Give us a call at 855-536-7470. Book a Demo

Articles | Marketing

26 pest control interview questions & answers

GorillaDesk Staff

Pest Control Interview Questions

Shine a light on the right hires for your pest control business.

Think it’s harder than ever to hire field service pros? It’s not just you. More than half of all business owners in the pest control field say it’s tougher than ever to find good help, according to this article.

Worse, interviewing job candidates is challenging. Especially if your turnover is high or you’re new to the hiring process, there’s an incredible amount of pressure to find the right candidate as fast as you can. One bad move, and you can cost your company thousands from a bad hire.

But don’t pack up your foggers and sprayers just yet. The right pest control interview questions and answers can shine a bright light on the best candidate, revealing the most technically proficient (and easiest to work with) team member on the list.

Copy-paste the 26 pest control interview questions below to use in your hiring process. Then, scroll down to see the best answers and why each one works so well.

26 Pest control interview questions

Are you interviewing candidates later today? Just copy-paste this list to use in your hiring process. They’re divided into technical, interpersonal, cultural fit, and behavioral. (You’ll find answers below the list.)

Technical pest control interview questions

  1. How do you balance a customer’s goals for staying safe around pesticides with treating their pest problem?
  2. What pest infestations do you deal with most frequently?
  3. What steps would you follow to assess a pest infestation in a residential building?
  4. What’s the most dangerous part of working in pest control?
  5. How do you manage highly challenging pest infestations?
  6. What safety precautions do you take in more vulnerable areas like schools or restaurants?
  7. What’s your experience with integrated pest management (IPM)? What are its biggest benefits?
  8. How do you choose and apply the right type and amount of pesticides for a given infestation?
  9. What are the advantages of using vacuuming and suction as pest control methods? What infestations would you use them for and why?
  10. How do you keep your pest control skills up to date with new treatments and technologies?
  11. Do you have a valid driver’s license? Are you comfortable driving a company vehicle to job sites?
  12. Do you have experience using any pest control software or similar solutions to streamline your day-to-day tasks?

Interpersonal pest control interview questions

  1. How do you prioritize multiple pest control assignments when you’re faced with an intense workload?
  2. Are you comfortable working in extreme weather conditions?
  3. How comfortable are you with educating clients about how to minimize future pest problems?
  4. How do you stay positive during unpleasant or stressful situations?
  5. How important is customer service in pest control?

Cultural fit questions for pest control interview

  1. What’s your biggest strength? Your biggest weakness?
  2. Can we contact your past supervisor?
  3. What attracted you to a career in pest control?
  4. Are you comfortable working occasional nights and weekends?
  5. How do you handle constructive criticism from clients and supervisors?

Behavioral questions for pest control interview

  1. Tell me about a time when you made a mistake during a pest control treatment. What did you do to fix it?
  2. What pest control achievement are you most proud of?
  3. What’s the toughest pest control challenge you’ve ever faced? How did you handle it?
  4. Tell me about a time when you disagreed with a customer about a recommended pest control plan. How did you resolve the issue?
  5. Tell me about a time when a customer was very upset with the service you provided. How did you handle it?

Technical pest control interview questions

Disaster! You just hired a field service pro who doesn’t know a B&G sprayer from a bait gun. The problem? You didn’t test their technical knowledge in the interview.

Don’t panic. This list of 11 technical pest control interview questions and answers will spotlight their skills. Each one has an example “good” answer — and a reason it works.

Q: How do you balance a customer’s goals for staying safe around pesticides with treating their pest problem?

A: I work to understand where the customer is coming from and their home or property situation. If they have children and pets, I might lean more toward using a pyrethrin or other botanical, or taking more of an IPM approach with sanitation, decluttering, and exclusion. If they’re more concerned with health hazards from the infestation itself, I might be more inclined to go for a pyrethroid or other spray.

Why it’s a good answer: The EPA notes that insecticides can cause a long list of health conditions, including neurological disorders and cancers, especially in children. A good candidate understands this and has experience balancing the risks and rewards.

Q: What pest infestations do you deal with most frequently?

A: I grew up in rural Maine, and we had everything from mosquitoes to moose, but these days I run into more bedbugs, termites, German roaches, and thief ants than anything. My vacuum and sprayer are my best friends.

