Considering hiring a pest control company can be stressful. Maybe it is the sudden appearance of a hoard of ants or even worse a swarm of wasps that have seemingly come out of nowhere. These pests need to disappear soon but you aren’t sure what to do. Pest control companies are an option but do they actually work?
Pest control companies that are experienced really do work to remove pests and prevent outbreaks. Checking if a company is properly licensed and staff a trained entomologist are great steps to ensure they are reliable.
Working with a pest control company can provide peace of mind and protect your home from unwanted intruders. Most pest control companies are legitimate but the industry can lend itself to some unscrupulous behavior. It is important to screen the company you choose to work with and be sure they actually know how to provide a valuable service that keeps pests at bay.
How To Determine If A Pest Control Company Is Reliable
If you have just discovered a pest issue at your house, don’t freak out. Take some time to relax and look at your options. Decide if hiring a pest control company is the best option or if you can handle it yourself with DIY solutions.
When comparing your local pest control companies the overarching themes you will want to remember are the quality of the service and the value provided. Quality comes through the use of proper removal methods while value comes through the service provided compared to the cost of other services available. If you have decided to go work with a pest control company below is a method to narrow down your options.
Start off by creating a list of 5-10 pest companies in the area. Researching online is a great way to eliminate companies. If they have a wealth of negative reviews or a website that looks dated with little information, you can assume their service is similar in quality. Read through the reviews on yelp and google and get a feel for the local companies. You can also search a company on the better business bureau for complaints. It is not uncommon for a company to not be registered on this site, you are only in search of complaints and negative experience reports.
After you have a feel for the local pest control companies, you should call the 2 or 3 you think are the best based on your observations. If you suspect the size of your pest problem to be large you may wish to shop around more and start with a bigger list. When calling you should ask the following questions to further verify the legitimacy of a company.
- How long they’ve been in business. Correlates to a companies time in the industry and experience dealing with problems. As a general rule of thumb the longer the better. However, just because a company has not been in business for very long does not mean they are incapable of providing good service.
- To see a copy of their pest control license. You can verify the companies pest control license number by calling your state’s department of agriculture or searching on your state specific agriculture website. Make sure the license not only exists but is current.
- Ask if they have a licensed pesticide applicator or technician applying the services. Pest control companies are required to have at a minimum one certified pesticide applicator. This certification is separate from the pest control license and can also be validated by calling the your state specific department of agriculture.
- If they have a trained entomologist on staff. Having a trained entomologist can be a sign that a company is serious. Someone dedicated to the study of insects shows that the company has dealt with larger problems and is well suited to work with you.
- Ask if they have a guarantee behind their service. Some companies will offer to come back after the original treatment if pests are spotted again. This shows that the company stands behind their service and has an incentive to do the job right the first time. Be sure to read the fine print on any guarantee and make sure it does not have conditions attached such as paying a monthly service fee.
After asking those questions ask to receive a quote. Below are some things you should watch out for that cause people to spend more than necessary and can result in confusion.
- Social Presence: As mentioned above bad reviews and an out of date website with irrelevant information are telltale signs that you should stay away from a given company.
- Claim To Find Bugs Around: If a pest control company attempts to use evidence of bugs found in and around neighbors houses you should be suspicious. Especially if you have not seen the company in your neighborhood. This can be a tactic to convince you of a problem that does not exists.
- The Secret Sauce: If anyone claims to have a “secret pest killing high powered formula” of the like you should stay away. Law requires that pest control companies and products disclose the ingredients in their pesticides and that the pesticides meet certain safety guidelines.
- Unprofessional: If employees of the company do not appear professional and are unable to answer questions this can give insight to other bad operations and serve as reason to not work with a company.
- Dodgy Contracts and Up-sells: Some pest control firms will try to bundle lots of services together. For example they may try to sell grass cutting and leaf blowing with their standard pest service. Often these services are overpriced and come with stubborn contracts. Be sure to know what you agree to and sign off on.
After researching, making calls and getting quotes you should have all the information you need to weigh the pros and cons and make an informed decision. Pick the company that you think provides the most value for the cost quoted.
Use common sense during the research process and you’ll be able to find a reliable company that is happy to have you as a customer. Once a pest service is completed check in with the company regularly to make sure that you are receiving any follow-up services required and paid for.
Are Pest Control Companies worth the cost?
Determining if hiring a pest control company is worth the cost to you is situation dependent. It often depends on your finances and how valuable the service is to you. Here are some common reasons that make hiring a pest control company worth it.
Pests are Overwhelming
If DIY methods seem too complicated and your problem is growing it can start to feel overwhelming. Hiring an experienced pest control company that knows what they are doing can relieve that overwhelming feeling and take the pressure off.
Taking the time to control pests yourself can involve countless hours of research organizing a removal solution. If that solution does not work then you are back at square one, spending more time deciding what to do. Your time could be better spent with your family or on a hobby. Hiring a pest control company does not take early as much time as doing it yourself and is a hands off experience.
Peace of Mind
As mentioned before some pest control companies offer a guarantee that the pests in your home will not come back. This can provide peace of mind knowing that help is only a phone call away. It is also good to know that services will be provided properly and professionally. Dangerous chemicals are sometimes used in the treatment process and it is best to get advice and service from experienced people.
Hiring a pest control company is a decision that comes down to what is best for a specific person. Sometimes a few DIY methods, baits and traps make all the difference you need. Other times the situation is out of hand and professionals are needed right away. Take your options into consideration and choose what is best suited for you.
Do Pest Control Methods Actually Work?
If you want to further look into how various pest control methods and treatments work and how effective they are, you’re in luck! We have a whole article written on this topic which can be found here.