This chat features the cast members from A&E's Billy The Exterminator cast members (Billy, Ricky, Donnie and Bill Sr.) answering viewer questions.
Billy: Welcome everybody! We appreciate your interest in the show, it's going to be a hot one!
Donnie: Welcome! Tonight, we look forward to your questions and thank you for watching Billy the Exterminator!
SheilaBee: Do you deal with a lot of bedbugs?
Donnie: Yes, we do deal with a lot of them. We're finding problems in facilities that house a lot of people like hotels, prisons, apartment complexes. We've been fighting them heavily and the infestations are getting more aggressive.
Big Bill: We've been fielding a lot of questions about bedbugs from people who call and send us emails.
JordanCool678: Hey Billy I was just wondering what is your top 5 of the worst jobs you have done?
Billy:Top 5 worst...I did a 15 storey apartment building that had about 100,000 roaches in it. Ricky and I did that one. It covered half of downtown with roaches! We had a bat job with 30,000 in a church that piled up three feet of bat guano (which is feces) and we had to clean it up and get the bats out. Got into a basement one time with about 25000 camel crickets. They look like prehistoric spiders with dots and a hump back. I had a basement one time where brown snakes were getting into the basement through these rocks, and I'd remove about 10-20 a week for years. I'd have to say the 5th one would be the rattlesnake in Season One.
ladyhawke182: Have you ever been seriously hurt on the job?
Big Bill: I've been seriously hurt several times. I fell in an attic, broke my neck and crushed my face, paralyzed from the neck down and went through hours of surgery. I had heat stroke, couldn't drive, and ran off the road where Ricky found me and took me to the hospital. In December, I fell off a roof and broke my back and hurt my leg as well. And then I had to face Donnie!
Donnie: I've increased his insurance after each one of these episodes!
Sandy smiles: I would like to know what Ricky did before Vexcon was started and what, as a child, did he want to be when he grew up?
Ricky: Before Vexcon, I was in the financial world and I thought when I grew up I'd be a Wall Street executive. I'm so glad I'm not, today.
Sandy smiles: Billy, how did you and Mary meet?
Billy: Mary took a job with us right out of high school working for us in the field. Her lack of fear for the animals and insects was my first attraction to her. After a couple of years of working together we started dating.
Leslie: How difficult is it to work with your family?
Billy: I think work environments are difficult for everyone. I find it easier working with family because they always forgive and forget. In non-family environments people tend not to forgive and not to forget.
Donnie: I like working in a family business because I can tell them what to do at home AND at work!
Billy: That's why I stay out there with the snakes!
jenjenreh1981: I just wanna say I love your show, and what is the strangest animal you killed or trapped?
Billy: They're all kind of strange. I guess the strangest was a snake job I did at a clothing store at a Saturday sale. I had a 6 foot rat snake in the lingerie department at a big retail store. I had to act like I was shopping for female lingerie which drew a lot of attention, me being a male and all. I told them I was looking for my snake.
Dianne: My yard is being ruined by Arizona ground squirrels burrowing all over it. I have fallen into some of the tunnels as I walk across the yard. I have poured bleach, ammonia and moth balls down the holes and it has not helped. PLEASE HELP!
Big Bill: Have you tried wearing snow shoes?
Billy: Dad's been under a lot of stress not good advice. Little Billy doesn't like to exterminate little furry animals but ground squirrels are tough customers. The only thing I can recommend that's user friendly is to buy Revenge smoke bombs. They're deadly and very effective. You light them and place them into the burrows. Do not inhale.
Dave B: What's the best way to get rid of fruit flies?
Billy: Fruit flies are usually a sanitation issue. Scrubbing garbage cans and keeping sinks clean are very important. Screens on windows will help. And refrigerate fruit.
Joyce: I have water bugs, German roaches, cockroaches, and big flying roaches. How do I get rid of them? Where can I find the stuff to get rid of them? Will this hurt my pets?
Billy: Over the counter, hands down the best product is Combat Roach Paste. You may have to buy several tubes of bait. Place pea-sized drops around all appliances, cabinets, furniture and exterior cracks and crevices. Stay with this treatment and you will overcome the roaches.
Donnie: I suggest you move!
porkchop: So how did you get started in what you do and you got a cool style of threads. How did that come about?
Billy: I always had a love for heavy metal music. Bands like Motley Crue inspired my look. I went into the Air Force in '87 and after taking a test, Uncle Sam rejected my wishes to be a cop and put me into the field of entomology. Twenty two years ago, I cried like a baby and today I'm laughing like a king. I hated this job, but now I love it!
Ozark man: From my wife: Are there any animals you wouldn't try to remove?
Big Bill: A blackhorn rhino! :-)
Donnie: Whatever is living in Billy's hair!
James: We have a lot of wasps, different types of hornets (bald face, brown, many other types), and yellow jackets. I am very allergic to these and we have small children. We literally have thousands of these around are home. What can I do?
Ricky: Did somebody say wasp? I'm hungry!
