A pest exterminator is a professional who prevents and controls infestations of insects, rodents, and other organisms that pose a threat to people and property. Many exterminators offer a wide range of services, though some specialize in the type of pests they target or the procedures they use to control populations. A pest exterminator might employ several different strategies, such as applying pesticide to an area, fumigating a home or building, trapping animals, and providing educational resources to individuals on how to prevent future infestations.
One of the most common tasks for many pest exterminators is spraying a farm, residence, or commercial building with pesticide, a blend of chemicals designed to kill pests while preserving the health of plants, pets, and people. An exterminator usually inspects an area to find concentrations of pests and sprays them with a specialized applicator. An overwhelming infestation of insects, such as bed bugs or termites, may require a pest exterminator to quarantine and fumigate an entire building. Expert fumigators seal buildings and release poisonous gases to destroy living pests and their eggs.
Professionals also employ traps and barriers to control pest populations. A pest exterminator might set rodent traps in a building or repair holes in walls or foundations to prevent creatures from burrowing. Often, sealing off holes and thoroughly sanitizing a building effectively deters ants, roaches, and other insects who thrive in dark, dirty environments.
Pest exterminators frequently provide information to farmers and homeowners on how to control pest populations. A professional might inform an individual about the likelihood of seasonal infestations, recommend safe commercial products, and explain the importance of preventative strategies. A mosquito exterminator, for example, might suggest that a homeowner prevent standing water and seal septic tanks to make his or her property less attractive to annoying insects.
To become a pest exterminator, a person must typically complete an an apprenticeship program to learn the fundamentals of the job. The length and nature of apprenticeships vary by location and employer, though most new workers spend up to two years training. Individuals receive classroom instruction and hands-on training to learn about different pest control strategies, the safe use of chemicals, and environmental regulations. Most states and countries require new exterminators to pass licensing examinations upon the completion of apprenticeship programs.
There is a consistent demand for skilled exterminators in both urban and rural settings. An increased global focus on environmental policies is resulting in stricter regulations on pesticides and other chemicals, compelling exterminators to alter their pest control strategies. Many professionals shun chemical treatments completely, focusing on traps, barriers, and public awareness to prevent invasions of unwanted creatures.