Being inside the home should make you and your loved ones feel safe and protected. However, everyone may feel the complete opposite if there are pests indoors, from bed bugs to termites.
Even if only one part of the home is affected, it may spread to other areas until the issue becomes a house-wide problem. Before things go out of hand and wreak havoc on everyone’s indoor living, it is a good idea to get professional pest control services.
Here’s a short summary on how I choose Pest Control Company:
Build a list of various local pest control service companies by logging on to the web or asking for suggestions. Shortlist at least three service providers. Choose one after asking about important matters, such as a license, membership to a professional association, treatment provided, cost, and insurance.
Finding professional exterminators should be the least of your worries. It’s because you can easily come across them online or offline. What you should be concerned about, however, is signing up a company that’s perfect for the job.
Opt for the right service provider, and you can bid those pests getting on your nerves goodbye. Seal the deal with the wrong one, and you may end up with a much bigger problem.
But before we talk about the steps that you need to take when looking for a pest control company to put your trust in, let us first quickly discuss an important matter. And it’s none other than…
Know When to Seek the Help of the Industry Experts
You have a couple of choices when it comes to dealing with bed bugs or any other pests at home. They are doing it the DIY approach and calling professional exterminators.
One of the reasons why many homeowners try to control a pest-related issue with their own two hands is to save money. Hiring the pros does not come for free.
Often, the price tag doesn’t come cheap either. It all depends on the severity and extent of the problem. Many also like going for the DIY route for it involves the use of nothing but all-natural products. Some common examples are essential oils, rubbing alcohol, and diatomaceous earth.
However, it’s not all the time that home remedies can solve the problem. Especially if the issue is massive, doing them may no longer be the smartest step to take.
What’s more, it may cost more money in the long run. Such is due to buying the supplies constantly and potentially damaging one’s possessions or property.
It is when the DIY way is no longer applicable when the importance of letting a reliable and experienced pest control company do the job comes in.
The following are some of the reasons to let the pros spring into action:
- You are not 100% sure what the culprit is. There is no use in spraying neem oil into every nook and cranny in your bedroom to get rid of bed bugs if the ones responsible for your bite marks are not bed bugs. Before planning the best treatment, the exterminators will first figure out the cause.
- You want to end the problem quickly. Experts in pest control have access to chemicals and tools necessary for putting an infestation to an end. Because of this, they can get rid of pests that are bugging you quickly. However, take note that, in some instances, retreatments have to be performed every few months.
- You no longer want to have a reinfestation. No one can guarantee that the same problem will never show up again. However, with the help of the pros, you can enjoy a treatment with long-lasting effects. A service provider who cares will even give you tips on how to prevent seeing those pests again.
- You are too busy with work or raising a family. Although dealing with pesky critters yourself is extremely easy on the pocket, it tends to consume lots of your time and energy. If you don’t have the resources to carry out home remedies daily, getting in touch with the experts is the way to go.
Now that we have discussed why it makes perfect sense to sign up a pest control company servicing the residents in your area, it’s now time to know the steps that you should take before giving a service provider the go signal.
Get the Suggestions of Family and Friends
These days, most people head straight to the internet whenever they are on the hunt for products or services. You are not going to have a hard time finding local pest control companies on the web.
But before you ask Google, it is a great idea to ask your family and friends first if they have exterminators that they trust each time.
In the world of digital marketing, word-of-mouth advertising still works. News about the most excellent as well as the worst service providers in your area can be easily passed from one mouth to the next.
Because of this, you should never overlook the power of getting word about the right professional exterminators to hire. The people you approach will be more than happy to lend a hand by pointing you in the right direction.
Likewise, they can tell you which among the local pest control companies you should stay away from at all costs, based on their previous experiences with them.
However, there is a downside to this. And it’s none other than everyone you will ask will know or suspect that you have pests at home.
Because of this, they may make excuses each time you want to pay their homes a visit or ask them to drop by your home. After all, it’s no secret that some bugs can spread from home to home by clinging to clothes.
Do you want to get the suggestions of people you know but you don’t want to be judged? Then approach only the most understanding and caring ones.
Take a Look at Ratings and Reviews Online
Just in case you fail to get any good suggestions after asking around, you may check out what people on the internet are saying. There are many sites where you can easily come across ratings and reviews.
They include the pest control company’s business page, forum sites, and the website of either the Better Business Bureau (BBB) or Association of American Pesticide Control Officials (AAPCO).
It’s not uncommon for a business’ website to have reviews by the consumers. However, you should take them with a grain of salt.
That’s because what you are reading could be paid testimonials. The service provider may have also refused to approve or keep ratings that are less than five stars or reviews that are less than stellar.
Many of today’s consumers, including especially tech-savvy ones, run to the internet to get suggestions each time they are in need of a product or service. A lot of them also share their experiences with certain businesses or companies in cyberspace, particularly on forum sites.
Look for a site where the participants are talking about pest control services in your area. Doing so can give you an idea of which companies many local residents trust and which ones they are not happy with.
Visiting the websites of the BBB and AAPCO may also be done if you want to find out whether complaints have been filed against the service provider that’s on your list. Similarly, you may give these agencies a ring to ask personally.
Check That the Pest Control Company is Licensed
In the US, all companies providing pest control services need to be licensed. However, different states have their own conditions and terms when it comes to granting local businesses with a license.
Exterminators wanting to have a license have to go through a lot of things if they want to be able to operate legally in New Jersey. They must complete a pest control course, pass the exam, and participate in hands-on training that is at least 40 hours long.
