Industry News

A guide for improving technician performance in the field

Austin M. Frishman, Ph.D.

Need a refresher on proper technician training? For many decades, I had the privilege of observing and riding along with technicians throughout the U.S. I saw what they were doing correctly and what needed improvement.

Before starting the job, consult this list when training or completing services for your own customers:

Positive technician traits

  • Listens and absorbs new ideas

  • Shows interest in solving the pest issue

  • Can identify interior and exterior pests

  • Demonstrates product knowledge

  • Possesses knowledge of account history

  • Uses proper safety equipment

  • Reads industry publications and other technical materials

  • Informs the customer before starting the service

  • Reads the service slip before starting the service

  • Catalogs and shares the account’s pest history with other technicians

  • Carries appropriate tools in the service vehicle, including multiple safety cones, flashlights, dusters, an inspection mirror, measuring devices, monitoring tools, a proper first aid kit and paper towels

  • Properly labels all equipment, as well as carries extra product labels and service containers

  • Wears proper gloves when working with pesticide equipment

  • Keeps tank-mix calculations in check

  • Locks, anchors and tightly seals rodent bait stations

  • Is mindful of equipment use in and around structures, as to avoid the disruption of flooring and/or landscaping

  • Maintains the service vehicle, including cleaning the steering wheel

  • Maintains personal hygiene, including washing uniform clothes separately

  • Is properly trained on spill control and proper pesticide disposal

These observations are based on my experiences with many technicians from diverse pest control firms. Use this list when training or evaluating a technician in action.

On a positive note, I’ve witnessed some of the most innovative thinking and improvisation created on the spot by technicians. They are, in a sense, artists refining the art of pest management.


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