Tina Danner has been in the pest control business for nearly 10 years. After a few interviews and a ride-along with a Plunkett’s technician, she was hooked - she knew this was the right place for her.
From dealing with common pests to out-of-the ordinary infestations, Tina has a breadth of knowledge and experience, but she can’t help but feel excited to expand it every day.
We caught up with Tina to learn more about how she got started in the business, and what it’s like to be involved in the pest control industry with Plunkett’s. Check out what she had to say!
Q: Was there a certain experience you had that drew you to become involved with pest control?
I used to play with worms and frogs when I was a kid. My grandparents lived half a block away from a pond, so I was always in the pond trying to catch fish and frogs and put them in my pocket and take them home. So I really don’t have a fear of those creatures. When I first considered the career, my mom said I might as well try it. And here I am, a whole 10 years later. When I get the calls, it’s always someone screaming, ‘Ahhh! There’s a mouse!’ I’m not like that at all.
Q: What was the first day on the job like for you?
I was really nervous because I had never really dealt with mice. I knew what they looked like. I went along on a ride-along with a trainer and we actually had a live mouse in a trap and he showed me how to dispose of that. So it was pretty interesting. I was just so intrigued and I thought, ‘I have to come back the next day! I have to learn more about this, and I have to learn about that.’ The whole learning experience at Plunkett’s is top notch. I’ve never been at a company where they put that much heart and soul into the training program to be sure you’re ready to be out in the field.
Q: Looking back, what’s the journey been like for you? Does it take a lot of training and experience to get comfortable with what you’re doing?
Every day is a new day and every day you learn something new. There’s absolutely no way you could learn everything in the training program. You get enough to get your foot in the door with the insects that you’ve dealt with. Everything else comes with the job. It could take a couple years to have a good handle on the majority of the insects we deal with. You have different seasons with all different insects, so some of our new people haven’t even experienced what ant colonies look like.
Every day you’re learning — it’s not like you ever stop. You’re introduced to new bugs all the time. With the different cultures we have in our countries, everything is moving around. We get certain creatures from down South, or even a black widow, and they’re not from here. They traveled up here somehow and it’s like, ‘Wow, there’s a huge nest of them,’ and we have to deal with it.
Q: Describe a typical day in your shoes.
For us, we are given a route. We get a monthly calendar, so we kind of plan how many stops we get a month. You can make your own schedule as far as lining up all of your appointments. We try to keep our regular schedules, but things happen that we just have no control over. Usually, for me, I’ll start out by hitting my bars and restaurants first thing in the morning, and then I’ll do the bigger box stores. Then, in the afternoon, I move to my house clients. A majority of them work, so you’ve got to save time for your residential clients in the afternoon so you don’t mess with their schedules a whole lot.
Q: So you’re saying it’s not an 8-to-5 job?
Oh goodness, no! Sometimes it starts at 5 a.m., it really depends. I would work 5 a.m. to 2 p.m. or 5 a.m. to 4 p.m.; it really depends on the demand. If you have people calling you, you’re going to work. You’re going to put in the time and get those clients taken care of right away. You need to make sure to schedule them right away and get them taken care of. So as far as 8-to-5, there’s no way.
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? Share this interview and stay tuned for Part 2 of Tina’s Q&A session!