Billy Bretherton is a pest control specialist and a television personality, the founder of the family-owned pest control business Vexcon Animal and Pest Control. He is best known as the star of the A&E reality television series “Billy the Exterminator”, which depicts his life and career.

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Early life, family, educational background

William ‘Billy’ Bretherton was born on 16 September 1968, in Louisiana USA, to parents ‘Big Bill’ and Donnie Bretherton. Holding American nationality and white ethnicity, his descent is unknown. He has a brother, Ricky. Regardless of being a reality TV personality, Bretherton tends to keep his private life away from public view. Thus, there is no information regarding his early childhood or his educational background.

Posted by Billy the Exterminator on A&E on Friday, September 16, 2011

Career

From Air Force to extermination

At the age of 19, Bretherton joined the US Air Force, with the intention of becoming a policeman. However, his military entrance test showed that he had a particular skill for biology and entomology, and he was sent to be trained in those fields, the origin of his later career in extermination. He became a Senior Airman stationed at Nellis Air Force Base, Las Vegas, Nevada, and his career was officially launched.

After his USAF service, he moved to Benton, Louisiana and started his own company called Vexcon Animal and Pest Control. According to Bretherton, his father invested his retirement money in him and his brother to launch their own company – the family allocated their jobs within the business, with Bretherton, his brother and father being in the field removing a variety of pests from people’s homes and private ponds, from tiny ants to giant snakes, and his mother running the office. By getting involved in the pest control industry, Bretherton would soon become a public figure.

Billy Bretherton

“Billy the Exterminator”

Bretherton’s work as an expert in the pest control business handling the worst pest and animal removal situations in the state led him to appear in several episodes of the Discovery Channel TV series “Dirty Jobs” in 2005, alongside Mike Rowe. The series followed a variety of people with tough, different professions, and was very popular, bringing Bretherton into the spotlight, so much so that his episode drew the attention of A&E TV producers, who wanted to do a reality show about his pest control business, and so the series “Billy the Exterminator” was created.

It followed the professional life and day-to-day operations of Bretherton, the method of his relocating captured animals, while often providing their description and more information about them, such as the diseases they might carry. Getting rid of rats, roaches and other rodents on television, Bretherton gathered numerous fans. He was especially praised for his use of natural control methods of pest control, his famous ‘hands-on approach’, and for using organic and non-chemical pesticides not harmful to the environment.

Although Bretherton and his brother were the stars of the show, it also depicted other family members, including his parents, a frequent source of comic relief. The show became such a hit that A&E aired it with a new name for five more seasons. Called “The Exterminators” during its first season, it was renamed “Billy the Exterminator” before the start of the second season. From its fourth season on, the show took a different approach, following the Bretherton brothers going to various places throughout the county, to help local exterminators and wildlife rescue services in their control of pests, while also working their jobs back in Louisiana.

Following Bretherton’s leaving his family extermination business in Louisiana and moving to Illinois in 2012, citing family issues, the show ended its successful six-season run. “Billy the Exterminator” garnered over millions of viewers worldwide, shooting Bretherton to fame and considerably boosting his wealth.

In 2015 Bretherton’s brother created a YouTube series called “Vexcon the Exterminators”, saying ‘the exterminators are back’. However, it had a short run, and didn’t attract many fans.

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The following year the Canadian Country Music Television decided to produce a new reality TV series called “Billy Goes North”, which was picked up by the US in 2017 as the seventh season of the original “Billy the Exterminator” show, following Bretherton along with other exterminators tackling pests that can’t normally be handled. Since then no new episodes of the show have been aired.

Arrest

The public was shocked to hear that the famous pest expert left the family business in 2012. Actually, what had been cited as ‘leaving due to family issues’ by Bretherton, happened to be the arrest of himself and his wife shortly before the sixth season premiered, caught by the Louisiana police on a warrant for drug possession.

Reportedly, the police were called to a hotel room in Bossier City, Louisiana, where the couple was staying, discovering the spouses smoking marijuana. Being arrested for the possession of significant amounts of synthetic marijuana and a device commonly used for smoking narcotics, the charges were not too severe, and the pair was subsequently released. Bretherton was given a year’s probation and fined $500 with community service.

Personal life

Bretherton is married to Mary, with whom he has a son. His wife made several appearances in the early seasons of “Billy the Exterminator”, but later withdrew from the show. There were speculations that Bretherton made her quit the show due to a fight they had on it. Although some sources state that Bretherton had been married before Mary, this fact has never been confirmed by him.

Physical appearance and style

Bretherton has drawn attention with his unusual fashion style, his trademark uniform being black leather garments, zippers, t-shirts featuring metal bands, cowboy hats and chunky jewellery with various steel studs and spikes. Speaking further about his physical appearance, the spikey-haired Bretherton has green eyes and often wears sunglasses. Details regarding his body measurements have not been disclosed to the public.

Net worth

Billy Bretherton net worth is close to $500,000, mostly earned in “Billy the Exterminator” show, his Vexcon pest business, as well as his occasional advertising deals, all of which allow Bretherton to live a comfortable livestyle.

Author

Benjy is currently a reporter for BiographyPedia based in Adelaide, Australia. Prior to joining BiographyPedia in July 2019, he was a Bizarre TV reporter and theatre critic at TheSun. Benjy has also written for DailyMail and TMZ. Benjy studied journalism at Goldsmiths University of London, graduating in 2009. You can contact him at [email protected]

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