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Whatever your gender, pest control is a great career choice

Deborah Boulton
Deborah deals with a wasp nest

This month we hear from Deborah Boulton, who works for Des Bone, part of the Cleankill family, about how she got into pest control and why she thinks this is a great career, no matter what your gender is!

When I left college, I worked in hotels on the reception desk, where I was taught how to deal with customers. This has stood me in good stead for the rest of my working career.

I have owned horses, dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs and now tortoises. I am therefore used to seeing pests about. While working for a lady, looking after her horses, her husband asked me if I would help him out in his pest control company as he had somebody going off for an operation and he would be out of action for a few months.

I am a very practical person and I thought it might be quite interesting. So, after a few weeks of training, I set out in a van to look after his customers. When the man was ready to come back to work, I was offered a full-time job and given my own customers. I was sent on a week of intensive training with an exam at the end which I passed easily – this surprised me as I have never been particularly academic. Out of 30 people on my course only four of us were women and none of the others were going to be technicians – they were using the course to help them with other aspects of their jobs.

I really took to being a Pest Control Technician. I love learning in a practical way and being outside. Every job is different, and I have met some amazing people, some even famous, and been to some beautiful properties.

Being out in the countryside, I mainly deal with rats, mice, moles, wasps and ants. Each pest brings its own challenges, keeping me on my toes. Some infestations are large and take a lot of time to clear but I always get there – small ones aren’t necessarily easier! I enjoy working out how I am going to deal with each issue to leave a happy customer at the end.

A perk of the job is being able to look around some amazing properties, watching how their gardens develop and change through the seasons. I felt I had become the ultimate pest control technician when we took on our first National Trust property. I was able to wander around before the doors opened to the public and really be able to enjoy being there. Sometimes my job takes a little longer as I find myself reading the information sheets about a room or a picture.

Keeping an area free of pests is so important, especially if the public are likely to spot something that shouldn’t be there.

I have now worked in pest control for nearly 20 years and have watched my customers’ children grow up and go off to university and I’ve seen pets arrive as young animals and grow old with their families. I have even become an old friend to some of them.

I am lucky with my employer – as long as all my calls are done and my customers are happy, I can work my day as I please. This allows me to juggle my work and home life with ease.

Pest control has opened many doors for me. For instance, I have been up in a customer’s helicopter and even took part in a documentary for the BBC on female pest controllers. The documentary consisted of four one-hour episodes and I had a lot of laughs filming it and meeting and working with the other ladies.

I will never say I enjoy killing anything, but I do thoroughly enjoy my job and look forward to meeting more interesting people and their properties in the future.

If you are interested in a job that offers variety, interest and generous rewards, then look on our job vacancies page by clicking here.