However, it is a different story for those who want to be able to open up shop in California without breaking any law. That’s because they only need to pass an exam and undergo retraining every two years.
Ask the service provider that you are talking with if it has a license. If there’s none, immediately hang up the phone or quit replying to the email, and then proceed with interviewing the next company on your list.
When shelling out money to get the infestation at home dealt with, you want to make sure that you are paying the right people for the job. You want the task to be carried out by a business that knows what it’s doing.
The presence of a license means that the service provider was able to meet certain standards. It also means that the owner and the employees are undergoing training regularly to renew their licenses.
A fly-by-night pest control company won’t hesitate to lie to their potential customers for the sake of making profits. This is when the importance of doing your homework comes in. With the help of the internet, you can do a quick background check of the business that you are thinking about signing up.
See If the Company is a Member of APCA or NPMA
Joining a professional pest control association needs extra effort on the part of the company. It doesn’t matter if it’s local, state, or national. However, it is a clear display of its commitment to providing the best possible service.
Being a member of an official group of pest control professionals allows the owner as well as the employees to stay informed with the latest in pest control methods, research, safety, and regulations. So, in other words, the company can deal with pests in the most effective and safest manner.
What’s more, most professional groups, whether about pest control or something else, have a code of ethics that all members, including their respective workforce, have to abide by.
In the US, examples of national associations for pest control service providers are the American Pest Control Association (APCA), National Pest Management Association (NPMA), and Association of Structural Pest Control Regulatory Officials (ASPCRO).
There is even one for women in the pest control industry — Professional Women in Pest Management (PWPM).
Just because the company that you are interviewing isn’t a member of any professional groups doesn’t mean right away that it is no longer reliable and capable. It may still be able to give you high-quality pest control.
But still, it is easier for any homeowner to have peace of mind if he or she is about to sign the contract with a business whose credibility has the backing of an established group of experts.
Find Out Which Treatments are Available
In trying to put an end to an infestation professionally, it is not enough to ensure that the pests will be wiped out. It is also a must to check that you, your family members, and pets will be out of harm’s way during and after the treatment.
This is why you should refrain from sealing the deal with a local pest control company without asking first which kind of extermination that it specializes in.
Different treatments are employed by today’s exterminators. Some of them are able to provide an assortment of options, while others concentrate on one or two only.
One solution that the experts rely on to get rid of pests is chemical treatment. Despite the use of pesticides that may have unfavorable effects on the health, it is still a popular solution.
That’s because it is friendlier on the pocket compared to other treatments, such as heat treatment. As a matter of fact, more than 68% of home and business owners choose pest control services with chemical treatment due to its affordability.
However, chemical treatment tends to yield residues that you and your loved ones may inhale. If someone in the family has asthma or any other respiratory condition, then opting for chemical treatment, even though it can help save money, is not a smart move.
That’s because it can do more harm than good. There is no point in having a pest-free house if its residents are spending most of their time in a hospital to get treatment for their respiratory problems.
Before making the agreement official, don’t be too shy to ask the local pest control company that you are talking to how they are planning to solve your infestation. Also, inquire how long they have been doing it.
Ask for a Free Estimate
When choosing a company and treatment, one major consideration is your budget. Compared to DIY solutions for a home infestation, professional treatment does not come cheap.
The cost of chemical treatment, for instance, ranges from $250 to $1,000 per room. However, chemical treatment usually requires more than just one session.
In many cases, other methods have to be carried out, too. Even if it’s not as expensive as heat treatment, chemical treatment can still leave a hole in one’s pocket.
If you hate surprises, especially the kinds that appear on bills that you have to pay with your hard-earned cash, asking for an estimate before getting pest control services is a must. Unfortunately, not all companies out there give a rough calculation of the cost of the treatment for free.
Hang up the phone immediately if the one that you are talking to says that it can give you an estimate of the treatment only after you pay for the cost of the inspection and computation that need to be done.
As a general rule of thumb, you should get a free estimate from at least three service providers. And by the way, the free estimate made by a service provider should be written down.
Just because you are on a tight budget doesn’t mean that the best pest control company to hire is the one with the cheapest asking price. That’s because you may get what you pay for.
Needless to say, you should avoid making a decision based on the price alone. It is important to consider other aspects, too, when choosing a local exterminator. You should also follow what your brain dictates instead of just what your wallet says.
Double Check That the Company is Insured
The importance of opting for a service provider that is qualified and experienced cannot be stressed enough. However, no matter how good and cautious the exterminators are, there is still a risk of something wrong happening. This is why sealing the deal with an insured company is a definite must.
Most pest control companies have general liability insurance. Having one can help save you from shouldering the costs of dealing with an accident, such as damage to your property or the environment, during the treatment.
A lot of today’s professional exterminators have workmen’s compensation insurance, too. With it, you can be protected from shelling out money for the medical attention of an employee injured while working in or around your home.
Especially these days when the cost of medical care can reach sky-high, you should have second thoughts if the business and its employees are not properly insured.
It is perfectly understandable for a homeowner like you to want to put an end to an infestation in no time. However, you should also take your time when looking for a company that has the answer to your problem.
Shopping around helps increase your chances of getting your hard-earned cash’s worth. Shortlist at least three different companies whose names you got online or came out from the mouth of a family or friend.
Don’t be too embarrassed to contact the ones on the top of your list to ask some important questions. Remember to inquire about some of the things mentioned above, and you’re golden!
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