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Ladies and gentlemen, please enjoy a cup of coffee and prepare to set sail on a voyage to the heart and soul of a rat catcher’s mind. We expect calm seas—though squeamish folks may want to skip this journey. Anchors aweigh!

1st port of call: Questions. When a rat catcher starts a job, he asks himself: Has another company been here and failed? Have the homeowners put out poison? Has anyone tried to block entry openings? A short conversation with the owners—who are sick of dealing with a rat infestation—answers those questions.

2nd port of call: Inspection. The rat catcher walks around the home, carefully inspecting for openings that allow rat entry. He looks high and low, sometimes crawling on his hands and knees. He doesn’t dare miss the smallest opening or the whole job may blow up in his face. 

3rd port of call: Determination. Drawing on years of experience, he selects the best make and model of trap for this particular job. Since rats carry disease, gnaw on electrical wires, and destroy heating ducts, he is determined to succeed. He sets the deadly traps.

4th port of call: Victory. Days later, he opens the crawl space door and sees rats in the traps. His plan has worked, and he’s on cloud nine. He snaps a photo and texts it to a co-worker—then gets a high-five emoji right back. He can’t wait to tell the homeowners that their nightmare is over. That’s the best part of the job.

Last port of call: Soul. Despite the thrill of victory, he thinks: “What a shame it is that someone didn’t repair those entry openings sooner. What a shame it is to kill these noble animals whose only crime is trying to survive. What a shame.”

But, people are more important than pests, so he writes “job completed” on his work order, gets in his truck and heads to the next port of call.

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