As a home or business owner, dealing with a pest infestation definitely is not a pleasant task. Rodents, insects and other pests are more than just an annoyance; they can carry potential health risks, damage property and cost hundreds or thousands of dollars in repairs. Fortunately, there are professional companies willing to tackle pest and rodent problems safely and effectively. When it comes to choosing the right experts for your specific pest control needs, it pays to do some proper research first. Here are six tips for researching pest control companies.
Confirm the types of pests included, or not included, in regular pest control.
If a property manager or owner has a specific pest problem, it’s important to confirm that the pest control company can treat that issue. For example, many homeowners and businesses battle fire ants in the summer, but many north Alabama pest control companies do not include fire ant treatment as part of regular maintenance. Fire ants are often an additional service.
Does the company hold the proper licenses and certifications?
Operating commercial pest equipment and managing chemicals requires proper training and certification. It takes a lot of time, studying and field experiences to recognize regional pests, signs of damage and offer proper, effective treatment options. Don’t be afraid to ask what type of training and certifications your assigned technician(s) holds and how long they’ve worked in the business. Licenses and certifications required in north Alabama include, but are not limited to:
- Termite inspection and treatment
- Pest control application permit
Is the company insured and bonded?
Accidents can happen anywhere, which is why it’s important to confirm that the pest control company is insured and bonded in the unlikely event of an accident.
How many years have they been in business?
Find out how many years the company has been in business and at the current address. Customers can contact the Alabama State Department of Agriculture and find out if any serious complaints have been filed against the company or it’s technicians.
How often is service?
Some pest control companies may offer service bi-monthly, monthly or seven to eight times per year. It’s important to find out how often treatments are performed and if there is an additional fee if extra service is needed (such as ants or spiders getting into the house).
Read reviews and ask for references.
Check out the company’s online reviews. This is a great way to see what customers think of their service. If negative reviews have a similar theme, it could be worth making a note of that issue, but if most customers seem satisfied and their problems are solved, that’s worth noting too. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for references, especially for any that relate to your specific pest problem or neighborhood.
Watch out for these Red Flags
Any company that shows up unannounced at the door and offers to spray for bugs.
Reputable pest control companies will first do a visual inspection of the property and offer a solution(s). They will take note of the property’s square footage and surroundings and then come back with an estimate for service.
Anyone that suggests they have a “special” formula for pests or termites.
All pest control products are required to be registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Any “special” formulas are likely not registered nor have been reviewed by the EPA.
The phone number or website don’t work properly.
Make sure the company’s phone number is working and their website looks professional and is up-to-date. If you called the company and did not get a return call within 24 hours, that could be a sign of less than exceptional customer service.
The technicians are not wearing proper safety equipment.
Depending on the type of pest and treatment, technicians are required to wear specific safety gear, such as gloves and a respirator. For additional protection, it’s common for them to wear long pants and heavy shoes regularly.
Pests do not go away and stay away after one treatment. For continued success, it’s important to treat for pests on a regular basis, usually once a month every six to eight weeks, depending on the season. A reputable pest control company will alert customers as to when service is happening or have a schedule that’s easy to follow.
United Pest & Turf Control has been around for more than 33 years and is licensed and bonded to perform commercial and residential pest control treatments in north Alabama and south-central Tennessee.