At 8:30 on Wednesday, all was revealed as to what happened when Chris Wright of Newbury Sound joined me for the morning as my apprentice.
It was a bit of a challenge to arrange several different things for Chris to try, but I decided that we would go to a local farm where we have several different issues we deal with on a regular basis. Firstly, we had a go at mole control. We use 4 or 5 different types of mole trap depending on the ground and depth of runs, but the pro’s trap of choice is a very powerful scissor type mole trap called a Talpex trap.
These are pretty tricky to set until you get the knack, so I showed Chris what to do, including finding an appropriate mole run. After about 5 minutes, he did manage to set one and position it successfully, but it did take him about 10 attempts! The spring in this particular trap is very strong, and we like them as the gate is wide allowing the mole to be right in the trap before it triggers, assuring us that it is a very quick kill.
Next we did a rat inspection of a barn. This was Chris’s worst nightmare as he is very frightened of rats. I did not expect to see one (which is why I chose this particular farm, knowing Chris was terrified – not a nice thing to actually have to confront your fears) but I did want to see his reaction if he thought there was one…hence the little spook I did on him!
For all his fears, Chris actually did a good job of identifying the runs, setting rat traps, loading bait stations and positioning them in the right places, but you could see he did not enjoy this much!
Then we had to gas some rabbit burrows. This all sounds a bit strange but we have ferreted these burrows several times over the last few months, always catching some, but as this particular burrow is close to a small wood, the rabbits keep going back and re-populating the holes. This burrow is in the middle of a paddock which has some valuable horses in, so it was a danger to the horses – if they dropped a leg in one of these holes it would surely be broken.
The gas we use is extremely dangerous and so I kept Chris well away whilst I administered the treatment. To finish the process, the open holes need to be sealed to make them air tight, so I got Chris to collapse the earth around the holes and seal them…well that was the plan, but Chris is not a natural with a spade to say the least! I showed him exactly what to do, however I do not think he is built for this type of manual work…enough said! Needless to say, I was not over impressed with his efforts!
So back to the office to de-brief and pass judgement on Chris’s performance. Whilst he does learn very quickly and would be superb in dealing with clients, his physical strength and technique failed him on both setting mole traps and hole filling. Also he is terrified of rats … so unfortunately Chris, You are Fired!
It was all a bit of good fun, I hope Chris had a good in sight into what Pest Controllers do on a daily basis and some of the issues we face. I really enjoyed the whole experience and Chris and Paul made me feel very comfortable – again it is as much a challenge for me to do this as it was for Chris to do my job!
Check out the Newbury Sound website where there are a bunch of pictures and an audio link to the highlights of the show. Chris very neatly over-laid UB40’s hit “Rat in my kitchen” soundtrack in background as he asked me for a theme tune…very clever!
If you have a pest problem you want dealt with, contact us now for a fast efficient service..and an autograph!