Sitting in Imogen Levenson's secluded garden, just off Junction Road, it's difficult to believe that she makes her living from killing; she is very much alive to the natural world. Whilst we're talking she's constantly identifying birds and referring to the flowers and plants around her. And her killing activities? Imogen was one of the stars of the recent BBC programme 'Ladykillers' highlighting the work of four female pest controllers.
"I got into it because it was a ideal career to combine with looking after dogs and children," she explains. "I approach my work very scientifically, because that's my background." (She has degrees in zoology and environmental policy.) "I had worked in the industry, as a field biologist, before having children. When I was ready to think about returning to work, I went to a trade fair and realised that there was a gap in the market for consultant pest controllers. Most of my jobs come by word of mouth and by personal recommendation." Anyone who saw Imogen on the BBC programme dealing with an N19 moth infestation knows that she is very methodical and patient in her approach.
"I've always lived in this area - my family home was in Holloway. We love living here in Archway which is very family friendly. Besides local institutions like the Family Centre and the Active Birth Centre, local mothers have their own network which publishes a directory of everyone who's a member; very useful for finding babysitters and play dates. Another good example is the local leisure centre which has special pool sessions for families, including one on a Saturday for families with a disabled child."
"Dartmouth Park is a great place to walk my dogs. and when I have time I enjoy playing cricket - there are girls and ladies teams not too far away at Finchley Cricket Club. My team is trained by the captain of the Abu Dhabi national side!"
"We're looking forward to the next Archway With Words festival - it's great to be able to hear poets and musicians we've never heard before in local venues."
As we left her, Imogen was taking a call from someone with problem ants....
If you have a pest problem, you can contact Imogen on 07946433156