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DIDO.1

Starting in pest control

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I often get emails asking about job vacancies and advice about getting into pest control. Recently a member on here sent me a message asking advice about courses and starting working in pest control. I thought I'd answer his question on here then other members may like to offer their opinion, or even tell me if I'm talking rubbish. Also others will have more experience with training etc. 

Once upon a time the big companies would take on switched on lads with a bit of practical experience and then put them through the courses and qualifications. It seems to me these days that if you want to work with the big companies you have more chance of getting a start if you are an ex salesman than if you have experience with rural pest control. That just sums up both the big companies and even the industry in general. It's all about sales and big contracts. Even technicians have sales targets. You go look at a mouse job and up sell to 6 fly killers. I believe a lot of big companies are requesting you to already have rsph level 2 unless you are an exception salesman. 

Almost every email, letter and cv I have received has mentioned air guns and sporting types of pest control. Don't mention this. Your way in will always be communication skills, health and safety, risk assessments, method statements and sales skills. 

With regards to courses the rspha level 2 is standard entry level. Qualifications in anything else from health and safety to access equipment certification will always help. If I was thinking of starting from scratch I'd start collecting easy courses from different certificates to the one day pest courses that the suppliers all do....killgerm, edialux etc. I'd then apply to the big companies while pushing the sales and communications skills on my cv. 

With regards to working for yourself id say its hard. Every year they come and go, from keen amateurs to ex big company lads that go solo. Once upon a time you put an advert in yellow pages and answered calls in your town. Now advertising is hard, complicated and expensive. I went from hating computers and refusing to use one as a keeper and hunt servant to now being able to build a website (not totally but I do a lot of the work under supervision) and do seo etc. I hate it but have to. Iv been through 4 websites and ripped off left right and center. Also what works in one area won't in another. Local magazines and newspapers never got me much work but others use that more. It's a long expensive learning curve. I drive 35,000 miles plus a year and have to work outside my comfort zone. Can you approach big companies, get through the door, get to the right person and make a pitch? I hate it, the though of it makes me sick, but you gotta go do it. 

Hope that helps the member who asked me. 

 

 

Edited by DIDO.1
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Thanks for putting me off; I’ll stick to what I doing, I like the easy life 😁😉

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Spot on post. I think that many who fancy jobs in pest control have a romanticised dream of shooting rats and pigeons, that bears no resemblance to the actual what the actual job entails.

It was the same with my wife's firm when advertising jobs as veterinary receptionists; all they got were  applicants talking about how many pets they had owned when really the job was 90% admin and 10% animal handling.

 

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The new buzzword seems to be 'Pest Management' rather than Control.

Like you say, sales skills are more important nowadays. In today's corporate world it's more about selling peace of mind and compliance rather than actually killing anything.

I'll stick with my moles. In fact, when my PL next comes round for renewal I'm thinking I'll have them take rodenticides off the policy. 

Moles, wasps, squirrels and rabbits. Won't make me rich but sure as hell a lot less hassle and what I enjoy anyway.

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51 minutes ago, LuckOrJudgement said:

The new buzzword seems to be 'Pest Management' rather than Control.

Like you say, sales skills are more important nowadays. In today's corporate world it's more about selling peace of mind and compliance rather than actually killing anything.

I'll stick with my moles. In fact, when my PL next comes round for renewal I'm thinking I'll have them take rodenticides off the policy. 

Moles, wasps, squirrels and rabbits. Won't make me rich but sure as hell a lot less hassle and what I enjoy anyway.

The minute my mortgage is paid I'll do the same, bit of farm work, dry stone walling and catch a few moles. 

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I'd say that's pretty near the mark.... :thumbs:

As you mentioned about the gun side...for most Pest Controllers that is a very small part of the job.

I specialise in these sort of jobs and get work from a lot of other Pest Control companies who I have built up relationships with over the years.  They tend to advertise all services but are more than happy to sub out that side of the work to me.

I'm not at all convinced I could survive if they didn't, I personally don't get enough shooting work for full time work, so that's good for me.    I'm more than happy to pass them the fleas, bed bugs etc, but like to hang on to the wasp work! :thumbs:

PS

Whilst I have a website and advertise I get a lot of work from personal recommendation, I realise that's sort of Horse and Cart, you can't get much recommendation without a few clients, works out over the years though! :thumbs:

Edited by Deker
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I think the lad pm'd me the same questions. I agree with you totally and all the posts above. If you can specialise in gun work (deker etc) then fair play, youve cracked it, but a lot of lads who do rural pest control as a hobby think they will be able to transfer their skills and pay the bills shooting, ferreting etc and the sad truth is it simply wont happen for 99% of us. I started out moling and still do a lot of moling in the winter months, and im lucky enough to be able to pick and choose my farms to trap on with providos i can shoot or detect on the land as well, but its seasonal and i make much more money doing urban pest control, which is sadly nowhere near as fun but needs must.

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On 07/06/2019 at 15:07, LuckOrJudgement said:

Personal reccomendation is the longest way round - but the best and the cheapest.

 

As you say.  After around five years of advertising monthly in an ex-pat magazine that conveniently covers just about the right area for me I have now decided to go ad-free for the future. I get far more new clients from recommendations than the adverts.

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On 07/06/2019 at 11:13, LuckOrJudgement said:

More to life than money. 

Arthritis, heart problems....

It's all lurking round the corner.

Mole trapping and my arthritis ahh i feel like i should have been knighted by now as im always on one knee.

Im still waiting for my MBE for molecatching lol 

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Nice to hear from you unclepesta. 👍

I'm getting into the same situation;  left knee starting to go possibly aggravated by many miles and kilometres pushing a clutch down, so started just kneeling on the right knee and naturally that has started playing up too. I'm going to have to ease up a bit to eake it out till I get my UK pension. 

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