Punching the Clock: Bug hunters

Ben hummed a Christian jingle to himself which occasionally bubbled out into a few lines of murmured lyrics. He cheerfully searched the small office for any sign of our prey. The music came to a sudden halt as Ben knelt to the floor and crushed a small ant between his fingers. He then lifted his arm before taking a slight whiff of the crushed insect.

“If you catch a smell that’s like rotting coconut, that’s how you know,” Ben said to me coolly.

Ben White is a Senior Pest Control Technician for Ehrlich, with over 14 years of experience, and I spent the afternoon with him last Thursday.

When I closed my eyes and imagined being an exterminator, I saw a sadistic man dressed like a Ghostbuster cruising around town with a giant metal bug on the roof of a bleak-colored van. Ben was more like a blue collar Christian minister in a yellow pick-up.

Now what kind of a man becomes a professional exterminator? Forget your stereotype, Ben is a Desert Storm veteran with eight years of service in the U.S. Army. He’s married with three children and is the worship leader at his church in the Town of German, often carrying an upbeat Christian tune with him as he works.

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