Day In The Life of Critter Control
Its a job that gives new meaning to the phrase life on the wild side.
Critter Control is a business that specializes in animals like snakes, skunks, and squirrels.
Mike Rossi does not carry a briefcase to work. Everything he needs is in his truck.
Mikes job takes him all over Nashville answering calls of animal apprehension.
His first job involves some out of control moles.
"Quite a lot of activity going on," says Rossi.
The underground animals have been burrowing under the lawn looking for earthworms.
"It dropped right in there. I'm in the tunnel," says Rossi.
The solution is swift.
"Very powerful, very quick," says Rossi.
Mike sets up traps in areas where the moles are active.
He is hoping to catch them one by one.
"We're going to try to get these moles under control, let him get back to enjoying his yard," says Rossi.
With the first stop out of the way, Mike is off to another house. Even behind the wheel he is spotting critters.
"There's a black snake sitting on the road right back there," says Rossi.
The next call takes him indoors.
"Have you been hearing noises?, says Rossi.
The customer says birds are living in the chimney, and sure enough the loud baby birds have found a new home.
Mike uses a flashlight and a small mirror to search the flu. And after a few minutes four baby birds are evicted.
"They're really young, haven't quite got their feathers yet," says Rossi.
Now, it is time to fix the problem.
40 feet off the ground he perches on top of the chimney to install a screen covering, and places the baby birds nearby.
"She'll have a chance to feed them, and we'll give those guys a fighting chance," says Rossi.
Mike says each job he does comes with a sense of accomplishment.
"You know it's a great feeling, you just did a great thing, you know, you've made somebody's day," says Rossi.
Catching critters can often involve detective work.
The owners of the one home have reported raccoons, or possibly squirrels in the attic.
"We could have an animal going in and out of that vent," says Rossi.
Mike crawls through tight spaces.
"They're just coming right in here," says Rossi.
And he finds evidence that animals have been inside.
"I see animal defecation which tells me I've had activity in here," says Rossi.
The final call of the day is perhaps the most risky.
Skunks have been damaging a womans lawn, and now one of them has been trapped in a cage.
Very carefully the skunk is moved to Mikes trunk.
"It has been my experience they will not spray till it's life threatening," says Rossi.
Then using a honey-like mixture and marshmallows, he baits two new traps.
"Get him to go right inside," says Rossi.
For now Mikes job is done, but the critters of Nashville beware, he will be back soon.
"I don't have to always wear a cape, by golly being a hero is really a nice feeling," says Rossi.
Critter Control works with volunteers, the TWRA, and groups like Waldens Puddle to help place wildlife.
Credits: By John Dunn - WZTV Fox 17