Though many exterminators may perform very similar activities, there are slightly different types of exterminator jobs. The most common differences in the jobs are the pests that the exterminator works to eliminate. Most often, exterminator jobs will involve getting rid of insects or getting rid of other problem animals. Some jobs may focus, for example, on certain rodents, such as rats and mice, while others focus on common bugs, such as ants, roaches or spiders.
The most common exterminator jobs are those involving the elimination of common household insects. Often, this job will involve using different chemicals, called pesticides, to kill the insects. The chemicals may be poisons that are supposed to be ingested, or they may be poisons absorbed through the insect's body that attack the central nervous system, and eventually kill the pest. Choosing the chemical needed is an important step. Not all chemicals will affect all insects the same way. These exterminator jobs involve an inspection of the home to come up with a plan of attack.
Often, those who are involved with the extermination of insects will find they will need to come back multiple times. In fact, an exterminator service may be needed permanently in some areas, where the onslaught of insects is nearly year round, such as in warmer climates. The chemicals used to control the insect populations will lose their potency eventually, thus requiring the need for reapplication. In many cases, the owner will be able to tell the exterminator what seemed to work and what did not, giving the exterminator a chance to fine tune the strategy.
Exterminator jobs involving the eradication of other animals, especially rodents, may offer a few more options for the person doing the job. In some cases, the goal may be to kill the animals in order to get rid of them. In other cases, trapping and relocating is the preferred choice. Doing so involves determining what kinds of animals are in the home. Exterminators may do this by listening to the homeowners, who may have seen the animals, or by looking for other signs. Common signs include the droppings left behind, tracks, nesting behavior or food source.
After the animal problem has been resolved, there is usually no need for the exterminator to return, unlike what normally happens with insects. Part of the job, however, is to help the homeowner determine how the animals may have gained entry into the home, and recommend solutions for preventing another invasion. If the repairs are made, it should stop other animals from penetrating the home in the same way, thus eliminating the need for the exterminator to be recalled.