Exterminating or pest management can be a very emotional topic. When ants, rodents, flies, termites, or roaches invade your space, there is a high level of stress. On top of the stress of the pest infestation or potential infestation, dealing with an extermination company can add to the difficulties. There are a few tips that can help reduce the stress and to allow you to make the best decision.
Realize that not all extermination services are the same.
Each company may have their preferred method of managing pests. There are multiple technologies available to handle pests and a good company will be able to explain their preferred methods and why they choose those methods. For example, for subterranean termite control, most companies offer a baiting system which involves the installation of stations containing a bait material which the termites feed on and then carry to the colony to control it. Another choice is the traditional liquid treatment applied around the structure. The third choice is to treat wood with borates. This can be confusing but ask about the exterminator company’s preferred methods and ask them why. Also, pricing will vary by pest. Control of termites using a traditional treatment may cost thousands of dollars as the materials and labor are extensive, while controlling a few roaches in a kitchen may cost a tenth of a termite job since time and materials are dramatically less.
Ask about training of the technicians and technical staff.
Larger national companies have award winning educational programs for employees which service your account. The courses include biology, customer service, extermination techniques, and safety. The best professional companies employ technical staff including at least one scientist trained in the science of extermination. Ask if the company you are considering has degreed scientists on staff and review the scientists’ resumes. You might save a few dollars by using a company with no degreed technical staff, but you won’t have access to a scientist if the need arises.
Buy value, not price.
The price of extermination can be confusing to the average consumer, especially when they know that they can buy the control product at a hardware store for one tenth of what it costs to hire an exterminator. The main cost of services, just as with most service industries, is the cost of labor. Today’s pest technicians are educated, experienced, and knowledgeable. They also must have properly maintained vehicles, insurance, state agriculture department licenses, and of course, costs associated with employees such as taxes, benefits, etc. Just as with any profession, the cost is not the material used but the cost of education and doing the job right. This is why it important to not just look for the cheapest company, but rather the most valuable to you.
Be wary of the exterminator who comes to your home uninvited and offers to inspect your house for free for pests.
While good and honest companies might go door to door as part of their marketing, do your homework. This suggestion is not just to protect your pocketbook, but to protect you as well. Inviting someone who you didn’t call can be risky, so ask to see their credentials from the company. Company identification does not guarantee that the company is credible, but it reduces chances of being scared into unnecessary treatments by fly by night companies. Few pest situations are so urgent that you don’t have the time to make rational decisions. Don’t let anyone in your house if they don’t have a company identification. Feel free to call the company to confirm that their employee is on site especially if you never heard of the company. For extensive jobs, get several quotes and choose the company that is best for you. Also, when you do sign a contract, there is period by law when you can change your mind. Protect yourself by not making a mistake.