they called us for help. We gave them the standard line, that the lice wouldn’t live too long — just clean up after them.

A few hours went by, and they wanted to put the room back in service. They called back and insisted we do something, so we heat treated the room. When we were done, they had us do the initial cleanup because no one on their staff wanted to touch the hair or dead lice.

So, that was our first and only case of treating for lice in our 47 years in business.


Joseph Sheehan, Colony Pest Control: Rookie on the Route

I am 17 years old, covering routes in the summer for guys on vacation and/or sick. I’m in an apartment building where you had to knock on all doors. I get to this one apartment, knock and say “Exterminator.” A woman opens the door in lingerie, looks at me, screams and then says “You’re not, Johnny!” (Technician name changed, of course.)

Another story. (Allegedly.)  I am somewhere between 12 and 15 years old, working as a helper. We are servicing apartment buildings in a rough area of New York City. The service tech I am with has a .25 automatic pistol and instructs me not to leave his sight. He stands at the door of each apartment I go into, with the .25 in one hand visible to ALL and a signature sheet in the other. At the time, I thought it was hilarious — not so much today.

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