Billy: I would recommend using a professional exterminator on a regular program if your problems are that severe.
k8: I work on a horse farm and we're having a problem w/gnats and we can't get rid of them. Got any suggestions?
Billy: That's a good one! To start with, I would recommend investing in bug zappers or light traps. Flies are highly attracted to light. At night time make sure all lights are off in the barn except for the bug zappers. Also, foggers are available for outdoor use at most hardware stores. Used weekly, they are effective.
Scott: Billy, my name is Dillan and I'm from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada. I enjoy your show although I fear for your safety; you're some brave. What is the most dangerous snake that ever took at bite at you. Maybe a rattle snake. I'm your best fan. Be careful Billy and tell Ricky to get rid of that woman he is or was with. LOL
Billy: The most dangerous I encountered was a rattlesnake bite. The snake had gotten into a small shed being used by the Navy. I went to find the snake and I found it when it struck me in the leg. I was wearing high boots. After catching him, we had a little heart-to-heart but I let him live.
Ezra: I would like to know if Ricky found a new girlfriend yet?
Ricky: No, I have not. It's been a wonderful experience being a bachelor these past months but we'll see what happens in the future.
mljbnelson7: How do you get rid of water bugs?
Billy: The best way is to find products with the active ingredient Fipronil. It is very effective against water bugs.
HarryCat: How can I get rid of big black ants?
Billy: They're most likely carpenter ants. There is most likely a large nest in a nearby tree. Pest control companies and websites that sell insecticides sell carpenter ant bait and it's very effective. A green method is to take a sponge soaked in sugar water. Set it out and the ants will use it as galleries and you can drop the sponge into hot, soapy water when it fills up with ants.
Dizdat: I live in Florida and have a 4 foot black racer snake living in my back yard. I have 2 dogs. Should I get rid of the snake? I know they are not poisonous, but could it choke the dog?
Billy: I don't think the snake will cause you any harm. If it's bothering you, try mothballs. Put them outside of the dog area. It's a perimeter barrier.
Bobz: What is your opinion about the gadget you plug into an outlet and it gets rid of pests?
Billy: I wish they worked! My life would be so easy installing those! Unfortunately, it's one of the biggest disappointments I've encountered in my 22 years!
Clearwater: How do you discover the non-toxic formulas that you use? Did you create them? If yes, did you have to get some education in chemistry?
Billy: No, these were developed by others. I just do a lot of research and homework and was able to find a lot of different products over the last 22 years. I field tested them all and found the ones what worked and the ones that didn't.
Clearwater: How many times did you have to get hospitalized for venomous bites from spiders or snakes?
Billy: Probably three times for spider bites. Never hospitalized for a snake bite. I've been to the hospital for alligator bites but I've never been admitted.
BKStull: Help! We have a skunk under our porch. Are there any products that will repel skunks? I hear they don't like certain smells but nothing seems to work!
Billy: You will have to buy a squirrel sized trap, bait it with cat food and the skunk will be easy to catch. After catching it, using a vinyl shower curtain, place the curtain over the cage. If the skunk sprays, it'll only hit the curtain. Skunks don't spray what they can't see. Drive the skunk 5 miles off property and release into a wooded area.
Shane Thomas: Love your show! How did you guys get picked to do the show? Did you write in to them or come up with the idea yourselves?
Billy: No, we didn't open a pest control company in Louisiana to do television. A producer in California found us through the internet. When they contacted us by phone and said the wanted to do a show about pest control, we hung up on them. Three times! Thankfully, they were persistent.
missDC: Do people ever get worm infestations?
Billy: Yes, we get earthworm problems but we usually educate the homeowner and usually won't kill them. However, we get serious centipede and millipede infestations. Some species are venomous and we get rid of them for sure! That's why we exterminate them. Mom says you can use the earthworms for fishing. :-)
MH Cindy: What has the family learned by doing the show? This is one of my favorite shows, great job guys!!
Billy: We have learned absolutely nothing! We may be a little more pinheaded...just kidding! We've learned a little more about public relations and to try to take our jobs a little more seriously.
Donnie: I've learned that the boys talk behind my back.
Stephanie: Where can I find eugenol to kill cockroaches?
Billy: There's a line of products by a company named EcoSMART. They have a fantastic line of products using eugenol.
Clearwater: I appreciate that your company is eco-friendly. Was that thinking always present or have recent environmental concerns prompted you to go that route?
Billy: I've always been eco-sensitive and considered myself a steward of the environment. I'm constantly growing and keeping up with the latest information. With the new swine flu outbreak we are now doing treatments for anti-microbial spray for the flu virus. We're using *Sterisx to kill this strain. If anyone is interested in decontaminating their environment, they can find the product at *sterisx.com. It's fantastic, it really does a number on that virus!
kbyyru: Have you ever dealt with scorpions?
Billy: Constantly! They are very aggressive and difficult to control.
Big Bill: And they're always in a bad mood!
Billy: Keep the grass mowed and ground debris away from the house and you'll keep the scorpions away.
sweetlvn: Do you ever do any work over in Texas, just across the state line?