Why it’s a good answer: This question checks if the candidate has experience working with the infestations the company’s clients see most. The answer here works because it shows broad experience, company fit, and skill in selecting the right tools for the job.

Q: What steps would you follow to assess a pest infestation in a residential building?

A: First I’d check the most common areas like garages, basements, pantries, and attics. I’d look for red flags like nests, droppings, grease marks, and damage to buildings or plants. I’d then seek out cracks where they might be gaining access or food sources like yard waste or compost bins. I want to know exactly where they are first so I can get the product to the pest. I don’t like to spray and pray!

Why it’s a good answer: This pest control interview question checks the job seeker’s technical skills and problem-solving ability. The answer here shows both skill at assessing a pest control problem and a process for zeroing in on the cause.

Q: How do you choose and apply the right type and amount of pesticides for a pest infestation?

A: I start with the type of pest, so for example, I’ll usually use Alpine with Gentrol for bedbugs in a crack-and-crevice treatment, plus heat treatment and Crossfire on the soft stuff, and Delta dust behind the switch plates. Or for German roaches, Alpine WSG with Gentrol IGR and gel baits in sensitive areas like kitchens. It really depends on the type of pest, the size of the area I have to treat, and the occupants. I always talk to them about it and take their input into account.

Why it’s a good answer: This PMP clearly has the skills, but they also know that several factors go into choosing the right insecticide and amount.

Q: What’s the most dangerous part of working in pest control?

A: Generally, it’s the potential exposure to the toxins in the pesticides. I’m a stickler for PPE and handling chemicals properly, not just for my own safety but for the families I work for. There are also significant dangers specific to the properties I work in, like confined spaces or heights. I always take a step back after I get to the job site and before I start to assess those hazards and give myself some time to adjust.

Why it’s a good answer: This answer shows the applicant respects and understands the hazardous chemicals and situations they work with.

Q: How do you manage highly challenging pest infestations?

A: If the initial treatment doesn’t work, I’d move on to a broader IPM approach. But if that still failed, I’d reach out to my network and mentors to source a solution. I know enough to know I don’t know everything, but there’s always a solution out there somewhere.

Why it’s a good answer: The candidate here has shown they understand the difference between initial treatments and a more integrated approach. More importantly, they’re resourceful enough that you won’t have to handhold them all day.

Q: What safety precautions do you take in more vulnerable areas like schools or restaurants?

A: I spend some time talking to the client to understand their requirements. A hospital or a restaurant will have limitations on the treatments we can use and where we can use them. We had one manufacturing client in a facility that makes petri dishes for medical use, and we had to wear their in-house PPE and overshoes.

Why it’s a good answer: This candidate understands that sensitive job sites may have their own special regulations for pest control, and ignoring these can have serious legal, health, or financial consequences.

Q: What’s your experience with integrated pest management (IPM)? What are its biggest benefits?

A: We used IPM extensively at my last company, including scouting and pheromone traps. We got called into a small local farm that was losing half their crop every year to cabbage root maggots, but they couldn’t use chemicals. We did some research and consulted with them to plant radishes, and it worked like a charm. The biggest upside of IPM is that it prevents overexposure to toxins and gives a good long-term solution.

Why it’s a good answer: This pest control interview question examines the applicant’s experience with IPM. A candidate who uses IPM is likely to be more successful and have happier customers.

Q: What are the advantages of using vacuuming and suction as pest control methods? What infestations would you use them for and why?

A: I love my vacuum! It’s a great initial treatment for thief ants, bedbugs, stink bugs, ladybugs, and all sorts of others. We used vacuums all the time when I was a kid in Maine to clean up cluster flies in the winter. In my view, the biggest advantage is there’s no residue, and you can knock a pest problem down 90% on the first visit.

Why it’s a good answer: This PMP job candidate doesn’t have a one-track mind. They’re clearly open to using a wide range of tools, and they have the experience to decide on their own which one is right for each situation.

Q: How do you keep your pest control skills up to date with new treatments and technologies?

A: I stay current with the articles in Pest Control Technology and Pest Management Professional by listening to them on text-to-speech while I’m driving between sites. I also take a continuing ed course with NPMA every year, and I like to listen to their webinars to get new ideas. Things are always changing, and it makes my job easier when I know more.

