Educational Consumer Tips

**** Pest Control

Author: Better Business Bureau

When your pest control job gets too big for a flyswatter, mousetrap or a do-it-yourself spray, it's probably time to call in a professional service. Before you do, ask your friends and neighbors for recommendations. Check out their reliability. Pest control can be an ongoing necessity or a one-time service. Pest control companies are regulated by a number of agencies, especially in regard to the chemicals they use. Here are some things to consider: ..Avoid hiring anyone who comes to your home uninvited and offers to give your house a free inspection. They may call themselves specialists but have no qualifications. They may try to scare you into authorizing immediate and costly treatment they say is necessary to prevent the collapse of ceilings and doors. Another favorite gimmick is to bring along frightening specimens of spiders or cockroaches and pretend to find them in your home. These transients move frequently and specialize in one-time treatments: their guarantees are meaningless. ..Do your homework. To aid in your search for a reliable pest control service, your BBB can provide a list of members in the industry which can serve as an excellent starting point. Your county agriculture agent is a good source of information on pest, pest control, and reliable pest control companies. Also ask friends and neighbors to recommend companies with which they were satisfied. ..Before you sign a contract for pest control services, be sure you fully understand the extent of infestation, the work necessary to solve the problem, the price involved, payment terms and the terms of contract. ..Know what the guarantee covers, how long it lasts, and what you must do to keep it in force. Also check the contract to determine whether continued prevention and control is included. ..Be sure the pest control company has liability insurance to cover any damage to your home furnishings. Also ensure that the company is properly licensed. For information or assistance, call the Division of Pesticides, Frankfort, Kentucky: 502-573-0282. ..Once you are confident of an exterminator's reputation, trust his or her judgment. Follow exactly any special instructions designed to protect food, household objects, pets and the general safety of your family. ..Don't expect one application or a series of treatments to last indefinitely. Rarely, for example, can a house be guaranteed to remain free of roaches for more than six months. Some pest control companies offer renewable re-treatment warranties.