So Much More than Killing Bugs
I’ve always been curious about how EPM pest control technicians do their job. I at least understood it’s much more involved than just spraying some chemicals around. My family has used their services for years and my friend Kayla Carpenter is the daughter of EPM’s owners, Jason and Karen Carpenter. When I heard Kayla spent a day with one of EPM’s senior certified pest management technicians, I asked if I could do the same. Alright, I know it’s an unusual request, but what better way to find out how it all works? (By the way, you can check out how Kayla’s day went too!)
Don’t get me wrong, I was still a little nervous as my big day approached. I’m not a fan of bugs and I didn’t know exactly what I had got myself into. Turns out, I had nothing to worry about. I met up with my ride along technician, Brandon Miller, at EPM’s office. He explained where we would be going for the day and what types of pests we would be treating. I helped him load our truck with all the right chemicals and equipment to do our treatments, as well as safety equipment for ourselves. Brandon was open and informative as we went from home to home taking care of the bugs – and homeowners.
People First, Bugs Second
As we arrived at each home or in most cases, apartments, Brandon explained their particular pest problem and how to treat it with the right chemicals and the right amount. Of course, all of this is important so we can eliminate the infestation in a way that’s safe for pets and people alike. Brandon also showed me that it’s just as important to know how to interact with each homeowner.
Not everyone was ready for us when we came. Not everyone was necessarily welcoming. Not everyone spoke English. No matter what we walked into, Brandon was great at reading the situation and responding with care and empathy and, when appropriate, a little humor.
I wasn’t expecting to walk into a super nice, clean place and then open the cabinets or pull back the refrigerator to find hundreds of bugs. Brandon explained that he treats multimillion dollar homes and tiny apartments. Bugs are bugs no matter where you live. I now understand that everyone gets pests at some point.
What I Learned
I learned a lot about bugs and about EPM as a company during my ride along with Brandon. I also learned a lot about people. Being a pest management technician is so much more than dealing with pest problems. It’s an interesting and rewarding job that requires patience, adaptability, and empathy. No two days are the same. No two homes or homeowners are the same. You have to approach each home – and each person – as its own unique situation and come up with a plan in the moment to put people at ease. If you want variety in your work, this is a great job to have!
I was amazed by EPM’s company culture. The fact that I was able to do this ride along speaks a lot to the company as a whole. Everyone, from the EPM office staff and technicians to each of the homeowners we met, was excited to have me there. EPM really cares about their employees, clients, and community. Everyone there is treated with kindness and respect.
I’m also happy to report that I overcame my fear of bugs! I’m currently back at college and living in an apartment building. It’s no surprise there are bugs here. When one of my friends called on me because there was a big in her apartment, I was unfazed and ready to help. I said, “Hey, I’ve seen hundreds of these. No big deal.” I walked right up to it and killed it. I’m practically a pro now!