Starting up as a Pest Controller

  • Price: £5.99
  • Published: August 2017
  • Type: Business Opportunity Profile
  • Format: PDF
  • Qualifications and skills
  • Key market issues and trends
  • Trading, commercial and legal issues
  • Legislation
  • Further information

Pest controllers 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 pest controllers to be contracted by local authorities, although the number of contracts and the funding available are continuing to fall.

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 and the setting of traps and snares.

Common pests include mice and rats, ants, wasps and other insects, pigeons, squirrels, 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 MBP019, Falconer.

This profile provides information about starting up and operating as a pest controller. It describes the skills required, the training available, the current market trends and the key trading issues. It also explains the legislation that must be complied with and provides sources of further information and support.

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