Many of the pest problems you find in your home can be solved by you. However, if you feel you don’t want to handle it by yourself, or the problem is getting out of hand, then hiring a local pest control company to deal with the pest is the obvious choice.
But how do you know how to choose the right pest control company? There are so many out there, but it’s vital that you do your homework and make sure you pick the right one. Don’t rush, you want to get rid of the pest immediately, but doing your research will get you the right results in the end.
The following 6 tips will help you choose the right pest control company.
6 IMPORTANT TIPS to consider when choosing a pest control COMPANY
- Ask your friends, coworkers, and neighbors
if they can recommend a pest control company that they have used and have been happy with the results. You can then check the reputation of a company with the Better Business Bureau or Chamber of Commerce. Also, look at reviews online and see how the company has responded to the comments left by customers. Have they replied courteously and offered to help with any issues?
- Is the company licensed?
Always choose a licensed pest management company that has qualified technicians. In some US states, only those that hold a pest control license are able to apply pesticides, so it’s important to know the difference between a certified technician and a licensed one. A certified tech will only be able to apply pesticides under the supervision of a licensed technician. So ask the company you plan to hire if their technicians are licensed.
You will also want to know if the company has liability insurance and if their employees are bonded. This means you are protected should there be an accident, and if there is any damage during the technician’s visit the company should payout for any loss.
Ask to see a copy of the license and insurance and check to see that they are up to date.
- Check if the pest control company is a member of any national, state, or local pest control associations.
If they are, then this is a good sign that they stay up-to-date with the latest developments and pest control methods, as well as ensuring their technicians are properly trained. Check for proof of any professional affiliations.
Look at http://npic.orst.edu/reg/state_agencies.html for State Pesticide Regulatory Agencies and details on whether a company is licensed and if there have been any complaints.
- Does the company offer an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach to pest control?
Ask each company you contact to discuss what the options are for the infestation. If the company practices IPM, it will offer the following:
– Pest identification by visiting your property.
– Informing you of the severity of the infestation.
– Will a number of visits to repeat the treatment be needed to eliminate the problem and if follow up visits will be needed to monitor for future problems.
– Pesticide(s) that will be used – potential health effects and symptoms of poisoning due to the active ingredients associated with the pesticide.
– The application method of the pesticide.
– Non-chemical options available – such as monitoring devices, trapping devices, sanitation and other measures to help reduce or eliminate the pest problem.
– What you need to do to prepare for the treatment with specific instructions to limit pesticide exposure – such as vacuuming, making sure pets are kept outside for a period of time, emptying cupboard items and keeping them somewhere the pesticide isn’t being applied.
– Any safety or health concerns you have should be noted and taken into consideration, such as if a family member has asthma, or is pregnant, for example.
– Advice on how to prevent further pest problems in the future.
Ask the company to use the least toxic product available to do the job, and also ask to see the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) or label so you can see for yourself what the associated precautions are.
- Does the company offer a guarantee?
If it does, make sure you know how long it lasts, exactly what it covers and what you need to do to keep it valid.
Does the technician or company representative leave you feeling confident in using their services? The technician should be knowledgeable and experienced enough to be able to answer most of your pest control questions, or be willing to find out the answers and get back to you if they are unsure. If you’re not satisfied with the answers, look for another company.
Researching a suitable and reputable pest control company can be time-consuming and the cost of treatment can be expensive depending on your level of infestation, so it’s important you find one that fits the above criteria.
Get at least three written quotations/estimates but beware of any that seem to be substantially more expensive than the others, or are offering pest control services at a much cheaper price than the others. A more expensive quote doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting a better service, and a much cheaper quote may mean you’re only getting the basics of what is needed.
Don’t feel pressured into immediately signing a contract as it’s important you take the time to read it thoroughly. You’ll also want to compare the services that each one offers so you can choose the right pest control company for your needs.