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Greater Houston and South Texas

Educational Consumer Tips

Pest Control

Author: Better Business Bureau
Published:

When the pest control job gets too big for a flyswatter, a mousetrap or a do-it-yourself spray, it's probably time to call in a professional service. Before you do, check around for a reliable one. Avoid anyone who comes to your home uninvited and offers to give your house or business a free inspection. Be on the lookout for those without any qualifications who call themselves pest control specialists. Ask friends and neighbors to recommend companies. Your county agricultural agent is a good source of information on reliable pest control companies.

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 and terms of payment. 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. Don't expect on application or a series of treatments to last indefinitely. Some pest control companies offer renewable re-treatment warranties.

Be sure the company has liability insurance to cover any damages to your home or furnishings. Also ensure that the company is properly licensed, if your state requires licensing of pest control companies, to use pesticides.

If a sizable amount of money is involved, don't hesitate to get several estimates. Even termite damage won't get significantly worse if you wait a week or two before authorizing treatment. Once you are confident of the company's reputation, follow exactly any special instructions designed to protect food, household objects, pets and the general safety of your family.