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How to Choose a Pest Control Company: A Homeowner’s Guide

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how to choose a pest control company

Are you looking for an exterminator? If so, you know there are many options, and it can be challenging to find the right one.

At Pest Dude, we specialize in helping people learn to do their own pest management. We also work with a nationwide network of expert pest management professionals, so we know a good company when we see one.

In this blog, we share our top tips for finding a reliable pest control company and red flags to watch out for.

Tips for Selecting a Good Pest Control Service

Want to find the right pest control company for your needs?
Follow these tips:

Certification

1. Has a valid license, insurance policy, and certification 

Whatever you do, DO NOT work with a pest management company that doesn’t have a valid license, insurance policy, or certification!

While you can ask the pest management team to provide proof of licensing and insurance, you can also verify license information by calling your state’s Department of Agriculture or look the company up in your state’s Department of Consumer affairs website.

2. Is part of a professional pest control association

For best results, find a pest management company that belongs to a professional pest control association, like the Professional Pest Management Alliance (PMA) or the National Pest Management Association (NPMA).

Membership in a professional association is a good sign that the professional adheres to specific standards of practice and receives the continuing education necessary to stay on the cutting edge of the pest management industry.

Safety

3. Prioritizes safety

Pesticides, trapping, and other pest management tactics can be dangerous, so it’s essential to find a pest management team that prioritizes the safety of their team, your family, your pets, and non-target species.

Look for pest management professionals who always wear personal protective equipment (PPE) when applying pesticides, follow all label directions carefully, and will explain necessary safety precautions to you and your family.

4. Offers green pest control

The safest pest management companies out there prioritize eco-friendly pest control and green pest management methods. This means they use naturally derived pesticides whenever possible and prioritize non-toxic methods, like habitat modification, trapping, and exclusion.

Pricing and Services

5. Is transparent about its methods

Good pest management companies are happy to provide information about the pesticides and methods they use and will discuss how they develop pest control plans for their customers.

For best results, look for a team that utilizes an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach and only leverages pesticides when necessary. The company should be happy to provide details about their methods and listen (and respond to) any concerns you have.

6. Guarantees their services

Pest control is a variable field. It’s tough to eliminate all the pests in an area with a single treatment.

Because of this, you should look for a pest control company that guarantees its services and will work with you to continue providing treatments until your pest problem is a thing of the past.

7. Offers service packages

To ensure your property stays pest-free, look for a pest management professional offering service packages rather than one-off jobs. This is a great way to take a “set it and forget it” approach to pest management and to build a relationship with a local pest control professional!

Reputation

8. Has happy customers

Before you hire any company, check their reviews. You can do this by googling the business name and checking listings like Yelp, the Better Business Bureau, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the State Attorney General’s Office, or the EPA.

These sources will feature references, reviews, and (possibly) complaints about the company, so they’re a great place to gather more information.

9. Prioritizes professionalism

Just like pest management is a variable field, it’s also a sensitive one! You don’t want to work with any team that’s not professional and experienced. With this in mind, look for signs of professionalism and quality.

Business uniforms, a business telephone number and address, a decent company website, and a clean, well-maintained fleet of vehicles are all good signs that you’re working with a legitimate, experienced pest control company that values its reputation.

10. Is locally based

There are different pests in different parts of the country, and the only way to guarantee you’re working with a pest professional who understands the pests in your area is to work with a local company.

In addition to providing faster service and better-quality pest treatments, local companies understand the unique factors contributing to pest problems in their area, so they’re better equipped to get rid of pests quickly and efficiently.

11. Collect several estimates from prospective companies

Prices and services vary between pest management companies. Because of this, we recommend collecting estimates from a few companies in your area.

Ensure the company offers an estimate for their services in writing (bonus points if it’s free!). NEVER trust a pest management company that provides an estimate without inspecting your home and property first.

Once you’ve gathered a few estimates, compare them to understand how rates and services differ. You should also read the fine print of the estimate – does the company require a long-term contract with their services?

If so, what are the terms and costs associated with it? Does the company guarantee their work? Do they provide a warranty? This will help you narrow the field and determine which companies could be the right fit.

Red Flags to Watch Out For

Knowing what warning signs to look out for regarding pest control services is essential.

With that in mind, avoid companies that…

  • Offer pest control as part of a package deal, lumped in with services unrelated to pest control, like home inspections or tree trimming.
  • Don’t have a listed or working telephone number.
  • Sell services door-to-door, pressure you into signing contracts, or arrive unexpectedly to suggest your neighborhood suddenly has a pest problem.
  • Quote a per-gallon price. This is problematic because some extermination services require hundreds of gallons of pesticides.
  • Use pest control products not registered by the U.S. EPA and the Department of Agriculture.
  • Say they have extra pesticides left over from another job and offer to give you a discounted rate if you book an immediate treatment.

Finally, it’s important to note that government agencies DO NOT endorse any service company or specific pesticide product.

So, be wary of companies that say they have endorsements by the State Departments of Agriculture, the U.S. EPA, or any other government agency.

Questions to Ask a Pest Control Professional

Before you hire a pest management team, ask the following questions:

  • What are the terms of the agreement? You should know the length of the contract, how often the service will be provided, and the expected response time.
  • What guarantees do you provide? Inquire about the guarantees the company offers and what would void the contract.
  • How do you keep records? It’s crucial to know how the company keeps its records and whether they will be easily accessible to you.
  • What’s your scheduling process? Ask about scheduling and whether the technician will contact you via text or call to narrow the arrival window or inform you if they will be late.
  • Do I have to be home during service? It’s important to know if you need to be present during the service and, if not, how the team provides service in your absence.
  • How do you train your staff? Inquire about the company’s training policy to ensure their technicians are up-to-date with the latest techniques.
  • Are you a member of pest management associations? Check if the company is a member of a professional association such as the National Pest Management Association, Florida Pest Management Association, Certified Pest Control Operators, or a similar professional organization.

Are you Looking for a Reliable Pest Control Service? We can Help!

Do you need a reliable pest control company you can trust? You’ve come to the right Place. At Pest Dude, we partner with a network of skilled pest professionals nationwide.

Contact us today at (844) 532-0076, and we’ll refer you to one of our expert partners in your area.

Helpful Resources

Pest Control License Lookup

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Author Bio: Zachary Smith

Zachary Smith is the founder of PestDude.com. Zachary is a licensed pest control professional with 20+ years of hands on experience eradicating pests from homes and businesses. Zachary earned his Bachelor of Science from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 2002. He specializes in rodent and insect infestation management of structures and landscapes. His passion is to share his extensive knowledge with the world.

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