Ridding our lives, homes, and work places of mice and rats, ants, beetles, moths, roaches, spiders termites and many other menaces is something most people do all their lives. The number and severity of pest problems is increasing because warmer temperatures and changing weather patterns produced by climate changes along with unwanted non-native insects and creatures coming to our shores aboard ships, airplanes, on people’s clothing and in their luggage. Bedbugs, considered eradicated in the 1950’s, have returned.
The problems and treatments are becoming more complex, lessening the ability of property owners to do it themselves. So it’s not surprising that the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates number of pest control workers will grow by 26 percent between 2010 and 2020.
While most pest control workers will be employed by large firms, you can create a sustainable livelihood operating an independent pest control company. This is also an industry where you can develop your own niche to do battle with critters. What you choose to pursue and how you choose is dependent on a number of items. Location will determine the critters that are the biggest nuisance, and this can change over time as the warmer temperatures extend the geographic spread of insect populations.
You can specialize in the removal of specific pests or removal methods. You can operate a business focused on homeowners, commercial properties or farms and gardens. Another way to specialize is operating as a green business. Specifically, you will use chemicals or other methods with negative environmental side effects or inhumane elimination methods or will you use natural products and methods like trap and relocate.
Pest control is a licensed business with licensed operators who are required to receive regular training in handling sometimes dangerous chemicals. The training usually takes three months. If you go green there may be less regulation. You’ll need to check with state and local environmental protection agencies to know for sure.
Pestcontrol has come of age with broader approaches in use. Integrated pest management now includes such diverse tasks as identifying pests, locating them, blocking them from entering structures, killing them, and educating owners and tenants about sanitation matters and early signs of infestation.
In addition, the tools are changing. The introduction of digital technology to identification of critters can reduce the time you take before implementing action to thwart them. Automated application systems result in reduced risks to operators and tenants. It won’t be long before advanced sniffer technologies will identify and locate pests quickly and efficiently.
If you want to go green there are numerous websites and other resources listed below to assist in your education and training. If you wish to be more traditional you should sign up for training toward applicator licenses and start out working for an established pest control business. A free and valuable resource about pest control is your state’s Cooperative Extension Service.
A certain amount of physicality is required.Pestcontrol operators can spend considerable amounts of time on their hands and knees in crawl spaces or climbing around in attics. Heavy protective gear is often necessary. You need to be able to withstand attic heat during the summer and cold during the winter.
Other important characteristics to have are the ability to interact well with customers and the ability to follow detailed instructions necessary for the proper application of toxic chemicals.
Insurance is an issue in traditional pest control because of the expense. You may have some difficulty in getting reasonable insurance protection for your organic based business because it is not well understood and some compounds may not be well researched. You will need insurance so work at finding the right company. LIPCA is an insurance agency that specializes in pest control and is owned by over 250 pest control companies.
A comprehensive site is Pest World.org operated by the the National Pest Management Association, the industry trade association. The Association of Natural Biocontrol Producers is a professional association representing the biological pest management industry. You will find articles on the web describing how to start a pest control businesses at sites like Chron.com.
For an initial free consultation to explore this or another sustainable livelihood that bests suits your personality and your community, contact us.
Comments on the substance of the blogs are welcome. If you have other questions, please contact me directly for a consulting appointment.
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