A pest control operator or an exterminator, uses special equipment, treatments and preventive measures to remove or control the infestation of detrimental animals and insects from homes, commercial buildings and land.
An exterminator may be an independent contractor or work for a pest control company or government agency.
The most common insects a pest control operator deals with are cockroaches, fleas, bedbugs, spiders, ants and termites. Hives and nests of bees and wasps are other common targets for extermination. Animal pests often include rats, mice and other types of rodents. Occasionally, birds that have nested in buildings are eliminated by a pest control operator.
Homeowners frequently hire pest control operators to schedule inspections when they hear of pest problems experienced by their neighbours. Many exterminators offer free inspections. These inspections generally entail the operator examining the home and yard of the resident.
The pest control operator commonly inspects the home from top to bottom, looking in foundations, basements, attics and other areas that are popular hiding places for pests. They also typically scrutinize outdoor buildings, such as sheds or garages and look under shrubs and trees for signs of infestation.
Following inspection, the pest control operator will prepare a report for the homeowner that outlines areas of concern and recommends plans of action.
These action plans often include spraying with chemical or natural compounds, setting traps, sealing up suspected points of entry and obliterating nests and suspected breeding areas.
If the homeowner agrees and signs a contract, the operator typically schedules an appointment and returns with a crew to do the job. Residents are frequently required to vacate the premises if toxic materials are part of the pest removal program. Safely segregating pets during the procedure is normally recommended as well.
The majority of pest control companies provide on-the-job training that ordinarily takes two to three months to complete. The training generally includes instruction on safe administration of the treatment products and how to conduct comprehensive inspections.