Billy: Not too much, however since I am an entomologist I can operate in all 50 states.
Sweet southern sugar: Billy I know you guys try to be as earth friendly as you can, so do you use your own formula's or do you trust a certain brand?
Billy: We do use our own formulas and we do trust the EcoSMART brand.
k8: Billy why did you choose the Air Force over one of the other branches?
Billy: I thought it would be the easiest however I was wrong! ::laughs::
Danni67: Billy also, what is the protocol at catching rats vs. catching a mouse
Billy: Mice are small. I don't mind poisoning them because they don't smell too bad. I don't like poisoning rats. They're too big and can really smell when they die in the walls. My industry, for years, has said when you poison a rat it will go outside for water and die. I've never seen any evidence of that being true. I think they say that so they don't have to go back and clean up their mess.
Sweet southern sugar: Ricky I know that Billy was a bug squisher in the AF, but what did you wanna be when you grew up?
Ricky: I wanted to be just like dad but when he started breaking all of his bones I decided to just start crushing bugs.
Tod C: Billy, thanks for taking the time out to talk to us. If I need to get an exterminator to come by, what are the signs of a good exterminator and what do I need to watch?
Billy: If an exterminator is more interested in spraying and less interested in your problem he is not for you. If he addresses your problem directly he's good. Listen to word of mouth.
Sweet southern sugar: Donnie, did the boys grow up bringing you all kind of critters and such?
Donnie: No, they didn't. For whatever reason, they started bringing the critters when they were older. They had no interest in insects as children.
kbyyru: Hey Billy, why is it that you rarely kill but yet I've seen on the show that you have some gloves that say "DIE" on them?
Billy: The gloves are not against insects. It's political parties.
Mandie: Billy, what made you decide to open your business to include dead animal removal?
Billy: I was starving and the other 74 companies refused to clean up their mess.
Gavinbear: Ricky, how do you get your hair to look the way that it does? What hair products do you use?
Ricky: The biggest secret is to stay in front of dad and scissors but the biggest secret is Australian beeswax. That was Billy's trick.
Renee in Idaho: I'm wondering if Mary is actually as quiet as she seems. It would be nice to see her out on a job or two, eh?
Ricky: Mary is quiet and shy but she opens up more and more every day and who knows? Maybe we might see some more of her.
kaisercl: Ricky are you gonna go on any more blind dates?
Ricky: I've been on two and both ended up at the bottom of the ocean. I think I might look them in the eye in the future.
Donnie: No way Jose! I'm getting one set up now!
Fran: My family and I run a dog breeding kennel. What kind of spray is safe to use around puppies that could be days old that will work on spiders? Is your spray available for purchase and is it safe?
Billy: Our product isn't available in all 50 states yet but it is safe. I recommend using EcoSAFE products around any animal at any age. For microbials, the *Sterisx. It's used for smaller microbials.
Nikki: I have a problem with squirrels in my attic. I have had them for 3 years now. Anything I can do other than traps to get them gone?
Ricky: Find the holes where they are entering. Pick the main hole and use chicken wire or hardware cloth. Make a cone-shaped trap. Fasten it to the house over the main hole with the outside hole being the size of a tennis ball. The hole next to the house, the size of a softball. Squirrels will exit but can't reenter. They also sell one-way doors on the internet for squirrels.
Sanderson1973: Do mothballs really keep the cats away, if not, what will? Absolutely love your show!!
Billy: I find that motion detection sprinklers work the best. When the detector senses the cat, it starts to spray water.
Sherri: Do you sell your products online?
Billy: We're about to start.
Snake charmer: Are you surprised when there is a cockroach infestation and people still live in their homes while this is occurring?
Billy: No, not at all. It is far more frequent than people realize.
Chris: Bill why are you always stressed out and all? I mean I don't want to be rude and all but you should calm down sometimes because the show isn't the show without you.
Billy: If you walked a mile in my shoes, you'd understand.
Jesse James: Billy, what are your hobbies? What do you do to get away from it all?
Billy: I love Guitar Hero! And I love all kinds of bikes whether motorized or pedaled.
Ricky: Did you work for other exterminating companies before?
Billy: Yes, besides the Air Force I worked for Humphreys in New Jersey and with AABernathy, where I learned most of my knowledge about organics.
Heather: Do you know how the bobcat is doing?
Billy: Yes, the bobcat is doing fine! We relocated him to a cat sanctuary and I've seen him since the trapping. He's happy.
Floobish: Do you watch the show every week? What's it like watching it on TV?
Billy: Ricky, Mary and I watched it once. Mom and Dad watched it a few more times. We all have difficulty watching our show. We think we all look stupid. ::laughs::
A&E: Thank you all for being here tonight! It's been great chatting with you. Any last comments, before we all tune in to the season finale?
Billy: This one's going to be pretty hairy-scary! It's going to be a wild ride!
Donnie: Forgive me for anything I may say tonight!
Ricky: Thank you for your support!
Big Bill: Thank you for watching this season, we appreciate everyone that has tuned in.
A&E: Thanks for participating in Billy the Exterminator chat.
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