Top 10 Questions to Ask a Pest Control Company
When pests invade your home, you are faced with several important decisions. First, should you call a professional for pest control services? If so, how should you choose a pest control company?
It might seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. We’ll cover important questions to ask pest control to ensure you find the company that will take care of your needs best. As you start this process, consider the benefits of pest control and its importance to health and safety.
The Importance of Pest Control
Pests are everywhere, from mice to termites, and everything in between. Here’s how pests impact the world around them:
- Food sanitation – According to the Indiana State Department of Health, at least 20 percent of the world’s food is eaten or contaminated by mice and rats every year.
- Allergies – Insects can cause allergy flare-ups and serious reactions from bites.
- Disease – Pests can carry and transmit serious diseases to humans and pets.
- Crops – Pests damage significant amounts of crops. If not eliminated, pests could destroy even more of these valuable resources.
- Bites – Bites can result in allergic reactions, disease transmission or simple irritation. The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology reports that insect stings and bites send 500,000 Americans to the emergency room each year.
- Fires – Infestations can create hazardous settings that result in fire.
- Property damage – Pests destroy woodwork, wiring, drywall and more. Termites alone cause $5 billion in damages each year, according to the National Pest Management Association.
- Fabric damage – Pests can destroy furniture, bedding and curtains as they nest and eat.
- Psychological effects – No one enjoys the feeling of creepy crawlies in their home or on their skin.
The proper pest control can keep pests in check and ensure you don’t end up with a full-blown infestation.
Questions to Ask a Pest Control Company
If you’ve reviewed the benefits and have decided to move forward with selecting a pest control company, you must next navigate the process of choosing one. Smart consumers properly vet a company before trusting technicians with their home, family and wallet. Without the proper research, homeowners experience poor service and disappointing outcomes.
Don’t let this be your experience. Thoroughly research each company. Use the following top questions to ask a pest control company to help you determine which one is worthy of your business:
- Are Your Technicians Licensed?
Anyone can hang out a shingle and claim to be a professional pest control company, so you’ll want to verify that the company offers licensed technicians. This licensure is required by all states and ensures the technicians are properly trained in pesticide laws, use and application.
Legitimate companies should have this information readily available. If they can’t provide a license number, find another company who can.
- How Much Training and Experience Do Your Technicians Have?
Some pests are common. Others are rare. First, find out how much industry experience the company’s technicians offer. Then, find out how much expertise the company has with your specific infestation.
Even if they have been in the industry for many years, they may not have much experience with your type of insect or rodent. Confirm the pest control company has the knowledge and tools required to properly handle your unique pest control needs.
- How Long Have You Been in Business?
Look for a long track record of success. An established pest control company offers in-depth knowledge and experience. A new business may offer decent service, but they have little to offer when it comes to skills in customer care and other business practices.
If they’ve been around for a while, it’s also more likely they will be around in the future to stand behind their work. You don’t want to choose a company that delivers ineffective pest control services and goes out of business a month later.
- Can You Provide Testimonials or Reviews?
This is an important question to ask a pest control company because it establishes their reputation and reliability. A solid business offers reviews on their website and other sources. Check their rating with the Better Business Bureau, the local chamber of commerce and other industry sites. Read through these testimonials before choosing a pest control company.
If they don’t offer any testimonials or references, this probably means they are not a well-established business, or they have received negative reviews they don’t want to share. Either way, they are not the best pest control company to choose.
- What Pest Control Treatments Do You Use?
Before you select a pest control company, they should provide a plan of attack for your infestation. No reliable company simply “wings it” when it comes to insect or rodent control. They should explain which traps, sprays or baits they will use. They should also be able to explain how their technicians decide which to use.
The pest control company should explain where and how they will apply these solutions as well. Once they provide this information, verify they are using the appropriate methods for your needs.
- Are Your Methods Safe for Children and Pets?
Ensure your family is safe. Find out if you must leave your home during pest control services. This may be necessary, depending on which methods they use for your treatment. Pest control companies must reveal any potential hazards to your family, pets and the environment.
If they hesitate to answer this question, find another company. If they are using methods that make you uncomfortable, continue your search.
- Do Your Treatments Prevent Future Infestations?
When choosing a pest control company, you want to select one that takes steps to prevent future problems. It’s not enough to simply rid your home of the pests you see. Their efforts should eliminate pests and provide preventive measures that keep them from coming back. Otherwise, the company is simply setting you up for future problems, perhaps in hopes of charging you again for additional treatments.
Don’t give these companies your business. Pest control technicians with your best interest in mind will work to ensure you don’t have recurring pest issues.
- Do You Offer Estimates?
Your final bill should not be a surprise. An established pest control company should be able to provide an estimate for their services, if not an exact quote based on an initial inspection. If they have the experience and expertise you seek, this should not be difficult to provide. This initial number should not vary greatly from the final total.
Ask for an estimate up front and confirm how much variation, if any, you can expect in your bill. Vague answers or a promise to “keep it in the ballpark of what’s fair” are not specific enough. A professional company will handle this in a professional, precise manner.
- Do You Require a Contract?
