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Two Days in Reading: Technician Training Experience


312396_10151391437596252_1469225849_nLike most July days, the two days spent at Ehrlich in Reading were no different than any other. The three H’s (hazy, hot and humid) were present along with the 17 technicians in training,  two PhD level entomologists, and a salesman from Omaha. The later three were the course instructors entrusted to lead a class of newly hired technicians. The lead instructor was Ehrlich’s own, Nancy Troyano, PhD, BCE, training manager. Assisting her were Godfrey Nalyana, PhD and Kevin Meyer, a salesman from Presto-X.

The new technicians hailed from places like Clarion (Pennsylvania), Dallas, Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Santa Fe, Syracuse (New York), Missouri, Lincoln (Nebraska) and Chicago. Their backgrounds were as diverse as recent college graduates with degrees from criminal justice to business administration to high school graduates.

One technician, hailing from Lincoln, was a self-admitted ‘bug buff’ who had spent the last 15 years managing a pizza shop. He boasted a diverse collection of insects for more than 20 years. Another technician, named Robert, had been an exterminator for nearly a quarter of a century before joining Presto-X. He repeatedly voiced his satisfaction of how thorough his training had been with Rentokil.

The two-day program was an intriguing mix of individual and group activities. There was ‘insect jeopardy,’ slide show presentations, and physical demonstrations where everyone had to do spot inspections of simulated grocery stores, warehouses, and bedrooms. The hands-on component helped to instill the crucial ‘thinking with one’s eyes’ approach to insect control that will undoubtedly assist the technicians in ridding pests everywhere.

A New View

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Training Manager, Nancy Troyano demonstrating how to install a copper gauze insect-entry barrier.

It only took a five minute stroll to learn how to view building interiors and exteriors for the unrelenting threats of pests. Nancy Troyano explained that building exteriors, though not understood by most, offer pests an abundance of opportunities to gain entry. Pipes that seem to securely attach to buildings at first glance are, in fact, portals for insects everywhere.

Troyano explained, “If a pencil can fit through the opening, so can a mouse.” The technicians learned how to install copper gauze in and around said openings, a cost-effective alternative to pricier pest-control options.

The spaces between where the building siding meets the roof offers a protective home for birds, bats as well as another major entry point for insects looking for safe passage to warmer environs to overwinter. The use of bird netting on the Ehrlich building was yet another eye-opener.

Pest Control Methods

Training Manager, Nancy Troyano, instructing how to set a mousetrap without catching your fingers.

“Above all else, safety is paramount,” said Troyano. The use and disposal of pesticides are to be taken very seriously as these are poisons that can kill. The health risks posed by pesticide ingestion, to people and pets can result not only civil and criminal prosecution, it can also lead to trips to the hospital and even death.

Troyano stressed the importance of always reading the labels, estimating square footage, determining the appropriate amounts of pesticide to be used and understanding the difference between pesticide labels versus MSDS: pesticide labels supply information about a particular pesticide whereas the MSDS supplies physical properties of a chemical (melting or boiling point, reactivity).

Customer Service Excellence

Customer service excellence is the goal. By addressing customer concerns through active listening, answering questions and showing respect for the customer, the technician demonstrates that Rentokil is not just another pest control company.

By educating the customers the relationship begins. It is paramount that the technician, the company’s face, makes a strong first impression. As the saying goes, “first impressions last.”

Click here to earn about the history of Ehrlich Pest Control & how Julius C. Ehrlich founded the company in 1928.

What do you think about the importance of technician training? Share below in the comments! 

Stephen E. Doyle

I am a Professional Writing major at Penn State University (Berks Campus). I will graduate in May 2014. I have finally decided to pursue my lifelong love of writing via a career change. I am a fulltime college student, fulltime father of two wonderful boys- 8 years and 5 months- and an avid reader of noir fiction, historical fiction and enjoy the occasional biography. I am also a freelance writer enjoying my summer internship with Rentokil (Ehrlich) in Reading, Pennsylvania as a marketing intern primarily writing for the blog sites for Rentokil and Ambius as well as content for the Rentokil (Ehrlich) website. I freelance for The Reading Eagle newspaper (Berks County, Pa) and I write for the Home Builders Association's award winning bi-monthly magazine, 'At Home In Berks'. A few of my hobbies are writing, watching and playing soccer with my 8 year-old son, watching my 8 year-old son play soccer, reading, watching old films (Kurosawa, Melville, Dasin, Wim Wenders, etc.), cooking and weekend jaunts to New York City.

1 Comment

  1. Does Ehrlich pay employees during training time? Is training only offered on weekends?

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