A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this reality docuseries -- in which pest control technicians search for and eliminate bug and rodent infestations -- is iffy for kids who are afraid of bugs or other "icky" creatures. Lots of pesky critters are shown crawling around; technicians use poison and other methods to get rid of them. There's some potentially disturbing footage of rats being killed with sticks and rodents hanging from jaw traps. Although these scenes are offered in an educational context, they may upset younger and/or more sensitive viewers or anyone passionate about animal rights. The series prominently features the Isotech pest control company, its logos, and its phone numbers.
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What's the story?
VERMINATORS follows the pest control technicians of Isotech, a Los Angeles-based company committed to doing whatever it takes to win the \"battle\" against roaches, rats, and other types of vermin. Under the leadership of company owner Mike Masterson, the technicians intrepidly examine every crack and crevice in order to locate the source of an infestation. Once they find it, they use strategy -- as well as poisons, traps, and even hand-to-hand combat -- to eliminate the creepy critters.
Is it any good?
This reality docuseries offers some informative explanations about the various causes of bug and rodent infestations and shows technicians hard at work eliminating these pests. But the real drama comes from the show's vivid images: thousands of roaches crawling around apartments, hundreds of rats scampering around after the sun goes down, etc. And then there's the footage of technicians picking up cockroaches with their bare hands, beating rats to death with large sticks, and carrying large jaw traps (which hold dead rodents by their necks).
While these images may be disturbing or even frightening to some viewers, the technicians point out that their actions are necessary to protect both people and animals from very serious health problems. Still, sensitive kids and squeamish viewers of any age might not find Verminators particularly enjoyable. And those who are passionate about animal rights may not react positively to what they see, either. But for those who can stomach it, the show offers a chance to see what goes into succeeding at a job that most people would never dream of doing. It might even make us all a little more grateful to them for doing it.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how the series shows animals and insects being treated. Is it appropriate to show animals (no matter how pesky they are) being hurt or killed? Why or why not? Families can also discuss people who work in pest control or other fields that many folks wouldn't be comfortable with. How do people get started in these careers? Do you think shows like this one are intended to help viewers appreciate the work and risks that go into these jobs? Or are they more meant to entertain and/or be voyeuristic?