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Key skills you’ll need for pest control jobs

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Pest control jobs are a vital part of the food processing industry. Without pest control, millions or even billions of foods would be unusable or destroyed every year. In addition, pests can cause damage to buildings and spread sickness and disease.

Someone looking at pest control jobs can expect earnings to be between £18,000 and £30,000. You can also expect to work around 45 hours a week, although this depends largely on where in the country you work, your experience and employer.

However, most pest control jobs have a similar type of person they’re looking for. Here are the key skills you will need to be a good pest control technician.

1. Independent and teamwork skills

There are going to be times when you will need to work as a team to identify and control pests. And there will also be times when you will need to work independently. It all depends on how big the job is and the area affected.

Those that work in pest control jobs need to be able to adapt their work style occasionally. For instance, you might sometimes need to be in charge of finding a solution and other times be required to listen to and act upon instructions from a senior member of a team. Those that can’t transition between the two can find this type of work more challenging.

2. Customer service skills

Regardless of where you work, all your work will be done on the properties of third-parties. Therefore, you need to be able to communicate and work with customers on a daily basis. This can mean having a very sympathetic demeanour and being able to listen to their points of view. Sometimes people can get very upset when pests have made it onto their property, and they might be angry that you have to come to take care of it and of any charges they’re responsible for.

Being able to deal with these customers is important in order to avoid conflict with members of the public. At the same time, you should also maintain positive relations with customers as they could need pest control services again in the future. If you’re able to supply them with that in a friendly manner, they’re more likely to contact you again.

3. An eye for detail

Pests, like rats and mice, are very clever animals and tend not to advertise their presence clearly. Mice, for instance, take very little food from each source. Therefore, you will need to be able to have an eye for detail when it comes to assessing what pests might be present in an environment.

There are many things that can give you an idea of what animal has entered a building, but these are very small. For instance, animal droppings. And there can be similar signs - for example, you will need to be able to tell the difference between mice and rat droppings.

This is vitally important for you to be able to control pests. You can put effective control plans into place if you know what you’re dealing with.

4. Clear thinking

Because of the range of details that might be present, there’s also the need for you to think clearly and adopt logical thought patterns to your work. For instance, you need to determine the location of where the pest is gaining access to the building and the best method to control the pest (from stopping access to capturing the animal).

At the same time, you might be under a lot of pressure and sometimes attempts to deal with pests don’t work. Therefore, you need to remain calm, be patient and deal with a stressful situation with professionalism.

5. Accepting feedback

Not every job is going to go your way. Pests can sometimes be challenging and change behaviours or avoid traps. This can mean that senior members of your team will provide feedback for you to improve your skills. They might also highlight when you’ve made decisions that could have been better.

This is important because your career development will require you to learn new skills and use them in different scenarios.

It isn’t just fellow pest control technicians that might provide you with feedback either. You will have to accept the comments from customers and other parties who might be watching your work. While some of this might not be valid, you should be able to respond and listen to their feedback with courtesy and professionalism.

6. Understanding the role of the job

Pest control can sometimes be a challenging role and you will need to know about and accept many tasks that are part of this. For instance, you need to know that the job will require you to get rid of certain animals, like insects, rodents and others. You might need to work around chemicals too.

You will also need to collect dead animals and samples that have to be sent to a lab for analysis. And on a regular basis, you might be required to investigate the presence of pests in untidy or very unhygienic conditions.

You might also be required to handle a weapon at times as some control measures will require you to kill a pest. If you don’t want to handle a weapon, chemicals or see animals in a poor condition, then this role is not for you.


Pest control jobs are an important part of the agricultural industry. They help to protect livestock and food from being destroyed or contaminated from pests like insects, mice and rats. While the job is about getting rid of the animals, it doesn’t mean that it’s just about setting traps and poison. Sometimes it’s about identifying and preventing animals from entering premises.

There are numerous skills that you will require to work as a pest control technician, which are listed above. If you fit these and have an interest in the role, then you may find that the job offers you a varied and rewarding working life that is often outdoors.

If you're looking for work in the agricultural sector, Agricultural Recruitment Specialists can help you find the right niche in the UK, Europe and beyond. We can assist in finding which doors are open for you with your specific background and even advice on what you could do to improve your prospects.

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