RSS Feed
Email this article
Printer friendly page

Ask Rick A Question

Pest Control Training

Summary: Pest control may appear fairly straight forward, but the duties of a professional pest control specialist require a load of pest control training about insects and animals, pesticides, equipment and a mountain of laws and regulations.

Those involved in the pest control business can be regarded as guardians of public health as the work they carry out can improve the environment people live in. While many would consider it a straightforward job, it can in fact be complex and interesting work requiring a fair amount of knowledge to carry out well. It follows, therefore, that the workers in the trade need good pest control  training to ensure they are properly equipped to effectively carry out the work and understand what is involved.

Classroom training

A pest control specialist must be able to accurately identify the insect with which he is dealing. There are a great number of pests from gnats to caterpillars and many in between and the specialist must have a good knowledge of these to ensure that when he is devising a plan to resolve an issue he has identified the correct species. The aim of a good pest control professional is to deal only with the pest itself and not affect the surrounding environment or the health of non-target species.

A pest control pro must have a good knowledge of pesticides and chemicals. There are many available pesticides with each one targeting a specific pest or group of pests. The pest control specialist must know that he is using the correct product for the pest identified. He must possess the ability to accurately read and understand the instructions on the label and use the product in accordance with these directions.

The pest specialist must also be trained in the various types of equipment which can be used with pesticides. Each piece of equipment is designed for a different scenario and depending on what the specialist finds when working on a job, he will have to select the application equipment which will work best for the given situation.

Another facet of providing a good job is to listen to the client. While the pest control specialist has the knowledge of pests and the ways to control these, the person experiencing the problem will be living with it everyday. The customer will be able to provide much valuable information which, if understood, should make the specialist’s job easier in terms of accurately identifying the pest and from where the problem stems. A specialist should, therefore, be taught to take every opportunity to discuss the problem with the client before making a final assessment.

Field training

Yet another important part of training is having an understanding of pesticide use and application laws and regulations. Pest control companies have a duty to protect their employees, their clients and the environment. While an encyclopedic knowledge is not required, a basic understanding should be gained so that if an issue arises the pest control specialist will know where to look for more detailed advice to assist in undertaking the work in the correct manner.

The overall aim of a good pest control specialist is to practice integrated pest control. This is where all the knowledge they have gained through training and experience is used to implement a three stage plan for pest control, the three stages being prevention, observation and intervention. Prevention is obviously the best solution although observation and intervention will be required in many cases to deal with a pest. Training is a key part of gaining the required knowledge for planning and implementing an integrated pest control strategy which will effectively deal with pests without harming the surrounding environment or the health of other species.

It is fairly obvious that training is an important facet of becoming a good pest control professional. Someone looking to enter the business should understand this and be prepared to undertake and also enjoy the training required so that they can gain the knowledge required. If you choose to do it, give it your best shot.

Ask Rick A Question


21 Jun 2010, 20:02
How do you go about finding a job in the pest control field?
Do any colleges or tech schools offer training to enhance odds of being hired by one of these pest control companies?companies?
Ask the Exterminator
22 Jun 2010, 08:21
Simply apply with any pest control firm of your choice. Nearly all pest control companies will provide training to good candidates. A clean driving and criminal record is important. You'll be driving a company vehicle daily and you'll be entering private homes and businesses, having access to every closet and private space.