Many pest control companies offer seasonal or year-round service programs to keep your home pest-free. Find out what programs the business offers and determine if you will receive a one-time service, annual treatment plan, or other plan.
The pest control company should clearly explain what is covered and the cost involved for each option. A trustworthy company will answer all your questions about their services and work with you to determine the best solution for your setting and situation.
- Do You Offer Any Guarantees?
When selecting a pest control company, it’s important to find out if they back their work and what plan will be in place if you experience future issues. Do they offer complete customer satisfaction guarantees? Will you get your money back if you experience future infestations?
A solid company knows they can stand behind their work and will not hesitate to ensure your complete satisfaction.
How to Choose the Right Pest Control Company
Asking the right questions is simply one part of how to choose a good pest control company. To find the best technicians, it’s also important to follow the dos and don’ts of choosing a pest control company. These will guide you in your selection process and help you avoid common consumer mistakes.
As you go through the process of selecting a pest control company, keep these dos and don’ts in mind:
Do – Compare Companies
Yes, it’s time consuming, but it is well worth the effort. Choosing the first company you find may not result in the experience you desire. You have no way of knowing if their pricing is fair and accurate for your market. You don’t know if another company would recommend a completely different solution that would be more appropriate for your issue.
By comparing at least two companies, you gain a better understanding of the quality of each and the options available to you. A good rule of thumb is to compare three pest control companies.
Do – Ask Questions
Don’t be shy about asking questions as you choose a pest control company. Make a list of questions to ask pest control and keep asking until you are satisfied you have all the information you need. You are not wasting your time or theirs. You are not being overly demanding as a consumer, either.
If you are going to trust a pest control company to perform services in your home, you have a right to know with whom you are conducting business. You should feel comfortable with the answers they have provided and confident in their ability to meet your pest control needs. Keep asking questions until you reach this point.
Do – Check References
Reading reviews on a pest control company’s website is a good idea, but it’s also good to take this reference check a step further. Look for other sites that offer pest control company ratings. Check with sources such as the Better Business Bureau or pest control associations.
These outside sources can offer non-partial reviews and provide a more rounded view of the company’s performance. While their own site will probably only include positive reviews, these additional sources can help reveal if the business has received bad ones as well.
Don’t – Feel Pressured Into a Contract
Many pest control companies offer on-going services. However, whether it’s a yearly contract, seasonal applications or a monthly agreement, you should not be required to pay for any services you don’t desire. If you don’t want to establish a contract with this company, say so.
Never enter into an agreement with a business based on pressuring sales methods or scare tactics. If you feel a company is using these ploys to get your business, find another company that will not apply this unprofessional pressure.
Don’t – Hire a Company That Makes You Uncomfortable
When you’re choosing a pest control company, select one you are completely comfortable with. You want to find a company that you can become lifelong partners with for all your future pest control needs.
If any of their practices make you uncomfortable, why choose them? If their pesticide methods, estimates, guarantees or any other practices leave you feeling uneasy, find another company. It’s your home, your money and your family at stake. These precious resources are worthy of your complete comfort.
Don’t – Take Their Word for It
A solid company should put everything in writing. There’s no need to rely on a phone conversation or handshake. When you ask for an estimate or quote, the pest control company should provide this in writing. It should be on professional letterhead and be signed and dated by a company representative.
If you agree on a service contract, the company should also provide this in writing. They should spell out all the details of what is included in your agreement. If they offer a guarantee, they should also deliver this in written form, stipulating exactly what they will do if you are not satisfied with their services.
In addition to these essential dos and don’ts, watch for the following red flags as you are selecting a pest control company.
- The company offers package deals that include other non-pest-control services.
- They don’t have a dedicated business phone number.
- A technician or representative arrives as a door-to-door salesman promoting their services.
- They lack credentials, including licensing, bonding and insurance.
- The company claims to have found the secret formula for pesticide or pest control.
- They use pressure tactics.
- The pest control service offers false endorsements by government agencies.
Why You Need a Pest Control Company and Why You Should Hire Pest Pros
When your home is invaded by unwanted pests, you need effective pest-control solutions. Hiring professionals gets you these solutions. Expert pest control helps you prevent health issues, gets to the root of the problem and prevents future infestations. It saves time, money and hassle.
As you are choosing a pest control company, consider the benefits you’ll get when you choose Pest Pros:
- We are locally owned and operated. As your trusted local pest control professionals, we take pride in our work. Our aim is to serve our community by developing life-long, trusted relationships with our customers.
- Our technicians are certified professionals with extensive experience. Pest Pros technicians are certified by the Massachusetts Pesticide Bureau. We are constantly learning and training, so we can provide leading-edge pest control services.
- We do it all. Pest Pros offers a full range of extermination specialties. We provide pest control for a wide range of insects and rodents including mice, rats, bees, ants, termites, earwigs, fleas, mosquitos, ticks, crickets and spiders.
- We stand by our work unconditionally. At Pest Pros, we monitor our performance continuously to maintain complete customer satisfaction. Our work is guaranteed — with no ifs, ands or buts.
- We offer client testimonials. See what others are saying! The team at Pest Pros invites you to read our client testimonials available on our website for your review.
To discover more about our services or to schedule an appointment with one of our certified technicians, contact us today.