What makes a good Pest Control Technician

12 Aug

Jon Blake

Having worked in various roles in pest control from technician, fumigator, supervisor, surveyor and now Managing Director of Abate Pest Management, Jon Blake has a pretty good idea of what makes a good technician. In this post he will explain what makes a good technician.

Pest control technicians come across people who think they could do the job. Usually it is when somebody sees a pest controller checking bait boxes in a store, warehouse, factory etc. It has always been assumed that a pest control technician’s job is easy and you often hear “I could do that, have you any jobs mate?” When this is asked you can draw your own conclusions by summing up the person who asked the question.  Would you trust them with looking after your pint let alone anything else!

The industry has been far too under valued for decades and the role of a technician is not seen as a very responsible professional job. I have seen pest controllers and companies come and go who have tried the industry and not grasped how difficult it is. Many people do not realise just how vital pest control is throughout the world and that it plays a key part of everyday life to help protect human life and the environment. (It’s the human race which imbalances nature!)

It has taken a long time to build up the right team of professional staff at Abate, which has taken years of passing on skills and training which is vital for the integrity of the business and pest control as a whole.

Pest TechnicianI see a good technician is someone who turns up looking clean and tidy, the van is well organised and clean, arrives on time and presents themselves and the company in a professional manner. The first impression in any walk of life is the one you will remember, particularly with a new client. A good technician will need to be very good at organisational skills, booking in appointments, re-planning when work is postponed, avoid wasted journeys and time; be flexible with working hours and constraints, adapt under sometimes immense pressure when several jobs are passed on in one day yet work around what has already been organised and booked in; being able to deal with the general public, stressed and scared clients, concerned clients and people in high power job roles.

People will assume that they know best and I would like to agree when I can. As a pest control technician you will have to deal with the very difficult position when you have to advise or inform a client why they have a certain pest or issue and that what they are doing or not doing is why they have a problem.

The client from time to time will ask if you could approach the treatment in a way which is unsafe, illegal or against company policy. This really brings out the integrity of a technician to be able to deal with the situation and advise the correct solution which may not always be what the client wants to hear but the right way. A good technician will produce a positive outcome from what can be a potentially very difficult and confrontational situation. It can take a very strong character to tell an owner of their business that their premises are dirty and need cleaning or that they need to immediately stop doing something which has encouraged pests and if they don’t the problem will only worsen.

bird proofingNot everybody is suited to working on their own and can find once they are out on the road after training it is very daunting and which is why a team of staff will always be better to help and support those difficult times and situations when they arise as they will. Being reliable is paramount in my book and if you make an appointment you stick to it. If for any reason you are running late inform the client, do not let them guess as they are expecting you and in many cases you are like a hero. Customers will let you down and that is something you will have to deal with from time to time but keeping your resolve and acting professionally will always come up trumps.

Pest control over the last decade has changed immensely. A technician will need all the skills already mentioned above and is a big bonus if they are also technically minded. I have been fortunate enough to be taught and learnt many technical skills which I have passed on in training can help, set a good technician above others. This comes in to play when dealing with specialist bird proofing and installing various proofing methods.

Diplomacy and professionalism is key when applying pest control at any level. A technician on many occasions will be asked (have we got rats mate?) They would need to determine who that person is asking the question. It could be a sub contractor, member of public or staff who has asked. The professional answer should be “no, carrying out a routine service visit to ensure you do not encounter any”, or along these lines. You will need to deal with hysteria and emotions from clients and treat these encounters in the most diplomatic and professional manner.

The technical knowledge and sheer diversity of this industry has always astounded anyone who enters this career path and to date I have not met a true professional pest controller who does not love the challenges that they may face from day to day.

So, as you can see, the skills you will need are not just a bait checker or rat man these days but a lot more skills required such as, qualifications, awareness of 20+ legislation acts, the law, etc.

If we can help you with Pest Control in Norfolk, Suffolk or Cambridgeshire then please call us on 0800 980 9767 or 01953 603390 or visit our pest control website.

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