Why it’s a good answer: This pest control interview question checks if a candidate is proactive enough to keep learning and growing. Their answer shows someone who’s engaged enough to advance their skills on their own. That means less education time in the lap of their supervisor.

Q: Do you have a valid driver’s license? Are you comfortable driving a company vehicle to job sites?

A: Absolutely. I drove a flatbed for six years for a rafting company, loading and unloading rafts in summer and snowmobiles in winter. I also drove for a construction company for two years, getting work crews and equipment to and from the job sites.

Why it’s a good answer: This shows the candidate knows they won’t just be driving back and forth to job sites in a Hyundai. Pest control often involves using an industrial vehicle loaded with pesticides and equipment. You need a new hire who doesn’t have to learn that on the job.

Q: Do you have experience using any pest control software or similar solutions to streamline your day-to-day tasks?

A: Yes, I used GorillaDesk at my last company for marking jobs as complete, taking signatures, asking for reviews, sharing review links, and invoicing.

Why it’s a good answer: Pest control techs have a lot on their plate. This answer shows the candidate has strong technical know-how and experience in the field.

Interpersonal skills pest control interview questions

Picture this: You’re sitting back, relaxing after a long day, with a cool drink in your hand. Then the phone rings, and you recognize the number — your biggest client. You tense up as you answer, trying to keep your voice bright. Did something go wrong with their treatment today?

But — pleasant surprise! They say they were anxious at first, then your field service pro’s knowledge and expertise soothed their fears. They’re extremely happy with how things came out. Big sigh of relief.

PMPs work directly with clients on property, often unsupervised. Interpersonal skills aren’t just a nice add-on — they’re crucial. Ask the pest control interview questions below to see if a job candidate “plays well with others.”

Q: How do you prioritize multiple pest control assignments when you have an intense workload?

A: My last company used a scheduling app called GorillaDesk that optimized my route for me, and it made my life so much easier. Before that, I used a to-do list on my phone and organized my jobs that way. It was harder, but I still got it done.

Why it’s a good answer: This PMP understands that not every pest control company uses a scheduling and dispatching app and that time management skills are an important part of the job.

Q: Are you comfortable working in extreme weather conditions?

A: That’s just par for the course. I’ve worked anywhere from 30 below to 102. And realistically, if you’re ready for the weather, it doesn’t bother you. I keep sunscreen, a raincoat, and other extreme weather gear in a kit in my truck, so I’m prepped. When it’s hot I just drink a lot more water and grin and bear it.

Why it’s a good answer: Pest control isn’t a cushy office assignment with air conditioning and a water cooler. Hot attics, wet basements, and freezing cold temperatures are all on the menu. A good field service pro isn’t squeamish about it and is prepared for whatever Mother Nature throws at them.

Q: How comfortable are you educating clients on ways to minimize future pest problems?

A: I consider educating clients a big part of the work. Before pest control, I worked in a warehouse where a PMP came in to tackle a fly infestation. He just sprayed the whole place, and a week later, the problem came back. Now that I’m in the industry, that guy’s mistake is so obvious. You can make your life a lot easier with just a little guidance on sanitation and prevention.

Why it’s a good answer: Client education is a big slice of the pest control pie. Just like a dentist needs to instruct her patients in proper brushing and flossing, PMPs need to give guidance on sanitation, common entry points, landscaping, and clutter.

Q: How do you stay positive during unpleasant or stressful situations?

A: The way I see it, you have two choices on a busy day: you can let it get to you and panic, or you can be calm and do your job. I don’t let stress get to me. I like what I do, and I dig into it and take each job as it comes, as fast as I can. When I go home, I leave the job at work. Life is so much better that way.

Why it’s a good answer: Pest control is stressful, whether from a sudden statewide surge in hotel bedbugs or a stressed-out homeowner who’s “had it with these browntail moths.” Your perfect new hire knows this and keeps working well no matter where the pressure gauge is pointing.

Q: How important is customer service in pest control?

A: Wow, it’s everything! When I first started, I thought pest control was spraying chemicals. Now I know it’s more about people. Some clients don’t even have a pest problem — they’re just afraid of having one. Listening is probably my most valuable skill. Understand the client’s fears and needs, and you’ve got a customer for life.

