Working in the pest control sector
Published on: Monday, December 13, 2021
By: K Krishnan
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“Pest control is necessary because rats and insects carry diseases, infest your kitchens and bedrooms, and bite you or your pets. The purpose of removing any kind of pest from your home, garage, or yard is to keep you safe and healthy. For example, rats can leave faeces on or near food they find in your kitchen. If you accidentally eat contaminated food, you can become very ill. Pests of all stripes carry tough viruses and bacteria that require long-term treatment. Others can make existing medical conditions like asthma even worse.”

Who are pest control workers?

PEST control workers remove unwanted pests, such as roaches, rats, ants, bedbugs, mosquitoes, ticks, and termites that infest buildings and surrounding areas.

What do they do?

Depending on the size of the company and location, Pest control workers typically do the following:
  • Inspect buildings and premises for signs of pests or infestation
  • Determine the type of treatment needed to eliminate pests
  • Measure the dimensions of the area needing treatment
  • Estimate the cost of their services
  • Use baits and set traps to remove, control, or eliminate pests
  • Apply pesticides in and around buildings and other structures
  • Design and carry out pest management plans
  • Drive trucks equipped with power spraying equipment
  • Create barriers to prevent pests from entering a building

Unwanted pests that infest buildings and surrounding areas can pose serious risks to the health and safety of occupants. 

Pest control workers control, manage, and remove these creatures from homes, apartments, offices, and other structures to protect people and to maintain the structural integrity of buildings.

To design and carry out integrated pest management plans, pest control workers must know the identity and biology of a wide range of pests. 

They must also know the best ways to control and remove the pests.

Although roaches, rats, ants, bedbugs, ticks, and termites are the most common pests, some pest control workers also remove birds such as crows, squirrels, and other wildlife from homes and buildings.

The following are examples of types of pest control workers:

Pest control technicians identify potential and actual pest problems, conduct inspections, and design control strategies. 

They work directly with customers and, as entry-level workers, use only a limited range of pesticides.

Applicators use a wide range of pesticides and may specialise in a particular area of pest control:

Termite control technicians may use chemicals or baiting techniques and modify structures to eliminate termites and prevent future infestations. Some also repair structural damage caused by termites and build barriers to separate pests from their food source.

Fumigators use gases, called fumigants, to treat specific kinds of pests or large-scale infestations. Fumigators seal infested buildings before using hoses to fill the structure with fumigants. 

They post warning signs to keep people from going into fumigated buildings and monitor buildings closely to detect and stop leaks.

Pest control workers must travel to a client’s home or business. 

They work both indoors and outdoors, in all types of weather. 

To inspect and treat sites, workers must often kneel, bend, and crawl into tight spaces such as roofs and narrow structures. .

When working with pesticides, pest control workers must wear protective gear, including gloves, goggles, and, when required, respirators.

Injuries and Illnesses

All pesticide products are reviewed and approved by the Health authorities and workers must follow label directions. 

Some pest control chemicals are toxic and can be harmful to humans, so care should be taken when using such chemicals. 

Workers are trained and licensed for pesticide usage and wear protective equipment as necessary based on label requirements.

However, some injuries and illnesses from pesticide exposure may still occur. 

Pest control workers have one of the highest rates of injuries and illnesses of all occupations. 

Pest control workers are also susceptible to strains and sprains because workers must often kneel, bend, and crawl into tight spaces.

Education and Training

An SPM or equivalent is typically the minimum qualification for entry level pest control jobs.

Most pest control workers begin as technicians, receiving both formal technical instruction and moderate-term on-the-job training from employers. 

They often study specialties such as rodent control, termite control, and fumigation. 

Technicians also must complete general training in pesticide use and safety. Pest control training can usually be completed in less than 3 months.

After completing the required training, workers are qualified to provide pest control services. 

Because pest control methods change, workers often attend continuing education classes.

Pest control workers typically advance as they gain experience. 

Applicators with several years of experience often become supervisors. 

Some experienced workers start their own pest management company.

What qualities do you need? 

Bookkeeping skills. Pest control workers must keep accurate records of the hours they work, chemicals they use, and payments they collect. Self-employed workers, in particular, need these skills in order to run their business.

Customer-service skills. Pest control workers should be friendly and polite when they interact with customers at their homes or businesses.

Detail oriented. Because pest control workers apply pesticides, they need to be able to follow instructions carefully in order to prevent harm to residents, pets, the environment, and themselves.

Physical stamina. Pest control workers may spend hours on their feet, often crouching, kneeling, and crawling. They also must be able to withstand uncomfortable conditions, such as heat.


In Malaysia, as lifestyle changes, more and more people are concerned about their homes and work places. 

As such the demand for Pest Control services is projected to grow. 

The growing number of invasive insect species, such as stink bugs, is expected to further increase demand for pest control services. 

Although some people may choose to control pests themselves, most customers prefer to hire professional pest control services.

For further information 

If you are interested in this field of work, you can contact the PEST Control Association Of Malaysia (PCAM) which was formed in 1994. 

Being the only official Association for the Pest Control Industry, the PCAM is the official communication link between the Pest Control Operators or also now known as Pest Managers and national/ state legislators and regulatory agencies.

The objectives of PCAM are:

To conduct and promote scientific, technical and business research and application.
  • To promote a broader understanding and acceptance of the Pest control industry towards the betterment of the health, comfort, safety and convenience of the public and industries.
  • To encourage, establish and maintain high standards of safety competence, knowledge and performance.
  • To encourage and established ethical methods of competition.
  • To cooperate with Federal, State and Local Government authorities for the good of the community and the Pest Control Industry
  • To cooperate with scientific and educational institutions in matters of interest of the Pest Control Industry.
  • To disseminate by all appropriate means, accurate knowledge and information with respect to the Pest Control Industry to the general public.

For more information about The Pest Control Association of Malaysia, please contact:

The Pest Control Association of Malaysia 40C, 2nd floor, Jalan Perdana 10/12, Pandan Perdana

55300 Kuala Lumpur

Wilayah Persekutuan

Tel: 603-92747288

Fax: 603-92740288

Email: [email protected]

Web: www.pcam.com.my

Q and A

For further information on careers write to [email protected] 



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