What’s The Grossest Thing You’ve Ever Seen In Pest Control?

So my son and I were sitting around talking about things I’ve seen in my career. He’s worked with me a for awhile and on any normal day you can be treated to some really wild things. The conversation eventually turned to what was the GROSSEST thing I’ve ever seen and that kind of took me back. To be honest I couldn’t really decide because there have been so many disgusting, putrid, sickening and gut-churning scenes I’ve been privy to over my many years that for me to pick one would be impossible. I also think this may be something subjective and what might turn my stomach might not phase you at all. So below I’ve narrowed it down to my top 2 most repulsive things I’ve witnessed.

Now I know I’m not the ONLY guy or gal in this business that has seen completely grossed out things so I’d love to hear yours. Just read your choices, vote and then make sure to give us an account of something you’ve seen that made your knees buckle or got your lunch churning. Consider it therapy or a cleansing of the soul and a chance for you to vote on your, eh, emmm- uh, favorite.

Gross Scene #1-Tipping The Scale

At an open market years ago me and a team of techs were waiting for some keys to open the gated doors of a butchers shop which was part of a very large job. Security had just turned down most of the lights
across this very big market place but we were able to still see just fine. At that point however every creature that spent the day hiding in seclusion suddenly came alive and we began to see rats galore scurrying to their favorite booths trying to get first dibs and the 1/2 walls of the open food booths slowly filled with crawling roaches looking for the same. But the worst scene for me was just on the other side of the of the butchers caged doors. There was a meat scale that wasn’t clean by any means but didn’t seem bad at all either. The electronic weight was still on and slowly the roaches began climbing out of the body of the device and within minutes the entire metal tray used to weigh your cheeses and meats was absolutely covered with a frenzy of feeding roaches and more just kept coming. We just stood there in amazement and gawked at the spectacle unable to even say a word. The topper to it all was that the the scale that once read 0.00 in a green LED light was now REGISTERING WEIGHT! I wish I would have written down just how much it was at the time but I’m sure it wasn’t more than just an ounce or two. Come to think of it, that’s just about the weight of your average slice of meat or cheese! Yummy.

Scene Two-Playing Opossum

This happened this year and maybe that’s why it’s eh, fresh in my mind. I don’t do good with smells at all and I hate with a passion tracking down corpses for removal. If you call me out because of a smell it’ll cost you and I don myself with gloves, glasses, suit and a mask and still I almost loose it almost every time. The rotting flesh stench filled the small mobile home and I determined just about where I’d need to crawl up under the house to find the source. God I was hoping it was a small rat or squirrel that I could quickly find and put in my trash bag but the smell was so strong it might as well been a moose. Oddly enough I couldn’t get a fix on the smell as I crawled the tight underbelly of the home. I had to pull my mask away from my face to try and hone in on it but after about 20 minutes I was ready to give up. The insulation under a trailer is usually held in place with black plastic and there was one spot where it seemed to bow down more than the rest. Sure enough when I tapped on the spot it was a solid thud and I knew I found my mark. Tightening my mask and positioning my bag and body for a quick retrieval and even quicker retreat I used my razor knife to cut loose this stench from hell. As my blade made it’s slice and the fabric separated thick gray hairs instantly protruded forth. As the cut widened maggots began dropping to the ground and the wave of rotting meat hit me like a ton of bricks. This thing was huge and of course it got hung up a bit and I had to work it out cutting more slits until the massive dead beast flopped to the ground with a thump and every stage of maggots spilled forth and flies filled the air. I just about lost it there and closed my stinging eyes and tried to think happy thoughts. That damn thing wouldn’t get in the bag and I ended up dragging it out by the tail. The ooze and rotting insides were more than I could take and using one arm to crawl out of my cavern wasn’t working at all. To get out faster I pushed this dead weight ahead of me but to the side and I left a trail of maggots and liquified flesh in the dirt all the way out. It took about ten minutes to regain my composure and driving away I couldn’t help but wonder if I could some how cross train a termite sniffing dog to help me avoid this kind of gross thing from ever happening again.

Choose The Grossest

About The Bug Doctor

Jerry Schappert is a certified pest control operator and Associate Certified Entomologist with over two and a half decades of experience from birds to termites and everything in between. He started as a route technician and worked his way up to commercial/national accounts representative. Always learning in his craft he is familiar with rural pest services and big city control techniques. Jerry has owned and operated a successful pest control company since 1993 in Ocala,Florida. While his knowledge and practical application has benefitted his community Jerry wanted to impart his wisdom on a broader scale to help many more. Pestcemetery.com was born from that idea in 2007 and has been well received. It is the goal of this site to inform you with his keen insights and safely guide you through your pest control treatment needs.

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  • Totalpest72

    I was doing a bad german roach job. As I stood on my tip toes, trying seeing in the top cabinette with my mouth gaping open,( NOTE: NEVER HAVE MOUTH OPEN DURING A GERMAN ROACH CLEANUT), a kamikazee roach leaped into my mouth. I was so angry….I could decide if I was gonna spit him out or chew it up. Ummmm….I decided to spit it out.