Why it’s a good answer: This pest management professional knows customer service is the pillar of pest control. The wrong PMP might see the clients as pests. The right one dovetails with the clientele and gets a friendly smile every time they show up on site.

Cultural fit pest control interview questions

“He really knows his stuff — but he’s cringey!” You don’t want to hire that employee for your pest control business. The interview questions below examine a candidate’s fit for your team. The better the fit, the higher their job satisfaction and employee retention.

Q: What’s your biggest strength? What is your biggest weakness?

A: My biggest strength is that I get along with everyone. I love working with clients and have a knack for educating them. We had this one client at my last company who refused to use any spray. I talked with them about the health hazards of field mice and the safety of modern bait stations. They came around. My biggest weakness is the same thing. Sometimes, I get a little chatty on a job, but I use our scheduling app to keep me on track.

Why it’s a good answer: This PMP job candidate knows that interpersonal skills are a big part of pest control — and they’re good at it. They also have enough self-awareness to know their biggest weakness, but they’ve found a strategy to work around it.

Q: Can we contact your past supervisor? Did you get along with them?

A: Sure, that’s fine. I got along with them great. I worked nights and weekends when they needed me, and they had my back here and there when my kid had a birthday or a soccer game. They commended me five times for my work ethic, too.

Why it’s a good answer: A great employee — the PMP you want to hire — will have no problem with you contacting their past supervisor. In fact, they’ll encourage it. A not-so-great employee will duck and dodge and do anything to avoid letting you hear the truth. You don’t even need to contact the supervisor. Their answer to this question alone will speak volumes.

Q: What attracted you to a career in pest control?

A: When I was little I used to catch bees, wasps, snakes — anything that moved. I loved it, and I guess I still do. I also have kind of an investigator’s mindset if that makes any sense. I love walking around looking at evidence and tracking down the culprit. It just seemed natural to turn it into a career.

Why it’s a good answer: It shows passion for the job and qualities that fit it like a nitrile glove. What you don’t want for an answer here is, “I don’t like working with other people, and in pest control, I get to work alone.”

Q: Are you comfortable working occasional nights and weekends?

A: If I weren’t, I would find another job. At my last company, I worked many Saturdays and evening shifts. Bugs and rats don’t work 9 to 5, and I guess I don’t, either.

Why it’s a good answer: Pest infestations don’t happen on a schedule. If you want to hire the field service pro who’ll make your life easier instead of harder, you need to find a candidate who’s okay with that.

Q: How do you handle constructive criticism from clients and supervisors?

A: Nobody’s perfect, but as long as you stay open to feedback, everything’s okay. I coach soccer and don’t care how bad a kid is starting out. What matters is if they can listen and work on improving. I seek out criticism from my boss because I’m happier if I’m learning and improving.

Why it’s a good answer: This one really doesn’t need an explanation. If you hire an Eeyore, you’re doomed.

Behavioral and situational pest control interview questions

Imagine you have a crystal ball. It lets you see into the future — to watch how that candidate sitting across from you will act on the job.

You don’t. But — the next best thing is behavioral interview questions for pest control applicants.

You’ll know a great answer from a fudge or a dodge right away. Great answers don’t just show hypotheticals; they share past experiences.

Q: Tell me about a time when you made a mistake during a pest control treatment. What did you do to fix it?

A: Early in my career, I had a client who was neurotic about bed bugs. I let them talk me into using Temprid FX, not just in the cracks and the wood but all over the walls. It stained her white walls gray, and I had to refund her money. These days, I don’t let clients talk me into dumb ideas. I use Demand CS, which doesn’t stain as long as I mix it right and keep it stirred.

Why it’s a good answer: Anyone can make a mistake — and everyone does. The candidate who’s trying to hide something will minimize their mistakes. This one admitted a whopper but showed a good solution and skills.

Q: What pest control achievement are you most proud of?

