What’s the difference between a pest inspector, pest technician and pest manager? If you’re new to the industry, or looking to advance, you might be wondering this. To put it plainly, these three working titles are often used to describe the same job but they can vary.
For example, whether you call yourself a pest inspector, pest technician or pest manager, the work you do could be the same. However, sometimes these roles are limited to one specific aspect of the business.
What About A Pest Inspector Vs A Pest Controller? What’s The Difference There?
As the pest management industry grows and develops, the practical methods of identifying and managing pests are changing too. The products and applications used to manage pests are becoming more eco-friendly and safer to people and animals, for instance.
Other changes are pesties moving further into online business systems, processes and apps (such as Rapid Inspect) and a greater use of marketing in property services businesses. The conundrum of subcontractors and insurance is also becoming more of a consideration, as demand for services increase.
Along with these industry changes, the job titles have changed too.
The names ‘Pest controller’, ‘pest control operator’, ‘pest control technician’ and ‘pest exterminator’ are becoming outdated. These names are being replaced with new names, like pest inspector, pest technician and pest manager.
The main reason the old job descriptions aren’t as popular as they used to be, is because they use words like “exterminator”. Whereas the modern approach to preventing pest infestations is recognising that it’s not possible to exterminate them, but the skill of a pest professional lies in managing their presence.
Although pests may bother us, they’re a valuable part of the ecosystem. People may not want them in their homes, schools, or businesses, but as industry professionals we mustn’t harm the species or contribute to their extinction in any way.
Rather, we must manage their existence, so it takes place away from human activity.
Back To Pest Inspector, Pest Technician And Pest Manager
A pest manager and a pest technician can be the exact same thing. Often the names are even combined into ‘pest management technician’.
Pest management technician
Under Australian law (which may vary between states and territories), a pest management technician is licenced to carry out pest control activities as well as sales.
Pest management technicians hold a licence. The back of the licence may show details such as the pesticides they’re authorised to use, and what types of pest management services they’re endorsed to carry out.
Sometimes, the job of a pest management technician can become two separate roles that have slightly different focusses:
- Pest technician. A pest technician’s work might be limited to only conducting pest control activities using pesticides.
- Pest manager. A pest manager may have a more holistic or long-term approach and use a wide range of techniques together.
This approach is called ‘integrated pest management’.
Integrated Pest Management
Integrated pest management takes an eco-friendly approach toward managing pests and uses a range of different methods in combination. Methods can include biological, cultural, and chemical management.
Here’s a quick look at what these methods might entail:
- Biological methods. Encouraging a pest’s natural enemies or competitors to enter the area so they target or drive out the pest
- Cultural methods. Modifying the environment to make it less conducive to a pest. For example, removing harbourage sites, removing food and water sources and/or placing barriers or traps (e.g. a physical termite barrier or a rodent trap)
- Chemical management methods. Pesticides are used judiciously and generally only if absolutely needed
Targeting pests in an eco-friendly way is about using different methods in combination, to minimise dangers to other bugs and creatures and of course to humans. For example, a job might entail managing termites, without also harming geckos that live near the termite nest.
Chemicals and pesticides are kept to a minimum and used in very targeted areas. Rather than spraying an entire garden or entire home like we used to do in the old days, we can limit the use of pesticides to target specific areas of concern such as harbourage or webbing sites.
Remember though, a pest technician, pest manager or pest management technician can all practice integrated pest management. Only if they’re licenced to carry out pest management. In some cases, a pest manager or pest management technician will devise a pest management plan and instruct the pest technician who will carry out the treatment plan.
Now Let’s Look At A Pest Inspector
A pest inspector’s primary focus is inspection; often, however, this includes the role of consultant and sales role.
Pest inspectors usually don’t carry out treatments, instead, they share their findings with a pest manager, pest management technician or pest technician. Inspectors need the proper knowledge to correctly make a formal pest identification and treatment plan recommendations. In some states they must hold a technician’s licence endorsed for sales, applicable to their state or territory.
A pest inspector will carry out an inspection and create a report for the client. They need to have good communication and reporting skills, being able to highlight all issues, limitations, possible treatment options and pricing.
Because they’re communicating with the client, they must explain the pest problem/solutions clearly, using lay terms rather than industry jargon.
Rapid Inspect App And Accredited Online Training
If you’re a pest inspector, try out the Rapid Solutions app, called Rapid Inspect. You can load it on your mobile device to use its ready-made templates for fast reporting with a professional look. Once you’ve filled in your report template of choice, you can email it to your client and team or print it out and share it.
If you’re looking to join the pest management industry, or get specialised accreditation, check out our Rapid Training online accredited courses. General Liability Insurance safeguards your pest management business against third-party claims for accidents or injuries. If your customer or their property is accidentally damaged because of your services, we’ll help cover the costs if they take legal action against you. But that’s not all – get a quote today and find out more!