Pest control businesses thrive all over the world. Their expertise is often undervalued. In fieldwork with these professionals, it is common to see a customer call for help, and then attempt to tell the professional exactly what to do. More than once we have heard a professional say “why the %#@%$ did you call me if you know so much about pest control?” Pest control experts have to know a lot about animals and a lot about running a business—similar to livestock farmers and pet breeders—and as such their relationship with nature in Los Angeles is simultaneously directed to the behavior and biology of the animals, and to the economic pressures of keeping a business running and customers happy. Sometimes, it is true, this means killing a lot of animals or insects. Sometimes it is cheaper to kill in some ways than in others, and often cheaper to kill than to not kill. But the experts don’t decide whether or how to do the killing. The customers do.
Rats and money