  • Jwood

    we had a flea job on a manufactured home that the owners had defaulted on their loan. They moved about an hour away. So for a month they left their dogs and cats in that house, with litter tray and just opened a couple of big bags of food and left for them…with the windows closed, for one month nobody had taken these animals out of that house. It was real bad. And it was July, and they had turned the electric off after removing the animals, but they didnt remove anything else. The fleas started eating at us, as we were ascending the front deck, it was just kind of one of those feelings that you knew something bad was about to happen. When we opened the door, there has never been a rotted animal that even smelled this bad. The carpets were completely covered with animal feces, and the kitchen floor, when we got to it finally, was so sticky with urine it held your feet down you couldnt pull your boot out of it. It was a job that we were very thankful for gas masks and a good fogger. Oh i didnt mention the fleas on top of that… you can all imagine how bad they were.

  • Qvclady


  • I was a Service Manager in Florida and we received a call from an apartment complex for fleas. I didn’t think much about it, and then I arrived. Some had a Doberman in the apartment and there was dog feces everywhere in BIG piles and the fleas were thick. It was the grossest smelling situation I ever encountered; even now I almost gag when I think about it. The second was a crawlspace where a lady kept cats, there were hundreds and it was a termite job God it stank and the fleas were terrific…

  • Mel

    Smells always get me too. Worst dead animal smell- a dozen or so liquified rats floating in a crawlspace which flooded. Worst live animal smell- a pair of sea otters partying in a crawl space for a couple months before the owner finally smelled something in his house. Worst visual- a really old approximately 4,000 square foot chicken barn converted into a house. Every square inch of the crawl had rat droppings. In one area it was almost two feet deep. Worst war story I heard- recently a coworker of mine entered a crawl to find a pack of weasels were discarding dead animals they caught and ate. He estimated the carcasses he picked up weighed 20 lbs. While telling me the story he started gagging and so did I.

  • Holy Mackerel!

    You all have put my puny story to shame–Excellent Job! but I do have two things to say-


    Thanks all 😉

  • Hobblina

    Ditto That’s disgusting…I thought I heard it all….yuck!

  • I’m hungry- haha

    It’s amazing what goes on out there in the field. Water cooler talk at bug shops have got to be the most interesting.

  • Your market story came very close to some of my first experiences as a tech. While I was in training I worked a very prominant city market where I live, that had a ton of roach and rat problems. The design was with stalls on the public floor, and stalls for storage and/or cooking in the basement. The place was infested with germans but what freaked me out the most was some of the practices of the kitchen personnel. One day I was heading down to the basement and went into an employee stairway. There was a hand scibbled note left on the wall that said “don’t pee on the walls, management is watching!”. Now one might assume that some idiot did this, and management was informing people to not do it. No, I later found it was from some random guy and management knew nothing about it. But come on now, peeing inside a stairway!! really???

    Another one from this place is about “Chicken River”. Many of the stalls do cooking in the basement which is supposed to be storage only. Well, so many of them cook chicken in big stock pots, then dump out the waste directly onto the floor, that a literal river of chicken broth flows from one side of the building to the next. It’s been this was for so long, that a buildup of caked on grease lines the “river”. Can you say yummy? Needless to say, I wouldn’t eat a single thing in this market!

  • Wow, that does sound similar. This market had a basement too and it’s where I learned the art of snap trapping rodents on overhead pipes. I’d tie a string to the trap to keep it from disappearing and more than once I’d have a dozen or so dangling like they just been hung by the local vigilante mob. At times some were still wiggling and MAD– Oh my was that account a NIGHTMARE. HA! I’m glad I’m not alone in this experience.

    Thanks for a GREAT STORY

  • I never thought to attach string to them! We were using the large rat glueboards in some areas, and sometimes even these were drug off.

    A few years later, I had a loading dock at a hospital close to the market, and within one year, we cought over 350 rats just in the loading dock. Most were coming from “down the street”.

  • Wow that’s a lot of rats– over in Bangladesh that might get you a prize. http://pestcemetery.com/tv-costs-83000-rats/

    Here I bet all you got was a ‘atta boy’ lol

    You ought to put together a few of your stories and I’ll post em here in an article. = Great Stuff!

  • I”ll see what I can come up with. Will PM you on PCTOnline when I get something written up.

  • I’ve joked with coworkers before that our stories would make a great book. I’m sure some of you have thought the same. Would anyone be interested in working together to write one? I’m thinking we could get people to submit their stories, then complile these into a workable book for publication.

  • Not a bad idea–I submitted a story or two to writers who had this idea but nothing ever came of it. I bet many people would enjoy it.

  • Pingback: Mice In The Walls-Smells Like Trouble()

  • Bobby

    mainly dead rats full of maggots and the methane smell when you remove them that seems to get worse, removing dead pigeons that fell into water tanks thats been there for some time and they seem to dissolve in your hands and the smell from them, well i had one guy throwing up… lol

  • Yep….that qualifies…ewwww