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If there’s a squirrel in your kitchen or bats in your attic, just call Todd R. Olson. Olson owns Critter Control, 3514 Clinton Parkway, and spends his days catching animals that have moved into people’s homes and repairing the damage they’ve caused.
“The animals are just doing what they do: surviving, reproducing,” Olson says. But when, for example, a raccoon reproduces in a chimney, it’s Olson’s job to evict the family. So he traps the female raccoon, dons protective gloves and reaches into the chimney for her offspring.
The job is physically challenging and risky. A baby raccoon has the strength to break a man’s finger, Olson says, and sometimes getting to the animal can be difficult.
As an urban wildlife management specialist (that’s the official title of a critter controller), Olson climbs on roofs, crawls through attics, lifts heavy ladders, and sometimes repels down buildings to get where the animals are. Once there, he still has to deal with the actual animals.
And, sometimes, they smell.
His worst job, Olson says, was removing a dead snake from the attic of a Lawrence fourplex. The tenants say a huge stain on the ceiling was from a snake. When Olson climbed into the attic, he found a boa constrictor, as big around as a coffee can, staring at him.
“Even though it smelled like it was dead, it looked alive,” he says. “I thought, ‘I am going to die today.’”
After removing more than 70 pounds of snake flesh from that attic, Olson had to throw out the gear he used because he could never get the smell out.
“The worst smelling thing in the world is a dead snake,” Olson says. “I’m pretty sure of that now.”
Credits: By Becka Cremer - Kansas.com