When pests invade your living space, they threaten your family, your health, and your overall well-being. Once this happens, it’s only a matter of time before an exterminator’s services are required. So how do you determine which is the best pest control company for your situation? Here are some tips that will get you headed in the right direction.
Are the Technicians Licensed?
Pest control may seem like a straightforward job, but it takes a lot of know-how. For this reason, technicians must undergo extensive training to become fully licensed. This training often entails receiving multiple certifications based on each insect species they deal with. If you are unsure whether a technician is properly licensed, you can call the state pesticide regulatory office for confirmation.
Do They Use Integrated Pest Management Techniques?
It used to be that exterminators would use potentially harmful pesticides without regard for safety. Nowadays, the pest management industry is far more safety conscious. Rather than simply spraying for bugs, technicians now implement science and integrated pest management techniques to counter pests.
Integrated pest management techniques include:
- Learning about the insect’s life cycle, food sources, and spawning areas to better understand how to deal with them properly.
- Monitoring the habits of the pests to find out when they are the most active and aggressive.
- Allowing non-harmful insects to thrive, as many of these are natural predators of common pests.
- Creating a timeline for the implementation of the treatment process.
Are the Technicians Experienced
As with any skilled trade, experience is vital for success. Technicians working in the field for years will understand what it takes to rid your home of pests. They will also know the pros and cons of each varying treatment technique and how to employ them safely. When choosing a pest control specialist, ensure that they have had plenty of hands-on experience.
Here are some experience related questions to ask before hiring a pest control company:
- How many years has the company been specializing in pest control?
- Does the company offer in-the-field training for newly hired technicians?
- Has the company dealt with insect problems similar to yours?
Does the Company Have a Good Reputation?
Reputation matters. If a company has a good reputation, it’s a good bet it can be counted on to get the job done right. Before deciding on a pest control company, check if they have any customer ratings or a customer satisfaction score available online. Additionally, try searching for the company on one of the many business review websites, such as Yelp or Angi.
However, perhaps the best way to find the best pest control company is through word-of-mouth recommendations. Ask your friends, family, and co-workers if they have had success with a specific exterminator. You may also want to request a customer reference list so that you can contact their previous customers. If you have any concerns about their trustworthiness as a business, then contact the Better Business Bureau.
Finding the Best Value
- Free estimates. The costs involved in hiring a pest control company vary significantly depending on the pest species and the size of the area to be treated. Thankfully, most exterminators offer free or very inexpensive estimates for their services. It is always wise to get the estimate in writing if there are any discrepancies down the road.
- Comparing rates & services. Shopping around to compare the fees that different companies charge can save you some serious cash. Since most companies offer free estimates, there is no excuse for not getting multiple service quotes.
- Contract length. Some companies require customers to sign long-term service contracts. If the company requires a long-term service contract, then be sure to check its long-term costs.
- Service guarantee. It’s recommended that you choose a pest control company that offers a guarantee on their service. The guarantee should cover the initial service and the entire duration that the treatment is expected to be in effect.
Good Customer Service Is Vital
A dedicated customer service line is a must for a pest control company. The customer service agents should be able to:
- Address any questions or concerns that you may have about the service and treatment process.
- Identify the pest, explain the extent of the infestation, and provide details about the pest and its behavior.
- Discuss product selection and other treatment details.
Whether you’re a customer or an employee, safety should always be the top priority in pest control. After all, pest management involves chemical pesticides, working in confined spaces, and potentially dangerous insects and animals. Before you choose a pest control company, consider the following safety-related topics.
- Low-toxicity pesticides. As pest control technologies have progressed, low-toxicity pesticides have replaced harsh chemical pesticides. Low-toxicity pesticides are less harmful to the environment and much safer to use in the home.
- Insurance. Pest control is generally safe, but accidents can happen anywhere. For this reason, insurance is a must for every insect extermination company. By hiring a fully insured company, you can rest knowing that you’re covered if an accident happens.
- Protective equipment. There is an array of protective equipment that pest control technicians should employ. Items like masks, plastic coverings, and safety harness all play an important role in keeping workers and customers safe.
- Exposure prevention. Although low-toxicity pesticides are relatively safe, they still threaten workers, homeowners, and especially children. By implementing preventative measures, such as limiting overspray and allowing adequate drying time, technicians can limit unnecessary exposure.
If you are sick and tired of pests invading your home, then it’s time to hire a pest control company. But before you pick up that phone, make sure you choose a reputable company with experienced technicians. Verify that they employ the latest pest management techniques, such as low-toxicity pesticides. Taking heed of these simple steps will help ensure that your pest problem will be a thing of the past.