Canine Handler: Rottler Pest Solutions
If you think the K9 unit is limited to law enforcement, think again! Jennifer White started her career in pest control as a canine handler for Rottler Pest Solutions in 2011. She was intrigued when she saw the opportunity to work with a scent detection canine, as this was an emerging field in pest control at the time.
With a background in animal science and behavior, she’s fascinated by how intelligent dogs can be, saying, “I’m able to be a part of showing this to the general public, and I aspire to improve the insight into canine cognition for a wider population.” Although her work history has always included working with dogs, she did not need handling experience when she started with Rottler. The company provided paid training when she got started and continues to offer annual training opportunities to ensure skills and technologies are up to date – a common practice in pest control.
Jennifer’s job is not your standard 9-5 office job. “We’re basically doing inspections all day every day,” she says, adding “the dogs have their feet on the ground for up to six hours a day, in addition to any trainings we go through to keep our skills up to date.” They work directly in customer’s homes, office buildings or other facilities for bed bug detection.
“I’ve learned so much working with two very different dogs throughout my career,” Jennifer says. “Not only did they have different motivations and working styles, but they both evolved from green to seasoned canines, and it has been a constant challenge for me to progress with them.”
When asked what she likes most about working in pest control, she had this to say: “I am fortunate to work for a company that invests in continuing education. I have had the opportunity to train with multiple professional dog trainers and have learned from pest industry experts. Plus, I get to work with the best partner – my dog!”
“I also enjoy the independence and variety that this career field provides,” she continued. “I have had the privilege to inspect for some very interesting people and places, and I am able to help people in their time of need. Bed bugs can provoke very strong emotions, and my job includes helping people cope during a stressful experience, as well as offer peace of mind when we provide good news.”
She attributes her career success to her willingness to persevere, even when faced with challenges that came from new ventures: “I helped pave the way for future scent detection teams by being adaptable as we learned how to best provide this service to our customers.”
Jennifer is proof that a career in pest control is more than “just bugs.” She represents a section of the industry that is so much more than what people consider when they think of pest control. “If you’re interested in working in the pest industry, you must be able to self-govern, learn an extensive information about pests (and dogs if you’re a handler), and be well-versed in customer service.”
Jennifer's career with Rottler as a canine handler is an example of the possibility and opportunities available to motivated individuals, and demonstrates just how dynamic a career in this industry can be! There is truly something for everyone in pest control. Ready to get your journey started? Our Career Paths page has everything you need to find a path fit for you.