Insect Wrangler

Handle insects for film shoots.

What does an Insect Wrangler do?

When a Writer is working on a television or movie script and they need to come up with a horrifying idea, insects often do the trick. Worms, flies, maggots, cockroaches, spiders, and other bugs can raise the ick quotient in a hurry. Insects aren’t known for their talent, however, so Insect Wranglers are called in to help the bugs act.

If you’re an Insect Wrangler, you get involved in the project months before the shooting begins. You look over the script to determine how many bugs you need and what they have to do. If the bugs are common insects, such as flies or cockroaches, you raise them yourself. If the required insects are more exotic, as the Insect Wrangler, you buy them from a supplier.

Insects are nearly impossible to train, so as an Insect Wrangler you won’t spend time sending them through complicated drills. Instead, you research what motivates each bug. Ants follow lines of sugar, for example, while spiders run away from a stream of air from a hairdryer. You test the methods you’ve chosen, just to make sure they’ll work.

Day-to-day job duties are never a bore when you’re an Insect Wrangler. On the day of the shoot, you pack up your insects and take them to the studio. Before filming starts, you set up the tools you’ll use to make the insects do the planned tricks. Then, you release the bugs and use the tools.

At the end of each take, you collect the critters and place them safely in their containers. Leaving an infestation behind won’t help you make friends and get new projects.

When you’re not working on a project, you research new insects and come up with ways to train them. The more insects you know how to work with, the more projects you can tackle.