Do you know how to choose a pest control company in an emergency? Pest problems may crop up that require professional help. The decision of who to hire can impact your family and business.
Consider speaking with several companies before making a choice. Even if your pest problem is pressing, take time to look for a reliable and knowledgeable company that meets your standards. Before choosing, ask the right questions and evaluate companies in the following areas:
Qualifications mean credibility
Is the company licensed? Most local and state agencies issue pest control licenses. Make sure your pest control operator’s license is current if it’s required in your state. Check to see if the company’s employees are bonded, meaning the company compensates you for any loss or damage that occurs at the fault of the employee. Possession of a local city license is a good sign the company you’re dealing with is reputable.
- Verify licensing by contacting your state pesticide regulatory office.
- Find out how the company keeps staff informed of changes in regulations, products, techniques and safety.
- Does the company use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) techniques?
Experience is essential
Find out how many years the company you’re looking into has been in business. It’s important newly hired applicators train with more experienced employees. Find out how much experience the company has with treating pest problems like yours.
Transparency is trustworthy
Selecting a pest control service that is professional requires looking for the same high degree of competency you would expect from a healthcare provider or lawyer. Any company, in addition to those advertising themselves as “green,” should examine your property and provide a suggested control program, including:
- The pests which need to be controlled.
- The seriousness of the issue.
- The active ingredients in the pesticide to be used.
- Potential negative health effectives and usual symptoms of poisoning related to the active ingredient.
- The form of pesticide and its application techniques.
- Non-toxic alternatives offered.
- Special steps to diminish your exposure to the pesticide (i.e. vacating your home, removing pets, or emptying the cupboards).
- Instructions to reduce your pest issues in the future.
Reliability is a must
Don’t rely on a company salesperson who is motivated by commission to tell you if the company has a good track record. Conduct the research individually. Ask trusted neighbors, family members, coworkers and friends if they have had any experiences with the company. Were they satisfied with the services and results? Check your local Better Business Bureau (BBB) or state pesticide regulatory office in addition to customer review sites such as Angie’s List and Yelp for information on recent violations, complaints or unresolved issues.
Insurance makes everyone happy
Does the company you’re looking into have appropriate insurance? Ask for paper proof the company is insured. Many contractors carry liability insurance in addition to insurance for abrupt and unexpected pollution. The insurance provides a certain level of protection should a mishap take place while pesticides are being applied on your property.
Contractors may also carry workmen’s compensation insurance, which can help shield you from out-of-pocket medical expenses if an employee was injured while working in or around your residence. Though many states do not require insurance, carefully consider potential consequences before hiring a company that is not insured.
Be skeptical if a company does not guarantee its work. Also, make sure you understand what terms must be followed to keep the guarantee a sealed deal. For instance, in the case of termite control treatments, a company’s guarantee may prove void if you make structural changes to your home without giving notice to the company beforehand.
A professional alliance
Check if the company you’re looking into is affiliated with a professional pest control association. National, state or local professional associations keep members posted on new developments in pest control methods, safety, research, training and regulations. Members must follow an ethics code. If a company chooses to join a professional organization, this indicates its concern for superior service.
Make your concerns known
A contract should be developed between you and the company of choice. Your safety concerns should be noted. Determine the type of pesticides to be used. Concerns might include allergies, sensitivities, age of resident occupants, resident pets, and treatment near fish or other wildlife.
Smart shoppers get bids from several companies and choose value over price. What appears a bargain may deserve a second look. For instance, a company may charge less but not provide guarantees, insurance or comprehensive service.
- Can the company offer an estimate for its services in writing? (Some offer free estimates).
- After you get estimates from several companies, compare their rates and services.
- Does the company require you to sign up for a long-term contract? If so, evaluate the costs.
- What are the terms of agreement if a company is available to provide a guarantee for its work?
If you decide to hire a pest control firm to handle the problem, request the company use the least toxic chemical method available that will provide effective results. Ask to see the label or Material Safety Data Sheet, which will provide precautionary notice.
Make sure the employees are responsible about wearing protective equipment when necessary. Ask the operators what measures they will take to prevent unnecessary exposures and accidents.
GCE Pests hopes these tips will help you decide how to choose a reputable pest control company. Our main goal is to help protect your home, business, and family from unwanted pests. If you have any wisdom to share about how to choose a pest control company, feel free to comment below!