Team Spotlight – John Austin
What is your name?
How long have you worked in pest control?
36 years – started in pest control as a trainee technician in May 1984.
When did you join the Contego Team?
I joined the Contego Family in November 2020 as Business Development Manager, National Accounts
What are your hobbies?
1. House renovation – I have renovated 8 houses in the last 6 years.
2. Dog walking, enjoying the fantastic sea views along the beautiful Dorset Jurassic Coast
3. Trying to work on the sly when my wife isn’t looking!
It hardly seems possible, but I have been in Pest Control for over 36 years, having started as a technician with Rentokil back in 1984! Before finding my niche in pest control, I’d had 13 jobs in 7 years! I only got into pest control by accident, as my cars engine blew up and I was skint, so I decided to look for a job with a van as I needed wheels. The first job I saw in the job centre was for a trainee technician with Rentokil, and the rest as they say is history.
Do you have any pets?
I have a 4-year-old Jackapoo (Jack Russell/ Poodle Cross) called Rosie and she’s just the cutest dog you can imagine with bundles of life and personality. She was a rehomed dog, and I just cannot imagine how someone could have given her up. It still makes me laugh every time I think of her breed to have a dog with poo in her (my wife says I shouldn’t still be such a kid at my age)!
Funniest/Scariest Pest Control Job?
When I started in pest control all those years ago, I went through an “interesting” initiation, that bears some similarity to the trials they now go through on I’m a Celebrity, get me out of here!
I was taken to a commercial unit, that had been closed whilst a cockroach problem was being treated. As it was hot, it was suggested that we work in overalls, just over underwear, and of course this was before the days of PPE, so no face masks etc. I was asked to get up some ladders and remove a false ceiling panel to see if there were any signs of cockroaches up there, which I did and as I moved panel, what seemed like hundreds of cockroaches (but was probably only 20-30) all fell off and down my neck into my overalls! I quickly just jumped off the ladder and laughed and dusted myself down – not the reaction my trainer expected! My trainer insisted it wasn’t a set-up, but I’m sure it was. So, through this I passed my test and 36 years later I still love the industry!