William Bretherton – known as Billy the Exterminator – is an American reality TV star and pest exterminator. He was the main character in the TV series “Billy the Exterminator” which aired on the A&E network, following his life and career.
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Early life, education, family
Billy Bretherton was born on September 16, 1968 in Louisiana, USA – he has a younger brother Ricky. His parents are Bill and Donnie Bretherton, who raised him, and all members of the family appeared in the series “Billy the Exterminator”.
At the age of 19, Billy enlisted in the United States Air Force, seeking a career in law enforcement. The military entrance exam showed that he is good at biology, so he continued his education in entomology and biology.
Billy’s career in extermination began at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas, Nevada. He then founded the company in 1996 with the support of his family “Vexcon animal and pest control” in Benton, Louisiana, just before leaving the Air Force as a Senior Airman.
The family lived in New Jersey when his father retired, and he invested all of his retirement money in his sons who started the business.
His first TV experience was on the Discovery Channel series called “Dirty Jobs” with Mike Rowe in 2005: episode “Vexcon” in the first season and episode “Termite Controller” in the second season. In 2004, Pilgrim Film contacted the company and came up with the idea of filming for Discovery Channel, “Vexcon” was chosen from 200 companies.
Billy was spotted by the television producers.
“The Exterminator” started in 2009 but the name was changed to . during the first season “Billy the Exterminator”. Billy’s mother, Donnie appeared as Vaxcon’s coordinator, and other family members were part of the show, as Vaxcon was a family business – even Ricky’s ex-wife appeared on the show. The series followed the brothers who traveled around helping local exterminators.
In 2012, the show was canceled after six seasons, without further explanation. However, Billy moved to Illinois and left the company for personal reasons, so his fans thought that was why the series ended. Meanwhile, Donnie and Bill are retired, and Ricky now runs the company. He also opened a YouTube channel in 2015 and started the series “Vexcon the Exterminators”, but it only published 17 episodes, and it didn’t attract many subscribers. In 2016, Corus Entertainment and Billy teamed up, and the “Billy Goes North” series started.
It first premiered in Canada, then continued in the US as the seventh season of “Billy the Exterminator”, but had only 12 episodes, filmed deep in the Canadian wilderness. Billy usually explains the environment in the episodes, providing information about the pests and diseases associated with the species. Fans appreciate that Billy used organic pesticides and natural methods to move animals while on the job.
On the first show, in the main cast alongside Billy’s parents and his brother Ricky, was also his wife Mary.
They have a son, Bryce. She left the show in the early seasons, so the rumors of divorce started, but they were never confirmed. Rather, Billy said it was her decision to leave the show, and he just supported her. The married couple was arrested in 2012 for possession of marijuana, found in their room at the Louisiana Boardwalk hotel in Bossier City, as well as equipment for smoking it. Billy paid a $500 fine, did community work, and also consented to routine alcohol and drug testing. He pleaded guilty, but all charges against his wife were dropped.
— Monsters and Critics (@monstersandcrit) Apr 5, 2017
Mary is not his first wife. In the Air Force in the 1980s, Billy had a brief marriage, but he never responded to that information from his private life.
During his fame as a TV star, Billy had income from the series and from his business as an exterminator. His net worth at the time was estimated to be over $500,000. Billy has not been in the spotlight in recent years, so his net worth as of early 2020 is unknown.
- Billy has an interesting fashion style. He wears leather jackets, metal band T-shirts, cowboy hats and large silver jewelry. He is also recognizable by the sunglasses, but he wears these to protect his eyes from the camera light. The long hair is also Billy’s personal signature.
- He cut his hair just for the “Dirty Jobs” just because his mom insisted on it. But she didn’t convince him to change the style and start wearing polo shirts.
- While working, Billy was often stung by bees and wasps to which he turned out to be allergic. In the following years, he overcame the allergies.
- The women caused too much drama, so Billy pushed them off the show. The first was his former sister-in-law Pam, Ricky’s ex-wife. Then his wife Mary. They left the show at the beginning, in the first season.
- However, his mother stayed. Donnie meddles in her sons’ lives and doesn’t hesitate to say she doesn’t approve of their choice of women. There were reports that she was actually one of the reasons Pam and Ricky’s marriage failed.
- At the beginning of the series, he didn’t like that the focus was on his family relationships and personal life, rather than his work in the extermination. He changed that later in the seasons, but the episodes weren’t as intriguing as before.
- Billy doesn’t like crowds. He does not go to concerts and events, mainly because he became famous. He just doesn’t feel comfortable with so many people in one place.
- Two years before Billy and his wife were caught with marijuana, his brother Ricky was also charged with marijuana possession when he was stopped by police for a routine traffic check. He was also fined for the traffic violation.
- Billy likes heavy metal and is a fan of Black Sabbath and HIM.
- He hates fire ants, cockroaches and rats.