Pest control is a largely male-dominated industry. In fact, 95 percent of pest control workers are male. Why is that? We think maybe people don’t know what pest control is really about. So, we sat down with a couple of women who work in pest control and asked them to demystify the stigma that comes along with working in the pest industry. You may be surprised at the answers.
We asked Western Training and Technical Manager Lisa Weidmaier a few questions – including why women should consider the pest control industry, and she was very clear in her answer! “Pest control is all about solving problems and building relationships,” Weidmaier said. “Two strengths women naturally have.” A study performed by Harvard proved it, too. They said although the woman’s brain is slightly smaller in mass, their neurons are packed more tightly allowing for quicker decision making and multi-tasking. More importantly, it showed that the part of the brain responsible for problem-solving and decision-making, called the frontal lobe, is actually larger in women. This allows women to tap more readily into the right side of the brain, which is responsible for the creative thinking process, making them powerhouses when it comes to effective and efficient problem-solving. Sounds right to us.
Lisa also noted that the pest control industry is all about “doing important work that protects the world we live in.” The fact that pest control was deemed an essential service during the height of the pandemic really proves that point. It’s more about helping people stay safe and healthy than it is about bugs. Being that our customers were at home more than ever, it was even more important to make sure their homes and families (including pets, of course!) were kept safe and healthy. We remained open the entire time. That fact really emphasizes the opportunities for growth in this industry.
There is even an association called the PWIPM (Professional Women in Pest Management)! Lisa is a member of that association at both a national and a local level. When we asked her why she said, “Organizations like PWIPM allow you to network with other women in the industry to build knowledge and relationships. Another reason to belong to associations – in general – is that they provide you with opportunities to become certified or credentialed in an area that is important to you.” Women helping women – we love it.
Weidmaier also mentioned that it’s not just pest control. It’s about working in pest control at Western Pest Services. She said that since Western is owned by Rollins, Inc., a global consumer and commercial services company, you get the benefit of a “local presence backed by the resources that come from a large company.” In particular, she said that “Rollins allows for Western to have local community connections but with all the resources that come with a global company. We are part of our communities – and can be instrumental in providing services or knowledge to support those communities.”
We also asked talked to one of our Commercial Technicians out of the Morris County, NJ Branch. Melissa Schmidt has been with Western for about 2 1/2 years. When we asked her what she would say to another woman about working in pest control, she had a lot to say! “First of all, it’s a great choice if you have a family,” Melissa said. “I also tell people not to be turned away by the perception of pest control. It’s not what you think it is! At the end of the day, it’s more about customer service than disgusting pests. You form a relationship with your customers, and you truly care about them. The money doesn’t hurt either! Whether you have a college degree or not, you can still have a great job you care about at a company that cares about you, support your family, and be home in time to have dinner with them. That’s not just what I’m saying to you – it’s what I say to any woman that asks.”
So, while we say that the pest control industry is great for women – the company you end up working for matters. Lisa added that “Western is focused on doing the right thing every time – the integrity and ethics of how we operate are without reproach. It provides opportunities for ongoing education – not just what the company provides – but through third-party resources like NPMA, Purdue University, or other State Universities.”
It may sound like we’re tooting our own horn, but we’re ok with that. Many women work for Western – both at headquarters and in the field – that would all agree if you’re looking for a new career or just starting out and looking for a solid path to follow, pest control just may be the right one for you. If you’re interested in a career in pest control at Western Pest Services, check out our careers page.