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Pest Control Worker  What They Do

Just the Facts


Applies or releases chemical solutions or toxic gases and sets traps to kill or remove pests and vermin that infest buildings and surrounding areas.

This career is part of the Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources cluster Agribusiness Systems pathway, Environmental Service Systems pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Records work activities performed.
  • Inspects premises to identify infestation source and extent of damage to property, wall, or roof porosity and access to infested locations.
  • Recommends treatment and prevention methods for pest problems to clients.
  • Sprays or dusts chemical solutions, powders, or gases into rooms, onto clothing, furnishings, or wood, or over marshlands, ditches, or catch basins.
  • Cleans work site after completion of job.
  • Drives truck equipped with power spraying equipment.
  • Measures area dimensions requiring treatment, calculates fumigant requirements, and estimates cost for service.
  • Studies preliminary reports or diagrams of infested area and determine treatment type required to eliminate and prevent recurrence of infestation.
  • Directs or assists other workers in treatment or extermination processes to eliminate or control rodents, insects, or weeds.
  • Posts warning signs and locks building doors to secure area to be fumigated.

Insider Info

Dig into the details and check out what people in this job have to say about their work.



Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 50 lbs., sometimes up to 100 lbs. You will need a lot of strength at this level.
  • Work in this occupation involves bending or twisting your body more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposure to pollutants, gases, dust, fumes, odors, poor ventilation, etc.
  • Requires getting into awkward positions
  • Lighting is either extremely bright or inadequate
  • Conditions are very hot (above 90 F) or very cold (under 32 F)
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Exposed to conditions such as high voltage electricity, combustibles, explosives, and chemicals more than once a month
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation requires being outside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves walking or running more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Identifying color and seeing differences in color, including shades and brightness
  • Bending, stretching, twisting, or reaching
  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person
  • Using abdominal and lower back muscles repeatedly or over time without tiring

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Termite Exterminator -- Treats termite-infested and fungus-damaged wood in buildings.