When Ramen Mirza starts his day, you might not even be awake – as a pest specialist who typically covers the first shift, he begins between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m. on average. I rode along with Ramen to learn more about his role and what his standard day is like. He’s been working for Ehrlich’s sister company, Presto-X Pest Control, since June 2016 and operates in Chicago’s northwest suburbs. Through the 10 stops we made together, I gained better insight into the activities of a pest specialist and what the job involves.
First two stops
I was not really sure what to expect when Ramen picked me up from my home at around 6:30 a.m. We first stopped at a grocery store. Here, he checked traps for pests. We then headed to a sandwich shop, where he walked around and treated the area where the wall met the floor. Ramen noted that about 75% of his stops are commercial (versus residential). Before riding along with him, I often viewed pest specialists as people who simply visited individual homes, so it was neat to see the commercial side of the role.
A fly control light device at our first stop (a grocery store).
Interacting with customers
After making three more stops, we visited condos, and I thought this was one of the most interesting parts of the day. Ramen placed gel bait for cockroaches in kitchens and bathrooms (pests are more likely to be in those places). He also installed glue board traps in a few units. I enjoyed being able to enter residents’ actual condo and see firsthand the people who we help.
I also realized that a good pest specialist needs to be able to interact effectively with people. When Ramen entered a condo, he took command of the situation but also had to be able to communicate with the residents as necessary, which I thought he did well.
A little later, we went to a grocery store, where Ramen installed two light devices (he doesn’t install lights very often). The lights’ purpose is to attract flies. It was neat to get a behind-the-scenes look at how these lights are actually attached to walls. This experience helped me see yet another part of what working in pest control entails – it’s not just about checking traps and applying bait, but it’s also about setting up lights and other proactive devices that will hopefully catch pests.
After visiting another location, we stopped at a small bistro restaurant as our last stop. Here, Ramen treated kitchen drains. One drain, in particular, had a particularly strong odor – and I gained a whole new appreciation for his work! Interestingly, Ramen seemed to have made a friendly acquaintance out of one of the employees there. From the perspective of an “outsider” to the pest specialist life, having actual relationships with customers seems like it would be a big benefit when it comes to dealing with pest issues together.
An opportunity to help
Ramen’s pest control vehicle is like a little office. He has a device that lets him send emails, make calls, and send text messages. He also has printing capability in his vehicle, so he can print service reports. Ramen likes how he’s able to go to a different place every day and offer a service to people and also meet new individuals. And he’s a good fit for the role: He’s friendly and sociable, which to me seem like valuable skills for any pest specialist.
My day with Ramen helped me better understand what a pest specialist does and I now have a deeper respect for the work that he and other pest specialists undertake. I learned that pest specialist work isn’t just about driving to various locations and getting rid of pests, but it’s also about interacting with people and giving them a positive experience. Want to get top-notch service to resolve your pest problem? Contact Ehrlich or call 1-888-976-4649.