Pest controller escapes the rat race

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The owner of a successful Warwickshire pest control business has escaped the city rat race and settled for a quieter life in Kintyre – and you will not fail to spot him out and about!

Matt Jukes, 46, has combined his unique last name with his love of a 1970/80s American television show to create the brand for his new Kintyre business.

Both his work van and his left-hand-drive 400BHP 5.7L Dodge Ram, which itself stands out, are wrapped in eye-catching orange vinyl and sign-written in the style of the General Lee from The Dukes of Hazzard.

Matt’s training and experience within the industry over the last 18 years mean he can handle any job, from rat and mouse prevention and dealing with wasps and other insects, to bird control and rabbit removal and fencing.

An former gamekeeper, Matt has had a firearms licence for 31 years, and also carries out deer management and tree surgery, and he is a specialist in mole control and trapping.

He says his job is not just about getting rid of pests, but treating the problem so they do not come back.

‘I have worked in cities and rurally, so I can handle any job,’ Matt told the Courier. ‘Some pest controllers can only do one or the other.’

Matt’s mum, who helped him at the start of his business career and encouraged him to succeed, raised him with a strong work ethic. This meant that with his previous Rugby-based company, which he sold to a competitor, he often worked until 10pm or 11pm each day.

After almost 20 years of this lifestyle, Matt decided it was time for a quieter pace of life.

Throughout his career, he did contracting work for big firms in Scotland and Ireland, and visited Scotland as a tourist, camping at Loch Awe. He always thought it would be a beautiful place to live, so knew where he wanted to come to find a different pace of life.

‘Competition down south is dog eat dog,’ he said. ‘I’ve moved for a quieter life, in a more rural location, so I’m not in and out of cities like Birmingham every day.’

Matt offers a 24-hour call-out service, so he is always at the other end of the phone to help people out.

He said: ‘Some people wait 10 days before calling me out about a wasp nest but wasps can blind children and cause people to go into anaphylactic shock. If I get the call, I go straight out.

‘I care about customer satisfaction; I get enjoyment from seeing people happy.’

In England, he was dubbed ‘Happy Matt’ because of his positive demeanour and promise of ‘service with a smile’.

Matt only moved to Kintyre a few weeks ago, buying a house in Stewarton in April, but already has contracts in place.

He says his prices are transparent with no hidden costs, adding: ‘I’m a fair businessman who treats all people with respect. You can’t rip people off – business doesn’t work like that.’

He added: ‘I love my work, it’s the best job. I don’t just have a job to pay the bills.

‘I’ve followed my heart and I want to stay here. Kintyre has the best countryside. The beaches and woods – there’s nowhere else like it.

‘The country is unspoiled and unique, and everything flourishes. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.’

To make an enquiry or ask for a free quotation, call Matt on 07721 406574.