I am not trying to exclude the men with this post, but Ladies, this one’s for you. I do hope the men who follow my blog posts will continue to read until the end.
About 18 months ago, I was scrolling through Facebook groups for pest control information. I saw all of the typical “Buy Our Pest Control Products”, “Our Company Is The Best At Getting Rid of Mice”, “Talk About All Things Bug”, and so on. THEN, I found one that looked different.
This group caught my eye because of the BIG pink logo. (I’m a breast cancer survivor, so pink is kind of my color) I clicked on the membership section. Two women were the administrators. The description said only pest control ladies were allowed to be in the group. I was intrigued, and filled out the questionnaire.
Are you a woman in pest control? YES. How long have you been in the industry? SINCE 2008. What is your role? (At the time)- TECH-now I’m an OWNER.
In my experience, when putting a lot of women together, things can get a bit catty, somewhat judgmental, and at times, condescending. I hit that JOIN button, and waited…… In less than an hour, I was the newest member of Women In Pest Control.
As the days passed, I read the posts. There were questions on pest identification – and answers. There were funny memes about mice and cockroaches. There were pictures of the ladies in their pest control uniforms, both fresh from the house AND after a day’s work.
There was information about starting an annual conference just for the women. There was a phone and address list of ladies willing to mentor and coach, and to pass clients in areas that another one didn’t service.
What I DIDN’T see in those posts – not one single degrading, condescending, “I’m better than you” remark. Not about each other. Not about any customers. Not about any current or former employers. Every woman was beaming, and proud to be a pest control professional, helping neighbors, family, and friends… and each other.
Once I started participating in the chats, I could tell this was MY group. I always had a tough time adjusting my conversations with the men in pest control, but these women understood the unique challenges we were facing. I became comfortable talking about anything… AND I MEAN EVERYTHING. Girl talk that the men mostly DON’T want to know anything about. I won’t go into that.
Conversations included: Finding the right uniform fit – professional, but not slouchy or tight. Finding a service container for checking rodent boxes that wasn’t too bulky or heavy. One post made it known that cute work boots were hard to find, but a couple of women showed off their finds.
In August 2019, I attended the Women In Pest Control 1st annual conference. More than 100 women made that inaugural trip to Austin, Texas. This event was designed to give women the freedom to have open, honest conversations, get CEUs, and do meet and greets – without judgement. When I walked into that room, I felt like I had known all of those women as friends for most of my life.
During the holiday season, one of our ladies asked the group to send Christmas cards to one of her clients. Without hesitation, it was done. That’s what I want to be a part of. Community. Compassion. Caring. Empathy.
Pest control has been a “boy’s club” for a long time. More women are coming on scene and taking this industry by storm. As of this post, more than 800 women have come together in this awesome Facebook group – Women In Pest Control – to support each other. I have learned SO much about other aspects of the pest control industry. This group has given me the confidence I was lacking. Now, I own a pest control business.
Bobbie Terry and Lisa Botts – Thank you for bringing us all together in such a fun, informative, easy going, educational atmosphere. Any hesitation I had about being part of a women’s group is long gone.
There are some knowledgeable women in this group. I am offering to do a business card swap so I can keep in touch.