Charles Swain recently spoke about his job as owner and operator of Swain’s Pest Control:
Q. What services does Swain’s Pest Control offer?
A. I take care of the Jackson area (dealing with) rats, roaches, mice, bedbugs, termites, carpenter ants and carpenter bees.
Q. What are your job requirements?
A. You’ve got to know how to be cautious with any pesticides that you use and use them correctly. I’ve done this for so long it’s second-nature for me to know where the insects are going to be. You also have to deal with people because you have to go into their houses. It’s like I’ve done 41 years of human psychology. I’ve dealt with all kinds of people over the years.
Q. How did you get your into the exterminating business?
A. I started working for my father doing fencing. I had an opportunity to get a brand new 1975 Pinto station wagon if I did pest control. I had just turned 18, so I did it.
Name: Charles “Chuck” Swain
Residence: Blackman Township
Position and Workplace: Owner of Swain’s Pest Control, 3130 McCain Road, Summit Township
Length of employment: Two years as owner; worked for his father, Eugene Swain, for 39 years
Family: Married to wife Sue for 14 years
Q. What do you think makes you good at this job?
A. All the years of experience. And I go to seminars all the time. You have to know what you’re doing after doing this for 41 years.
Q. What makes you most proud of your work?
A. When you see someone five or 10 years later and they say, “You sprayed for me and we haven’t had any roaches since.”
Q. Have you had a most embarrassing moment at this job?
A. There are a lot of things. Like when you go all the way out to Concord and realize you left your sprayer at home; something like that.
Q. If you could change one thing about your job, what would it be?
A. I wish it was always summer. It’s pleasant to work in the summer because everything I use is water-based. In the winter I wake up in the middle of the night and wonder, “Did I leave my sprayer in my truck?” Pieces (that freeze) can be very expensive to replace. Plus in the summer it would be busy all the time. In the winter time (business) slows down.
Q. How do you like to spend your free time?
A. Gardening and taking care of my yard. I have four acres. I also read and play video games on the internet. I never sit down much.
Q. If you could have a dream job, what would it be?
A. Making things out of wood. I make things constantly.
Q. What are your professional plans for the future?
A. I’ll keep doing this for life. I’ll just keep getting better.