I know of no tech schools that offer pest control training, but there are various on-line educational programs. There are, of course, many programs for entomology degrees, but such a degree would be over-kill for someone seeking a pest control route position.
Richard Leonard
18 Feb 2011, 12:40
I currently have all the licenses in the state of MD to be in the pest control business. However I don't have any experience in structural pest control. I do have experience in tree and lawn care so I have a familiarity with the processes. How can I get the operational knowledge I need to launch a pest control company?
Also, what is a good stink bug control strategy?
Ask the Exterminator
18 Feb 2011, 23:07
There are manuals you can get from the National Pest Management Association and from your State pest control association. However, nothing can replace hands-on experience. If you're serious about starting a pest control company you need to have field experience. Trying to do it without that time in the field is like trying to run a restaurant after having read a cookbook. It's going to be a rocky experience.
Marcy Corbin
19 Feb 2011, 18:36
What are the steps one take to become licensed as a pest controller in the state of Virginia. Who do I contact?
Ask the Exterminator
20 Feb 2011, 17:04
Your State Department of Agriculture has a packet of study materials that you would have to learn for the state exam. First, however, I would contact them and inquire about the minimum requirements. Some state require you to have two or more years of field experience before you can operate your own pest control business. That means you would need to work for a licensed pest control firm for the requisite number of years.
Richard Leonard
21 Feb 2011, 11:18
What if I started the company with a focus on one insect like stinkbugs? What would an annual stink bug control program look like? Remember I am already licensed for structural pest control and tree and lawn.
Ask the Exterminator
21 Feb 2011, 22:16
If you wish to have a dialogue you must use the "Ask a Question" link at the top of the page.
11 Mar 2011, 14:12
Hello sir im interested getting my liecense for extermintor.I reside in Lewiston maine for three months where do you recommend to accomplise this in this state?.
An is it certified also for nyc.
Ask the Exterminator
12 Mar 2011, 09:01
Your question is already answered in the comments posted above.
06 May 2011, 10:47
Do I need a license to kill fire ants? Where do I obtain a pest control license in North Carolina?
Ask the Exterminator
06 May 2011, 10:50
You need a license if you intend to control pests for others or for properties of four or more units. Each state has different rules, but generally they follow those guidelines. You need to contact the NC Department of Agriculture for licensing info.
19 Jun 2011, 11:39
I have taken courses here in Virginia offered by Virginia Tech.They are offered for a variety of reasons for pest control companies,but they are not actual credited courses.
21 Jul 2011, 12:27
Hello Do you know of an exterminator school or training in NYC? Any information would be helpful. Thank you very much.
Ask the Exterminator
22 Jul 2011, 09:41
This has already been answered in the comments above.
Jeannie Lewellen
14 Nov 2011, 18:49
I need hands on training for one year and im trying to find a company like (orkin)for hiring. I have my private applacator licinse any advice?
Ask the Exterminator
14 Nov 2011, 19:09
Yes! Don't tell the hiring company that you are only interested in working for one year.
05 Dec 2012, 17:38
hi.if i want to get certified in pest control wher in los angeles can i go.i want to classes and learn.couse most companys wont give you a job unless you have trainig
Ask the Exterminator
06 Dec 2012, 04:46
Contact your state's department of agriculture for their pest management training materials. Or, contact the National Pest Management Association for information.
Michael johnson
13 Nov 2013, 18:25
How much is training and how do I go about finding places that are hiring?
John fernandes
27 May 2014, 16:20
Hello Sir,

I am interested in pest control career, please give me advice how to get in. I am new to this field. Any feedback will be appreciated.

Thank you,
20 Jan 2015, 22:37
I am looking for a training school in Los Angeles to teach me what i need to know to be a aplicator and field rep.
20 Apr 2015, 13:37

19 May 2015, 07:31
59 years old and ready to retire after 35 years with Dept. of Transportation, Federal Government. Looking to go into a part-time business for either myself or work for a company. What are your thoughts on how to get started on becoming trained and certified? Is it possible to work part-time? Just looking for a part-time job to supplement my small pension.

609-412-9255 New Jersey
Ask the Exterminator
19 May 2015, 09:24
In many states you cannot go into the pest-control business on your own until you have experience. In some states you can simply register with the state department of agriculture and obtain a study packet. Then, you'll be required to take a licensing test. My suggestion would be to apply for a job with the pest control company in order to get the experience necessary. It will keep you out of trouble in the long run.
Notify me about new comments on this page
Hide my email
The box below is for visitor comments! Questions posted in this box may not be answered by Ask the Exterminator. For quickest response click on the "Ask the Exterminator a Question" link at top of this page.
Security Image:



More Articles Like This