Getting Bugged? Make Sure Your Pest Management is Handled by a Pro

April 15, 2013

Vancouver - April 15, 2013 - April is National Pest Management Month, according to the Canadian Pest Management Association. 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 the past 12 months, more than 16,000 consumers inquired the 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 trust. BBB and CPMA recommend the following tips for finding a qualified pest management professional:

Check them out.
Evaluate pest control professionals and companies that are members of local associations. Always check out the business' BBB Business Review at first. Ask friends and neighbours to recommend pest control companies they have used successfully and ask how satisfied they were with the service.

Always deal with a qualified and licensed pest management company.
Ask to see the Ministry of Environment certification and license or other credentials of the pest control professional that comes to solve your pest problem. You can verify whether a company is licenced by checking the ministry's website. If you would like to verify that the pesticide applicator visiting your home or business is certified, you may call the Ministry of Environment to confirm. For the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island, you can call 604.582.5200. For all other regions in B.C., call (250) 387-9955.

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. Ask them how they incorporate integrated pest management (IPM) into their treatment plan. IPM adapts treatment plans for the particular pest involved and examines the physical and cultural conditions that are contributing to the pest. They don't just spray chemicals and leave. Pest control treatments that use integrated pest management as well as chemicals are often more effective. Of course, the use of IPM involves more labour so these treatment plans may be the reason you are hearing such a wide range of quotes.

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.

Don't fall for high-pressure sales tactics. Buy value, not price. It is not unusual for someone to buy the cheaper service when the pest problem was small and then need to hire the gold standard treatment because the pest becomes well established due to poor quality pest control. It may sound cheaper at first, but it may end up very expensive over time. 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.