ORLANDO, FL—With a grandiose gesture toward the dozens of 1-inch-square wooden plaques lining the walls, local exterminator Keith Dunford invited reporters into his trophy room Friday to show off the mounted heads of insects he had hunted down. “This here is an Eastern subterranean termite whose colony I single-handedly wiped out, and over there we have the Tortugas carpenter ant, famed scourge of the Greater Orlando area,” said a visibly beaming Dunford, who then held up an old photo of himself wearing a full-face respirator mask and kneeling next to the lifeless carapace of a 3-inch cockroach he had once tracked for miles and killed with a single shot of boric acid. “I’ve poisoned more than 50 species of arthropods across every county in Central Florida, but I’ve never seen a specimen as beautiful as the one I took down that day. Just look at those antennae! That right there is a two-point roach.” Dunford added that while he’d like to hang up his pump sprayer and retire, he could not rest until he had wrought vengeance upon the brown recluse spider that bit and killed his brother during a routine extermination at a condominium complex 30 years ago.
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