A: I mean, I’ve solved hundreds of pest problems, from mosquitoes to snakes, rats, bedbugs, and German cockroaches. But my favorite was this single mom with this sad little girl and a horrible mouse infestation. We tried everything — bait stations, exclusion, sanitation, vegetation removal — nothing worked. The culprit was a messy house next door that kept pumping mice into her house. I was stumped, and a PMP friend told me to ask if they’d consider adopting a cat. They got a big Bengal from the shelter, and that ended the problem. On follow ups, you could see the little girl was no longer sad. She always had a big smile. I’ve never forgotten that.

Why it’s a good answer: This field service pro works from their heart and cares more about clients than about killing pests.

Q: What’s the toughest pest control challenge you’ve ever faced? How did you handle it?

A: We got called into a bedbug infestation in a triple-stack apartment where the residents were all related. They were always visiting each other and bringing the bugs back into areas we’d cleared. Also, they wanted us to magically fix the problem without any effort from them. They had fired five pros in the past six months because they weren’t fixing the problem. The way we solved it was to send them some videos on how to get rid of bedbugs and get them all to sign a short contract that said we guaranteed our work only if they followed our guidelines for a month. It worked, and we got a great review on Yelp.

Why it’s a good answer: The PMP here knows the biggest challenge isn’t bugs but people, and the most powerful tool isn’t chemicals but interpersonal skills. Hire this candidate today.

Q: Tell me about a time when you disagreed with a customer about a recommended pest control plan. How did you resolve the issue?

A: I had a customer with German roaches who refused to let me use chemicals. I worked with them to use glue boards for monitoring, then educated them on the safety of strategically placed gel baits once we found the source. I knew we wouldn’t completely solve the problem without using Gentrol, but I told them that upfront and said we’d try it their way first. They finally came around, and I was careful to keep the spraying to a minimum and only where we absolutely needed to. They were really happy in the end.

Why it’s a good answer: This answer shows that the pro sticks with a challenge and uses a mix of problem-solving skills and interpersonal skills to find solutions.

Q: Tell me about a time when a customer was very upset with the service you provided. How did you handle it?

A: So we got called into a food warehouse with a persistent rat problem. They couldn’t get their staff to follow basic sanitation, so our hands were kind of tied. We explained the constraints up front, but they were still furious that we couldn’t fix the problem. We asked what would make them happy, and they asked us to come in and train their staff for free. That was above and beyond, but we decided a little extra work was better than an unhappy customer, so we did it. Their staff still didn’t listen, but the customer admitted we’d done everything we could.

Why it’s a good answer: This field service pro shows adaptability, a key trait in an industry that changes as consistently as pest control.

After the hire

Once you’ve found that unicorn employee, hang onto them, it comes down to the big three: pay, benefits, and work environment. While the first two may be out of your control, #3 isn’t — and field service software is a lynchpin.

Too many PMPs don’t love their pest control software. Why? Because it was designed by suits trying to make a buck. GorillaDesk is different. Google us, and you’ll get a nice surprise. Pest control pros from Dover Foxcroft to Sausalito sing our praises.

But our success is no big secret. We’re former field service pros ourselves, and like you, we wanted a way to make our work better. We developed and field-tested GorillaDesk’s unique scheduling, dispatching, route optimization, invoicing, and work order management to make PMPs happy.

The bottom line? It just works. And our speedy customer service team is always there to help you onboard.

Interested? See more on our home page at GorillaDesk because your field service software shouldn’t be another pest.

Other posts to check out

Pest control marketing: Let’s make that phone ring

Pest control marketing: Let’s make that phone ring

With so many other local pest control companies making competition tight, keeping that phone ringing with new customers may not feel as easy as you thought. To keep your pest control business growing takes marketing know-how. Here are our best tips.

How to get more positive customer feedback

How to get more positive customer feedback

Customers trust online reviews just as much as word of mouth from friends and family. The truth is: Online reviews can make or break your local services business. Here’s how to build that glowing reputation your service deserves.

How to grow your pest control business

How to grow your pest control business

To grow your pest control business, you must overcome constant competition and complicated compliance issues with killer marketing and cutting-edge tools.

Transform your business

Try it free for 14 days. No credit card required. Instant setup.

We will be customers for life

“I can not say enough good things about GorillaDesk it saves us so much time and money. The customer service is the best. I would recommend GorillaDesk to anyone no matter what industry. I trained my employee in 5 minutes on how to use it. We will be customers for life.”

Ryan Sullivan

Business Owner