The Difference Between a Professional and an Amateur
I had arranged a second visit to go back and meet up with the Managing Director of the company, I had in hand the full comprehensive site survey for the entire site inside and out with all the accompanying photographs too, also all the risk assessments for each job in turn as well as method statements our health and safety policy and much more documentation that is a legal requirment, as you can see this was a costly 2 day affair before I had even started the contract let alone earned any money.
We had a wonderful meeting all was going swimmingly until I gave him the estimate for the contract and my invoice for the 2 days spent building the professional survey for myself and my staff etc, his first words were I didn’t know pest control was so expensive I was told professional pest control was FREE.
*a verbal and visual survey is free not a an in depth written one*
I left leaving the MD to think over what I had said and oh so much more than I care to write here at the moment, as you can imagine I was a little hot around the collar not only spending 2 days of my time and my staff doing this site survey etc, but all the paperwork that goes with it too, then I saw on face book on a couple of farming sites several fellows advertising what looked like professional pest control services for free, after the day I had that was the straw that broke the camels back thus I had a rant, as it turns out nationally several other professional pest controllers had come across the same problem in a various of other situation this day too, the debate got quite heated between the Professionals and amateurs with well over 500 notifications and pictures being added to the post, until I saw a common ground thus that’s why I decided to grab the bull by the horns and start writing this series.
One thing I noticed was the insurance side of things, as a Professional our insurance is so much more expensive and in depth and comprehensive etc, we have to cover everything from the earths floor falling out to the sky falling on our heads, god forbid something happens and goes wrong and one piece of paper is not filled out correctly for each job were liable, the Amateur insurance the standard field sports insurance is for RECREATIONAL!!! use only it states this quite clearly in your paper work, look up AMATEUR!!! in the English dictionary it tells you right there what I mean, as soon as you receive any form of payment or gratuitous gift you are being paid, thus your insurance is now VOID!!!, many of these companies offer an enhanced policy for such occasions were you can have some forms of payment, but NOT!!! as your full time job or PROFESSION!!! and still only on an Amateur level, of course this costs a fair amount more each year in reflection to the increased risks taken etc, The Scottish Association For Country Sports (SACS) do just such a policy and for my recreational shooting were a farmer may give me some cartridges or other form of payment, I have paid the extra premium so I am covered, all this is on top of my professional insurance so I know I am covered for all eventualities etc.
Now all this said I am not having a go at anyone or trying to put another down and deny them their rightful place in field sports or indeed prevent a fellow from enjoying their sport or gaining permission, I wrote a series called Permission To Approach on The Countryman’s Diary Magazine go look for yourself, its some of my best work and knowledge on this subject and will help you the Amateur or Professional gain more Sport or indeed more Work, actually there is a fine line between an experienced Amateur and a Professional, like I said at the start I learnt from the old school masters, then I went to college and university and got qualified not only in pest control but also game keeping and habitat management as well as fire arms qualifications and a coaching degree and much more, all my certificates does not mean I know better than a man who has spent a life time in the field trapping or shooting etc, but what it does mean is that I am qualified in the eyes of the law to carry out my job professionally in all sectors.
With all the new legislation coming in this year re Rodenticides and more its sheer madness for those of you trying to use it without proper qualifications, I am qualified, but hate using any form of poison what so ever, I only ever use it in very extreme and rare circumstances, I truly stand behind my motto at The Really Wild Pest Control Company ( www.reallywildadventures.co.uk ) and that is Professional Poison Free Pest Control At Its Finest, this really is our mantra and we do very well by it, we have some huge contracts on the books, weather Agricultural Commercial or Domestic people are starting to realize the huge negative environmental impacts poisons and chemicals have, now that’s not saying that a lot of the companies rely on using poison etc as this is the most cost effective solution, if used correctly by a qualified and trained Professional Pest Technician, it is very a safe and effective control measure when used in the right correct situations.
Where as environmentally friendly Poison Free using traditional methods is a more expensive and time consuming solution, a minimum of 2 visits per day per trap are required in any 24 hour period, also in live traps like Larsen traps for instance the call bird etc must have shelter food and water and changed daily, so as you can see the whole affair is a mine field, also I recommend you not only read and under stand all necessary legislation but also do the same for the general license and carry a copy of it with you at all times.
Also its been said that for baited traps the rats will send in a taster rat, if he stays unharmed the others will eat it, so often I try baits that are just testers, let them gain confidence in my traps and not arm the traps so they get used to going in and out without harm, rats are intelligent animals and learn quickly, so you have to be smart to out whit them, you will only get one chance so don't educate them or your job will become a 1000 times harder.
By The Ole Hedge Creeper