Pest control technicians identify, control and eliminate pests or vermin using a range of methods, equipment and chemicals. In urban settings, they usually deal with rodents, insects and birds; in rural settings they may also control mammals such as moles and foxes.
Technicians make visits to farms, homes, factories, premises serving food, sewers and warehouses. Depending on the environment and the nature of the pest, their duties include:
For legal and health and safety reasons, it is vital to have a working knowledge of relevant laws in order to follow the correct procedures for handling and storing poisonous chemicals, and keeping appropriate records. Collection and disposal of any pests that have been killed or trapped must also be done in accordance with regulations.
Some pest control technicians treat woodworm and other infestations using insecticides or fungicides. Surfaces will be cleaned and prepared before applying chemicals. A pest control technician may specialise in one particular area of work.
Technician work 35 to 42 hours a week, between 8.00am to 5.30pm, Monday to Friday. Occasionally, they may be required to work weekends or do overtime.
The work involves travelling to customers' premises or sites, and frequently involves working outdoors in all weather conditions.
Protective clothing such as overalls, gloves and facemasks may have to be worn. Working conditions can be unpleasant. Technician may work in awkward and confined spaces, and sometimes at heights.
To be a pest control technician you should:
Though there are no formal requirements for entry into this role, maths and English skills are usually seen as an advantage.
Pest control technicians can be employed by a local authority, a private company, or be self-employed.
Working for a local authority would involve dealing with outbreaks of public health pests including rats, mice, and insects. Seasonal opportunities are a common entry point, eg the removal of wasps’ nests in the summer months.
Some roles may combine technical and customer-facing roles, providing risk assessments and establishing contracts. Certified Surveyor qualifications may be useful for this kind of work.
Work for a private firm could involve a specialism in a particular role, such as woodworm, industrial, or agricultural work.
There are employment opportunities throughout the country. With experience and improved skills, promotion to supervisor or manager level may be possible. Some pest technicians may become Environmental Health Officers with further training, see relevant profile for further details.
If you would like to know anything about Pest Control Technician that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.
The British Pest Control Association (BPCA)
Tel: 0870 609 2687
The Royal Society for the Promotion of Health (RSPH)
38A St George’s Drive
Tel: 020 7630 0121
National Pest Technician’s Association (NPTA)
Tel: 01949 81133
National Proficiency Tests Council (NPTC)
Tel: 024 7685 7300
British Wood Preserving and Damp-Proofing Association (BWPDA)
1 Gleneagles House
Tel: 01332 225100
2 The Courtyard
48 New North Road
Helpline: 08000 567160