Rodent Tales: A.J. Quick


March 24, 2023

Photo: MriyaWildlife/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus) are also known as brown rats, sewer rats, street rats, wharf rats and, in general, major pests. Photo: MriyaWildlife/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Question: What’s one of the largest rodent infestations you’ve battled, and how did you win?

QUICK: I come from the horticulture industry, and honestly I interviewed for the pest control job just for the interview experience. However, taking this job was the best decision I’ve ever made. I love the work, especially solving problems for customers. I’ve only been doing it for about 18 months, but already I have some “tales.” As for the largest so far, last year, I took on a residential account where the house had been in foreclosure and empty for some time before the new owners purchased it, with the intention to flip it. One of the first things they noticed after getting the keys was a Norway rat nest in the dishwasher, with about 10 rats cozied up inside. Rotting wood under the dishwasher cavity gave the rats easy access. Luckily, it was an easy fix with a baiting treatment, as the rats were all contained.

Q: What is one of your “Tom & Jerry” moments?

QUICK: Last fall, I was checking stations for an exterior vole infestation at a residence, and the customer wanted to see how I performed my inspection. He decided to take a walk with me around the house. All was going well until I opened one station and out popped at least 20 voles, scattering all over. They had packed themselves in there like sardines! I had to think fast, and consider what my customer wanted me to do — was he going to be upset if I would “stomp ’em” with my boot? Luckily, he was quite OK with me taking care of the problem immediately.

A.J. Quick

A.J. Quick

A.J. Quick’s rodent control tips

  • Always get a feel for your customers’ expectations.
  • Make sure you know about pets up front, including “grandpets” or those of friends that come over for the occasional visit, and tailor your treatment with that in mind.
  • Switch bait regularly, so there is no chance of resistance or complacency within the population.
  • Only rely on exterior stations as a monitoring device, not your only control method.
  • Don’t use bait indoors unless it’s absolutely necessary.
  • Always secure your bait stations. We use an 8-inch nail wherever we can, and zip ties where we cannot.

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