Getting Bugged? Make Sure Your Pest Management is Handled by a Pro
When your pest problem gets too big for a flyswatter, a mousetrap or do-it-yourself spray, it's time to call in a professional service. In 2013, more than 850,000 people turned to Better Business Bureau for information on pest control services.
Take the time needed to select a reputable business, and make sure you’re doing business with someone you can trust. The BBB and the National Pest Management Association recommend the following tips for finding a qualified pest management professional:
Check them out. Evaluate pest control professionals and companies that are members of national, state or local associations. Ask friends and neighbors to recommend pest control companies they have used successfully and ask how satisfied they were with the service. Always check out the business’ BBB Business Review. Also, remember that the company that buys the most advertising isn’t always the best choice.
Always deal with a qualified and licensed pest management company. Ask to see the license or other credentials of the pest control professional that comes to solve your pest problem.
Don’t rush. If a sizable amount of money is involved, get bids from several pest management companies. Since you are paying for professional knowledge as well as skillful application of pesticides, look for someone whose judgment you can trust.
Understand before you sign. Before signing a contract, be sure to fully understand the nature of the household pest to be exterminated, the extent of the infestation, and the work necessary to solve the problem. Find out if the pest control company has liability insurance to cover any damages to your house or furnishings during treatment. If a guarantee is given, know what it covers, how long it lasts, what you must do to keep it in force, and what kind of continuing control, prevention and management are necessary. Make sure all promises are listed on the contract.
Don’t fall for high-pressure sales tactics. Buy value, not price. Beware of companies that offer bargains that sound too good to be true. Be wary of companies that come to your home uninvited and offer to give your house a free inspection for pests or press you for immediate and/or costly treatments. If the price offered requires an immediate decision, walk away.
Homeowners can also call state pest control regulatory agencies for information regarding the status of pest management companies. In most states the regulatory agency is the State Department of Agriculture.