Explore: Animal care

Pest Control Officer
Eden Project

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Michael P

00:00:03 Ah yes my name’s Michael P, I’m a Pest Control Officer here at Eden Project. My day to day responsibilities are ensuring the site is pest free, really. We tend to do a pro-active working – a pro-active working system here, where we have a certain amount of baits, both inside outside, for rodents, and insect pests, which are monitored on a monthly basis. The sea gulls have done the most damage to the Biomes, in the last eight years, daily wear and tear is nothing to what sea gulls have done when they’ve attacked the Biomes. They tend to see their reflection in the plastic Mylar, and dive bomb it. Or they sit on it and peck it continually, and eventually one of the bubbles bursts, and then the bubble deflates. So the guys have to go up and repair it. So we employ a man who comes in with his own falcons.

00:00:59 I never really liked school that much, strangely enough. I found it too restrictive, I found – some of the teachers were not particularly helpful, but I won’t name names, obviously. And I think I thrived as soon as I left school. I went to Art College. I mean by the time I was 16, I think that’s what I really wanted to do, was to go to Art College. And I did all right at the art work, I mean I was good, I think I was good, but I found that it became – the more I did, as soon as I left college I think that helpful, friendly environment disappeared, and it became an incredibly hard thing to do. And then you start working, I mean I did a variety of jobs. I did some gardening jobs, I did some building jobs, before I came into the pest control field.

00:01:40 And the only reason I came into pest control was because I couldn’t drive, and the guy who owned the firm, Chris, said that he would teach me to drive. And so I thought well OK, fair enough. And the idea was I’d learn to drive, and I had to stay with him a year, to pay for the driving lessons. So – but I never really left. And so … I ended up here, where I’ve got a relatively – it’s sort of more of a non-manageable – managerial role, but I’m in charge of myself, so I’m sort of an adjunct really to everyone else. So I’ve got a job that’s on it’s own, I suit myself, my times myself, what I need to do – as long as I do what I need to do, and everything’s hunky dory then, you know, it’s just great.

00:02:22 What I’ve learnt from my career, I think is that you need a lot of patience, you need to take your time, and you need not to worry about too many things at the same time. If you’ve got a problem, you try one thing. If it doesn’t work, step back, have a really good look at it. And often if you just really look hard enough, you can usually find the answer. Just a bit of patience, that’s all you need, really. My aims at the moment, I’m really content where I am, so I haven’t really got any plans to – to move upward, up the ladder, or sideways to anywhere else. I’ve found an area where I haven’t completed, almost, what I’d like to do, certainly with the problems we’ve got in the Biomes, and around about the site, so for me on a work front I’m quite content. I’m quite happily married, got two nice small young children. They tend to fill my life quite happily at the moment.

00:03:14 What would I do if I really had a chance? I mean – I always had this dream of being maybe like the old stand-up comedians, something like that, but I never really had the courage to try any. I used to do a lot of martial arts, until I did my knee in. I would love to have been a really good martial artist, rather than one that just sort of made the numbers up in competitions, really. I liked the discipline really, I tend to – some of them, when they shout at you in the … – I tend to start giggling, I just can’t take that kind of thing too seriously. So I don’t really have the personality for that kind of thing, which is a bit of a shame really.

00:03:45 ENDS


Michael P found school restrictive but thrived at Art College. Eventually, attracted by a job that gave him the opportunity to learn to drive, he found himself at the Eden Project as a Pest Control Officer. He has the skill, patience and problem solving abilities to take a pro-active approach to keeping the site pest free, and is thoroughly content with his responsibilities and the independence his role offers.

More information about Pest control officers

average salary

The UK average salary is £29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

46%  male 
54%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Future employment?

? Pest control officers investigate the presence of pests that are hazardous to public health or cause nuisance, lay traps to capture pests and treat areas of infestation.
There are no formal academic entry qualifications, though some employers may expect entrants to possess GCSEs/S grades. Training is provided on-the-job, supplemented by specialist courses covering different aspects of pest control.
  • Receives reports from public, property owners and authorities regarding the presence of pests and infestations;
  • Visits sites to investigate the presence of rodents, infestations and other pests that may be hazardous to public health;
  • Lays traps to capture pests, and fumigates and disinfects areas to remove infestations;
  • Advises property owners on courses of action to prevent the return of pests;
  • Liaises with environmental health officers, housing officers and other relevant authorities where measures on a large scale are required to remove pests;
  • Returns to sites to examine contents of traps laid and the continued presence of reported pests;
  • Treats wood for effects of termites, woodworm and other infestations of timber.
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