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Educational Consumer Tips

Pest Control

Author: Better Business Bureau

Achieving an environmentally responsible balance with pesticides is critical. If too little is used, the treatment will be ineffective. If too much, it can be toxic. That's why states regulate and license pest control businesses and why the federal government requires that certain chemicals be certified for use. In short, pesticides are chemicals artificially placed in an area to control a variety of animals, insects, or microbes that may be harmful to humans because of the damage they do or the diseases they carry.

Three common methods of pest control are capture, eradication, or barrier systems. Look for a company that can properly diagnose and recommend treatment that minimizes risks to other animals and people. Keep in mind that some pests may be best controlled through other services, like lawn care.

Beware of scare tactics and door knocker lines like, "I just treated a neighbor's house, and I can give you a special deal." Get the door knocker's name and business number, and if interested, tell him you will call him back. Then call the BBB right away for a report.

Reliable independent information is available from your U.S.D.A. county extension agent. Since services are typically performed under a contract, read it carefully. No treatment program can promise that they will be 100% effective. Pests often return and may require repeated treatments. For that reason, be especially alert to details about treatment plans, guarantees, and time restrictions on those guarantees. Also check to see their liability insurance for any damages that may be done to your home.

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