EVIL exterminator JASON SMITH made a house call at a beautiful physician’s home – and cops say he killed her instead of the pests!

The bugged-out bad boy allegedly snapped when Dr. Melissa Ketunuti blasted him for not knowing his job.

“I grabbed her by the neck and started choking her,” Smith confessed.

Then, cops say he tied her up and burned her body to get rid of the evidence.

Smith, 36, had been sent to the home of Dr. Ketunuti – a popular pediatrician at Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia – to rid the house of mice, when they got into an argument in her basement.

“It went terribly wrong,” said Capt. James Clark of the Philadelphia police department.

“He struck her and knocked her to the ground. Immediately, he jumped on top of her, started strangling her. She passed out and then he set her body on fire to hide evidence like DNA.”

Cops found Dr. Ketunuti, 35, with her hands and feet tied behind her back.

Homicide detectives scoured her upper-class neighborhood for sur­veillance videos from nearby stores and businesses and identified Smith through one of them.

The creep was arrested while watching “American Idol” on TV at his home in nearby Levittown, Pa., where he lived with his girlfriend and her child.

Pals described Smith as a heavy-drinking deadbeat who was once hooked on phone sex lines. The prod­uct of a broken home, he never had a steady job and always seemed broke, mooching off family members to get by.

“He was all about having a good time,” said Tracy Elliott, who was married to Smith’s half brother.

“So work wasn’t important and mak­ing money wasn’t important, because there was always going to be someone else to take care of him.”

After his arrest, cops say the would-be tough guy sobbed as he told them: “I freaked the f*** out!” He added that as he strangled her, Dr. Ketunuti begged for mercy, pleading: “Please stop, please stop. I’m sorry. I’ll do whatever you want.”

Smith’s criminal past consisted of a single DUI conviction in 2004, although he told police he was addicted to painkillers.

The wicked bug man is now in jail awaiting trial on charges of murder, arson and abuse of a corpse for his heinous act.

Dr. Ketunuti’s hospital issued a statement calling her “a warm, caring, earnest, bright young woman with her whole future ahead of her.”

Heartbroken family members said they were “devastated by this senseless act of violence.

“Melissa’s friends from childhood, college, residency and elsewhere re­member her many kindnesses, even during long hours, as well as her zest for life, traveling, running and spending time with friends and family.

“Melissa was a source of joy to every­one in her life. Her passing has left an enormous gap in our lives.”