How to become a Pest Controller

  • Price: £5.99
  • Published: March 2015
  • Type: Business Opportunity Profile
  • Format: PDF
  • What qualifications and skills are required?
  • What are the key market issues and trends?
  • What are the main trading issues?
  • Legislation
  • Further information

Pest control services are contracted by private householders and commercial customers to identify and exterminate pests and take measures to prevent subsequent infestation. Typical commercial customers include public sector organisations, residential and commercial landlords, letting agents, hotels, restaurants and other hospitality and catering providers, food manufacturers and retailers, and agricultural and horticultural firms. There are also opportunities for independent firms to be contracted by local authorities to provide pest control services, although the number of contracts and funding available has fallen in recent years.

Pest controllers provide their services on a one-off call-out basis or under a regular contract. Independent pest control services include qualified technicians operating as sole traders and small firms that employ a number of qualified pest control technicians.

In order to protect animal welfare, the environment and public health and safety, many pest control activities are strictly regulated. These include the use of pesticides and biocides, the setting of traps and snares, and storage and use of firearms.

Common pests include mice and rats, ants, wasps and other insects, pigeons, foxes and, in rural areas, rabbits, hares, badgers and deer. Some pest control services use guns or birds of prey to control pigeons, crows and other bird pests. However, this profile does not cover the use of firearms. The use of birds of prey for pest control purposes is covered separately in MBP 19, Falconer.

This profile provides information about starting up and running an independent pest control service. It describes the skills required, the training available, the current market trends and the key trading issues. It also identifies the main legislation that must be complied with and provides sources of further information.

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