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A Shift from Diplomacy to Pest Control

For the past 18 years, Andy Linares has been running his family business, Bug Off Pest Control. Recently, he came to the StoryCorps booth in New York's Grand Central Terminal to talk about his work as an exterminator.

That job came as a drastic change for Linares, who had studied international affairs in graduate school. But when his uncle, Carlos Pena, needed someone to take over the company in 1987, it was Linares who filled the post. Pena died in 2001.

It was an unlikely shift for Linares, a classically trained pianist and guitarist who had attained his master's degree not long before taking over Bug Off. But the venture has been a success: Linares, once the sole employee, says the company now has around a dozen workers.

And as for controlling bugs at home, Linares says his strategy is simple: "I don't leave food out. I don't have a lot of clutter. And I seal up the points of entry."

Each Friday, 'Morning Edition' airs a story from StoryCorps, the oral history project that's traveling the country, giving people the chance to learn about one another's lives. Copies are archived at the Library of Congress.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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