Although he “officially” retired in 2019, Pest Management Professional (PMP) Hall of Famer Dr. Austin Frishman, BCE-Emeritus, has been a trusted industry resource for us — as he has been for hundreds of former students and colleagues. Even when I called him for his contribution to our “Rodent Horror Stories,” I was the second pest control-related call for which his lovely (and patient) wife, Barbara, got him to the phone just that morning.
His story is horrific enough, but he also gave me more insights, as he is known to do: Years ago, Doc casually placed the taxidermy rat he used as a prop for lectures for his pest control night course at the State University of New York (SUNY) — Farmingdale on his lectern. A botany student walked in for the afternoon class, took one look and walked right back out. Doc ran after the student in the hallway. “Are you all right?” he asked.
The young man explained, “When I was little, rats would run outside my crib, and sometimes, they’d squeeze through the bars. I really cannot stand the sight of them.” Doc never had the rat out of its suitcase again outside of a rodent control lecture.
To me, Doc said, “We can say ‘pest control is important,’ but unless we’ve walked the walk and done the work, we just won’t understand the true horrors of what a pest invasion can do.”