Pest control took on a whole new meaning for Ryan Thrower when UKTV took him to Australia to see what they have to cope with there.
The series Deadliest Pests Down Under starts tonight on Dave TV at 8pm and follows Ryan, from Bury St Edmunds, and eight other UK pest controllers as they see what Australian colleagues cope with.
Ryan, 20, worked for his uncle’s pest control company when the call came through asking if he was up for the trip.
“I think the idea was to get us over there to embarrass us,” he joked. “The Australians seemed to think we were brave to go over there, but they weren’t impressed.
“Pest control work in the UK is really repetitive, mostly dealing with rats and mice, but there it was ‘manly’ animals.”
They included poisonous spiders, snakes, dingoes and crocodiles.
“We dealt with them all,” Ryan said.
They practised wrangling crocodiles at a crocodile farm but shortly before they left they were told of a huge one that had gotten into the swimming hole at an aboriginal reserve.
“When you’ve got a half-tonne creature with big teeth swimming where your children are swimming, it’s not funny,” he said.
But it was not a monster croc that rattled him most.
“The scariest thing I did was a snake in a car,” he said. “It was an eight or nine feet long python and we didn’t know where it was so you had to stick your hand under the chairs and behind the fascia.
“It was under the driver’s chair – I stuck my face down and was three or four inches from the snake staring me in the eyes.”
Though pythons are not poisonous they do bite and have backward pointing teeth to grip with.
But even if British pests are safer, the trip made Ryan decide he wanted to do something different, so he now works for an estate agent.
“I’m hoping the clients are friendlier than the crocodiles,” he said.