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Services: Best Exterminators

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Plenty of exterminators have poisoned the pests of movie stars, but Barry Glass of Big Apple Pest Control (361 East 19th Street; 777-0575), who serves clientele like Howard Stern, Joan Rivers, Don Imus, and Lauren Hutton, also happens to breed "great big hissing roaches" for movies and music videos. And any roach wrangler with the skills to lasso a 3 and 1/2-inch Madagascan armor-plated bug can certainly rid you of the moths in your closet. Unlike most exterminators, who coat everything with insecticide, Big Apple investigates the source of infestation (cracks, a pet's water bowl, old cardboard). This pleases "the Bug Lady," Dr. Betty Faber of the Liberty Science Center, who finds "it's best to hire an exterminator willing to share some knowledge," and commends Big Apple for giving advice while combating your cucarachas. Big Apple will employ any method you prefer, be it poison spray or ultrasonic sound. (Or, as in the case of a certain Buddhist celebrity, no termination at all: Exterminators came in every morning and took his mice away in traps, careful not to harm a single hairless, reincarnated tail.) While this attention to detail may boost prices ($195- $500), any do-it-yourselfer can stop by and pick up traps, insecticide, or environmentally friendly pheromone-laced roach catchers -- and if you're lucky, a brief lecture on the sex life of a mouse. "Females are outnumbered by males seven to one, so they tend to be pretty loose," says Glass. "She'll go with anybody, anytime."


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