When you see a rodent or other pests in your home or business establishment, your first inclination is to call the first pest control company you find to take care of the problem. However, all pest management services are not created equal, and there are important questions to ask and things to consider before choosing the perfect pest management partner and signing a contract. Here are some guidelines so you can make a smart, well-informed decision.
Understand Regulations for Pest Control Companies
Although the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates all pesticides, pest control regulations and insurance requirements are usually the responsibility of the state where the facility being treated is located. This means that regulations can vary, and some states have stricter rules than others. Copies of laws and guidelines are usually available at the website of the state agency that regulates the pest control industry in your place of residence or place of business. Companies that operate in different states must comply with the rules in all locations.
Research Pest Management Firms with Reputable Resources
Since local state and county regulatory agencies handle regulations, testing requirements for pest control services and any complaints against companies and individual providers, they’re the perfect place to start if you’re researching a pest control company.
Some questions for the government agency include:
- How long has the company been licensed and what licenses do they currently hold?
- Is this pest control service (or individual) in good standing with the agency?
- Does this company or its employees have any complaints filed against them?
If there are complaints, ask further for a total number of filings and see if they have been resolved. Consider it a red flag if there are many complaints or if there has been any action against the company or associated parties, such as a lawsuit.
The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) is another good resource to learn about licensed pest control businesses. Their Find a Pest Control Professional tool lists pest control companies by location.
Pest management is extremely important for keeping family members, employees and customers safe, comfortable and healthy. Even a small pest problem can ruin a business! That’s why finding the best company is critical.
Ask a Prospective Pest Control Company the Right Questions
Before signing an agreement for pest control services, gather all the information you can about the company you’re considering. Here are important questions to ask.
- Do they have experience with similar facilities or homes in the same areas as yours? Do they know the types of pests to expect there?
- Do they provide an initial evaluation with a price quote, and what’s included in this assessment?
- Are they insured? Make sure that if someone makes a mistake while servicing your facility, their insurance provider will pay for all damages.
- What is the procedure for emergency calls? Can they address emergencies quickly?
- If your facility deals with organic foods, does their pest control service use organic products? Consider other requirements you may have for materials and processes used, and make sure they can comply.
- Do they have a staff entomologist to identify various insects and make treatment recommendations? (local species vs. non-local species)
- Do they have current knowledge of pest control regulations and practices?
- Is the company affiliated with a trade organization?
- Will they provide you with full, highly detailed documentation on devices, methods and substances used, in addition to regular monitoring of treatments and reporting of findings and results?
- Are they familiar with county and state laws and regulations for certain facilities, to make sure that your business complies?
Weighing Cost versus Value
As you consider which pest control company to hire for your home or business, you’ll want to consider not just the cost of the service, but what’s included in that quote.
At PestFix, we provide a complete solution for your general pest, rodent, ant, fly and odor control needs. We combine a wealth of knowledge and experience with honest, dedicated and reliable service. With our integrated pest management system, we will present you with a customized plan that directly addresses your pest problem and your requirements.