Hartlepool man changes career from funeral director to pest controller and says ‘I love it’
Former funeral director Ken Iles has embarked on a rather unusual career change by becoming a pest controller.
Ken, 49, from Hartlepool, spent almost 20 years helping to look after the needs of bereaved families with The Co-operative Funeralcare at Strathmore House.
But he now spends his days keeping pests at bay and says he has never been happier.
Ken has taken on a franchise for private firm Pest Force, covering Hartlepool and Teesside.
He deals with critters from carpet beetles, wasps, mice and rats to fleas, bed bugs, moles and pigeons.
Ken, who lives in the Hart Lane area, started the job after deciding to take voluntary redundancy from the Co-operative Funeralcare around Christmas.
He explained: “I thought I had done 20 years in the business and it was getting quite difficult emotionally.
“Then later I saw an advert for this franchise business in a magazine and thought ‘let’s go for it’.
“I had a couple of meetings and decided to go for it and never looked back.”
Ken was attracted by similarities with countryside sports he enjoys such as shooting.
“It’s partly my hobby, so I thought if I could do it as a job I never have to work again.
“I have done quite a few rats and mole jobs, as well as carpet beetles, fleas, slugs and pigeons.
“I have got some big contracts for some big companies in Hartlepool already, so it is building up.
“Most people couldn’t do it. They get quite squeamish over it, but I love it.
“I don’t worry about Monday coming round any more, I look forward to them.”
Ken is assisted in the business by wife Liz, who keeps an eye on the accounts.