Homeowners and businesses face problems with pests on a daily basis throughout North America and beyond. When these problems arise, customers want their issues resolved efficiently and quickly. However, it is easy to forget that with every pest problem that is remedied, there is a human being responsible for solving that issue. To gain a better perspective of the daily life of a pest control professional, the deBugged blog sat down with Chicago-based Presto-X Pest Control technician, Edwin Ortega, for a question-and-answer session.
deBugged: Edwin, how did you become a pest control technician at Presto-X?
Edwin: I worked for a different pest control company previously and I realized that Presto-X was much closer to my home so I applied for a position. I live in Chicago and their office was right down the street from me. I knew it was a great company from the get-go. When I met my managers, Don and Mona, I felt that they were very easy people to communicate with.
Before I began my career as a pest control technician, I worked for an airline company. Initially, I started in pest control as a part-time, seasonal employee but quickly realized the career potential in the industry. There was so much to learn and lot of opportunity.
deBugged: How long have you worked for Presto-X?
Edwin: I have been with Presto-X for almost 5 years and have been a technician for 7 years.
deBugged: How would you describe your day-to-day life as a pest control technician?
Edwin: One day to the next, it absolutely varies. However, your goal stays the same – you want to educate the customer and point out any potential problem areas which can help them keep their property pest-free. Simple tips like pointing out a structural issue or recommending cleaning an area more often can make a big difference.
deBugged: What type of customers do you service?
Edwin: I service a lot of food manufacturing & packaging customers, grocery stores, Mom & Pop shops, retail stores and residential customers.
deBugged: What do you enjoy most about your job?
Edwin: The challenge. There’s always a challenge there for you. From managing customer relationships to solving pest problems, you’re always forced to take on a challenge and figure it out. I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment.
deBugged: What is the most important thing to remember as a pest control technician?
Edwin: There are a couple things to keep in mind. You want to be motivated and organized. Organization is super important. If you don’t handle an account the right way and you’re not executing the proper inspections, you will spend too much time at one account. You need to organize your time appropriately so each customer receives the same great service.
deBugged: What is the key to managing customer relationships?
Edwin: Try to get on their level. When I go into an account, I see if the customer is really technical or more laid back and just wants the information presented to them. You want to read your customer the right way. The customer needs to know that you’re right there for them. I always tell my trainees to try to get the customer to remember your name on your first visit. They will begin to call you by your first name which establishes a connection and you start building your relationship from there. It goes a long way.
deBugged: Do you have any favorite stories from your time with Presto-X?
Edwin: The pest that gave me the most problems was at this high-demand restaurant. I was there day-and-night dealing with a rat issue the customer was experiencing. I was conducting full detail inspections of the facility and moving equipment around in the morning and coming back at night to do the same thing all over again. On a Sunday night, I was determined to spend the whole night at the restaurant until I cleared the property of the pest. Finally, at 7 AM, I trapped the rat as he jetted out of his hiding spot.
You have to be willing to do whatever it takes to please your customer. Sometimes pests can surprise you in how smart they are so you have to go above and beyond to make the customer happy. I felt like a million bucks when I solved that problem.
deBugged: How do you like to spend your free time outside of work?
Edwin: I love spending time with my kids. I have 2 little ones. My daughter is 2 and my son is 6. My daughter is getting ready for Pre-K and my son is going into 2nd grade. The biggest thing I like to do is to have time with my kids. I actually got into pest control because of my son. My first manager hired me (even though I was only 21) because I had a son and he knew I would be responsible. This job comes with many responsibilities. No one is out there in the field holding your hand. You have to be self-motivated.
Visit prestox.com for more company information about Presto-X Pest Control (a Rentokil company).
Are you interested in working for a Rentokil pest control company such as Presto-X or Ehrlich? Visit the Rentokil North America Careers page to view current job listings.