Had someone told me a year ago that I would be crawling under houses, investigating attics or doing any sort of pest control, I would have told them they were nuts!
You see, I’m afraid of spiders (especially Black Widows, which are pretty common here in Nevada) and I’m claustrophobic.
I joined Catseye Pest Control’s Reno/Lake Tahoe office about a year ago to work in the customer service department. A couple of months ago, I studied my brains out, took the state test and became certified in pest management. I didn’t get this license with the intent of actually doing the pest control work as a certified pest technician, but so that I would be better able to help our customers and answer questions about pest problems.
Learning about different kinds of bugs and rodents turned out to be a lot more interesting than I thought. Instead of instinctively squishing any bug in my house that I see, I stop and take a closer look at it. I look at the bug’s appearance and behavior, and try to identify it. Sometimes I let them live (spiders included). Insects are some of the tiniest creatures in our world and therefore often overlooked and underappreciated. I have a new respect for these little critters. The other day, my daughter and her friends started screaming about a spider, but upon closer examination I explained that it wasn’t a scary spider, but a Boxelder Beetle. These plant-loving bugs are known for the reddish-orange design on their backs and are completely harmless to humans.
Recently I began training in the field with our pest management technicians, trappers and Cat-Guard repair crews, again so that I would have a greater understanding of pest control so that I could better serve our customers. At the very first home I went to I just knew I needed to get into the crawlspace, not because I had to, but because I wanted to have a complete understanding of what our service is about. I was almost sick with fear, but, as it turned out, it wasn’t that bad at all. I even removed a few dead rodents that I found while I was under there.
Servicing for pest control isn’t a walk in the park. Catseye technicians perform a full inspection of the home and treat where necessary. This includes climbing through hot and usually difficult to navigate attics and wriggling through tight crawlspaces searching for signs of activity from rodents or insects. Then the technician decides what the best treatment is for the situation. For example, the eating habits of ants can change depending on the season so the technicians needs to determine what bait will be most effective. Technicians also check any rodent monitoring devices that are in place and investigate the home for signs of nuisance wildlife breaking in. The technicians will also seal any small entry points where animals might be entering the house.
Becoming licensed in pest control has been an amazing learning experience and something that I actually enjoy. During every service I learn something new. Catseye’s Reno/Lake Tahoe office covers such a large geographic area, from the lush forests of California’s Lake Tahoe to the desert beyond Fallon, Nevada, that we encounter all sorts of crazy pests.
Last week I got to experience doing a route and servicing customers’ homes solo. I woke up the next day sore from head to toe from all the crouching, reaching and lugging of equipment around each house. This has given me a new admiration for how hard our technicians work. This is a physically grueling job and isn’t for the faint of heart!