Keith Murphy, owner of A+ Wildlife Control, has been in the business of animal control for more than a decade now. Whenever someone has a critter (or critters, in many cases) crawling around in their house or business, they call on Murphy and his employee, Ronnie Smith, to come help them out.
It’s a job that keeps him busy, with no set hours and no two days the same, but he said it’s taught him a valuable lesson about not just animals, but people, too.
What are some things people might not know about your job?
Most of the time people have no idea how long it’s going to take to get these animals out. A lot of times you have to get creative and make traps. Sometimes they get trap shy and won’t go in. We’ve gotten crows and owls out of attics, armadillos in crawl spaces, beavers and bats and raccoons — now, raccoons will try to bite at you sometimes. But flying squirrels are by far the most aggravating. People don’t realize that getting the animal out is just one part of the job; the rest is making sure they don’t come back in. You have to fix the homes, wire up certain vents, make sure they don’t come right back in.
What’s a typical day like?
There’s no such thing. We travel a lot. You never know when you’re going to get a call. And it all changes a lot based on the time of the year which animals you’ll be dealing with. This time of year we get a lot of squirrels and possums, but really it all depends on the animal.
What’s the most memorable job you’ve had?
The most I’ve ever had to deal with was 40 bats, which was an ordeal. The house was under construction, and then they all went in there, and so the company dealing with it called me in. They had no idea how to get them all out. We went in there and took care of it.
How has your job changed you personally?
The best part of my job is I get to meet different people, all different types of people. We’re not a big company. When you call us, it’s just me and Ronnie showing up. So we don’t go out and act like we’re some big fancy company. We try to get to know people, to be hands on, to keep up the quality of our work. And when you meet all these different people, you come to learn there’s still a lot of good in this world. There are really so many good, kind people out there. You know, I’ve never had any issues with the people I meet. Just the animals are the trouble.