Celebrating 5 Different Types of Pest Control Activities in Australia

A pest control worker gives a thumbs up after completing a successful termite barrier installation

In this article, Rapid Solutions is recognising and celebrating the different types of pest control activities. We’re doing this by looking at what’s involved in running a pest control business, what different types of jobs can entail and why pesties love their career. We also look at the different levels of pest control and licence endorsements, before covering off more industry fast facts.

Take a look, as we delve into the wide range of activities pest controllers do and the hard work and dedication that goes into this.

In pest control, every day is unique

Pest control is hard work, but if you talk to any successful pest controller they’ll tell you every day is unique and that’s a big reason why they love their job. Unlike an office job, every job they do is different – for each, you have to drive to different locations, navigate new environments, and communicate with new clients. In addition, pest controllers have a range of job completion techniques and products at their disposal and have to choose the best combination based on what the job requires.

To sum it up, different types of pest control work need a person’s mind and senses to be well-engaged. To be good at your work, you need to have good navigation and communication skills, strong attention to detail, and you must be flexible and adaptable.

Read our interviews with successful pest controllers as well as recent graduates who are advancing their careers in the pest control industry – find out what makes them tick and why they find pest control so exciting:

a chart showing the different types of pests and pest control activities

5 Different Pest Control Activities

Before we describe and celebrate different types of pest control, let’s do a quick recap of what this entails.
Pest controllers are experts who find and get rid of unwanted insects and animals. They start a job by checking the interior, exterior and surroundings of a private or commercial building for any signs of these pests. Once they figure out what kind of problem it is, they tell their customer how much it will cost to fix and/or manage and what that process will involve.

Sometimes, this entails fumigating whole buildings but often it involves setting different types of traps, barriers and baits to catch, attract or prevent the movement of creatures like termites, cockroaches, rats and mice (to name a few).

Now, let’s take a look at a handful of different types of pest control activities:

1. General Pest Control Activities

Pest control involves various activities tailored to specific pest-related challenges. In the first category, excluding timber pests, activities involve managing pests both with and without pesticides. This includes mixing and applying chemicals, maintaining equipment and ensuring the safe storage of pesticides in a pest management vehicle (read our pest control truck set-up hints and tips) and/or commercial premises.

2. Pest Control Activities with Timber Pests

Timber pest control involves managing, inspecting and reporting on timber pests, as well as the use and storage of pesticides and equipment. Some would say this kind of work is more complex and risky than other household pest management issues. Depending on the species, location and extent of infestation, the job often requires specialised tools and techniques, and the resolution may require more than one technique and treatment. Plus, the damage timber pest infestation can do can reach into hundreds of thousands of dollars or even more. Find out about the Rapid Solutions nationally recognised timber pest inspector qualification.

3. Pest Control Activities with Bird Pests

The inspection, determination and reporting activities for dealing with bird pests are similar to that for the above. However, the focus is mainly – but not only – on managing them without using chemicals or pesticides. Activities such as removing bird droppings and nests are conducted, as is the installation of bird deterrents to stop birds returning. People working in this type of pest control often need an avicide competency issued by an approved training provider, as endorsed by DAF (Department of Agriculture and Fisheries).

4. Fumigation Activities

Fumigation activities involve the application of fumigants to control organisms in various goods and certain enclosed environments, for example the controlling of rabbits inside their warrens or foxes inside their dens. Competencies in fumigation are essential due to this being a specialised and highly hazardous area of pest control. Professionals doing this work may need a Declaration of Assessment for Fumigation Site Environments to operate in specific locations.

5. Pest Control Activities in High-Risk and Sensitive Places

Finally, pest control in high-risk and sensitive areas requires professionals to assess, advise and implement pest management options tailored to the unique challenges of these operations. This includes monitoring pest management plans in both sensitive and complex operations and effective pest control strategies in these specialised environments.

A weed and plant pest controller sprays indoor crops

Different types of licence endorsements

There are several different types of pest control licence endorsements. Which one is needed depends on a range of factors, from which state or territory the pest control is carried out in through to the type of activity that’s done. These include domestic or commercial (or industrial), fumigation, plant and weed, viticultural, vertebrate and agricultural pest control.

Read our website’s licensing FAQs for information.

More industry fast facts

In recognition of the essential nature of pest control work and the many different types of jobs it entails, let’s look at more facts about the industry. These are some government labour market insights on pest control workers:

How many pest control workers are in Australia?5,200
Average age of pest controllers 45 years
Skill set requirements Critical thinking, active listening, complex problem solving, monitoring, serving others
Knowledge requirementsCustomer and personal service, chemistry, biology, public safety and security, sales and marketing
Females in the pest industry workforce4%

Rapid Solutions is well aware of this last point, recognising the opportunity for greater diversity in the pest control workforce. Read our articles on women in pest management and interviews with female pest controller of the year, Michelle Downs, and pest control award winner, Rhiannon Brown.

Rapid Insurance celebrates gender diversity in pest control

What are the different levels of pest control workers?

Pest control is a business that requires specific tools and knowledge so not just anyone can practice it. The level of pest control work conducted depends on where the professional’s expertise lies, what certifications they hold and how far they advance in their career.

People working in different areas of the pest control industry can be called different things – read about what the difference is between a pest inspector, pest technician and pest manager. In the past these jobs sometimes included the word “exterminator” but this idea is falling away. We’ve learned over time that pest control is more about management of pests than about extermination. That’s why pest control products are now safer and more bio-friendly that before.

Different types of insurance cover for pest control businesses and employees

While we’re celebrating the different types of pest control activities and people in the industry, let’s also look at different safeguards for your pest control business. When you work with pest control products in commercial properties and homes there’s always the chance things can go wrong. Most times they won’t, but if they do it can cost your business both in terms of money and reputation. Over and above this, managing a business of any sort comes with challenges. While employees may strive to do their best and grow your business, you could end up with a bad egg. If you have even one employee that defrauds or defames you, or worse, things can quickly go from bad to ugly.

Luckily, Rapid Solutions offers two different kinds of insurance cover to protect your pest control business. Sign up your business for general liability insurance and professional indemnity insurance to safeguard you for legal and financial claims against your business, employee transgressions and more.