Pest Controller Employment

As a pest controller your job is to eliminate all the unwanted creatures that infest homes, offices, hotels, businesses and surrounding areas. These creatures may include rats, fleas, roaches, mice, spiders, termites, ants, wasps, and bees. Having a phobia against these things could prove to be a disadvantage!

These pesky pests can present dangers to human health and safety as well creating a fair bit of structural damage to property. As a pest controller you would find, identify, and destroy these pests.

You need to have a sound knowledge of the pest?s biology and habits as well as an array of pest management techniques. This may involve the use of chemicals, traps, baits, various operating equipment etc. You may also have to make minor alterations to structures in order to access the infested site and then carry out repair work afterwards.

As you can tell, the work is very varied and involves travelling to client's homes. You need to be able to drive and employers prefer you to have a clean driving record. The working week is usually 40 hrs but can be more and the pay is (in the US) approximately per hour but this can vary either way.


If you are fashion conscious and do not like unusual uncomfortable movement restricting clothing then pest control may not be for you. Regardless of potentially hot temperatures a pest controller working with pesticides may be required to wear fairly uncomfortable heavy protective gear?such as respirators, gloves, and goggles. The work involves a good deal of kneeling, bending and crawling around as you inspect tiny crevices and orifices for pests. Work is indoors and outdoors in all weather conditions.

Pesticide use has associated health risks, as they can be toxic and harmful if not used properly. However these risks are reduced as much as possible by extensive training, certification and wearing the recommended protective equipment.

It is not a very popular job and turnover is fairly high. It also requires a good bit of training to get started and continued education to remain certified re the use of pesticides etc.

After reading the above if you are still keen to be a pest controller then read on!

What are some of the main pest control techniques?

Pesticides are still in use but less so now than in the past due to environmental and health risks. Additionally frequent use has led to the pests becoming more resilient to pesticides. Pesticides are a good quick fix but not so helpful as a long term deterrent.

Using proper sanitation ? pests that are attracted to sewage will be less attracted if it is properly contained and managed and not a public feature! If the sewage is under ground, then at least we know the pests are too.

Similarly waste packaging and disposal is all important as domestic household and restaurant waste is very attractive to rats, mice and larger animals such as cats, dogs, foxes and even badgers. Any animal basically that is around at night that may easily be able to bite or claw a hole in a refuse bag or get at exposed food in a bin. Securing the waste properly will reduce smells that attract pests and also restrict their access to the waste.

Creating a physical barrier that the pest cannot penetrate will ensure a reduction is pests as existing pests will have their food supply cut off and so will starve and pests considering inhabiting your residence will be unable to do so.

Baits are often used which act as a poison to kill the pest or prevent them from reproducing. Though death is an efficient contraceptive!

Traps are used to remove pests from the immediate environment.

Amazingly technology can now help in a pest controllers mission to seek and destroy pests. It involves implanting microchips in baiting stations that emit signals. These signals let you know if there is termite activity at one of the baiting stations.

Exciting stuff if being a mean pest control machine is your chosen profession!

Are there different types of pest controller or one hat fits all?

Depending on your training you can fill a variety of roles working in the pest control industry. You would probably start out as a pest control technician then graduate to applicators or supervisors.

As a pest control technician your job would involve working directly with the customer. You would conduct inspections, identify pest problems and then design a control strategy.

Applicators include termite termite control technicians and fumigators. Termite control technicians work is quite involved with drilling holes to access infestations as well as repairing structural damage caused by termites. A fumigator controls pests using poisonous gases called fumigants.

Pest control supervisors are licensed to apply pesticides, but they usually are more involved in running the business than pest control. If you are a self-employed business owners then you would usually need to qualify as a supervisor or certified applicant.

What qualifications/skills do I need to be a pest controller?

  • A good basic education with good grades in maths, chemistry and writing.
  • Good communication skills
  • A good clean driving record as the work requires travelling to see clients
  • Good health because of the physical demands of the job,
  • Must be able to withstand extreme conditions

What training do I need to be a pest controller?

Depending on where you live in the world there will be varying laws that require a certain level of certification which can be obtained through training and examination. Most pest control firms assist their employees with this.

Training will be in the classroom and on the job with some home study. Ongoing education may also be required to maintain certification.

How easy is it to get a job as a pest controller?

Pest control is not too popular as desired occupations go and turnover of staff is fairly high so there are frequent job openings. Additionally it is a growth market as population growth itself creates opportunities for pest population growth too!

How do I find work as a pest controller?

  • Job centres
  • Local media
  • Check online job sites
  • Private employment agencies and State employment services