Women in Pest Control

Our industry welcomes women, talented women, and those who certainly want to build successful careers in this profession. Pest Control was once perceived as a non-traditional career for women, however, here at Rentokil; we are changing this marketplace perception and demonstrating leadership in the industry.

We are proud of our female pest technicians who are focused on enabling customers to do their part through an integrated pest management program. Educating the public on pest issues and teaching customers about the basic biology of pests are some of the key reasons why our female ‘techies’ enjoy their roles.

Larry Kavanagh, Business Manager - ACT, nicknames his female technicians “Larry’s Angels”. Larry boasts “I am about to put on my third female trainee and to say the first two were exceptional would be a gross understatement”.

Let’s meet Larry’s angels:

Kirralee

Favourite part about working in Pest Control?
I left an admin role because I was tired of the same four walls. Pest control is awesome because I’m not stuck in an office & I get to drive around to our customers.

I also love getting on top of a big pest problem. Eradicating customer’s pests is great and knowing I've helped them and they are no longer pulling their hair out over it, is very rewarding.

How do women in particular bring unique value to this industry?
Whenever someone asks what I do for work and I say that I am a pest controller they often ask “Oh, you do admin for a pest company?" I imagine them picturing me spraying roaches with Chanel No 5 or trying to destroy a rat nest whilst screaming and crying with my mascara everywhere!

On the other hand, I've had men say "I don’t know how you do this job" with a screwed up face, whilst I am extracting a rodent body from a roof.  Sometimes I feel people admire me for being a female in a male dominant industry.

As for unique values that females bring to this industry, I believe we have more compassion and empathy. Also a lot of stay at home mums and women in general would be put at ease if a female tech were to do their home service.

Pet rats? Really?
I was lucky enough to secure a pest control traineeship 2 years ago. It was great doing the training though Rentokil and I learnt a heap from the books and my colleagues. After the traineeship was complete, I was faced with a couple of sites with major rodent problems. Even with all the knowledge I had gained, I was struggling to 'think like a rat' - cue my glorious little Cleoratra. Yes, I bought a rat: to learn from, to study and to observe in order to better my understanding of rats from a different angle. I quickly fell in love with this little rat and now have 3 who have taught me so much! Mostly to respect their species because they are so, so smart! Smarter than us sometimes! They have taught me things I wouldn't have believed rats could do if I hadn’t seen my guys do it. Get a pet rat guys! They are the smartest, most lovable things ever!

Cassandra

Favourite experience:
My favourite experience is getting out to meet a lot of new and existing customers, to be able to go around to different locations to solve their issues, and also to learn a lot of interesting sides to my role as a Pest Technician.

Advice for other women considering joining the industry:
To all women out there that think this is only a male’s job, I'm sorry to say you are strongly mistaken! I believe women can do anything twice as good as males! Ha! So jump on board and join in on all the fun!

Facing fears:
My first time in the field with my Trainer, I was super nervous and scared and wasn't sure what to expect. We received a call to a jobbing site to remove a deceased rodent. I was shaking and didn’t know what to do or how I would cope. My trainer said “this will test you! I need you to pick up the rodent and dispose it into a bag”. I was swearing and screamed the house down as  I was removing the rodent, but ever since I am not afraid of anything!
So to all the women out there looking at becoming a Pest Technician I suggest you do it. I love my job and hope to see more female technicians on board with Rentokil Pest Control.