A good pest control technician is like an “MD” for your home.
They are trained to crawl around your basement searching for signs of termite damage, rodent rub marks, or explore the attic in search of carpenter ant frass, wasp nests or any other signs of unwanted pests.
Often times when you, the homeowner, or building occupants are seeing signs of pest activity, this means that the infestation has already reached critical mass.
I was recently at a seminar having to do with mice and rodent infestations. The speaker made the point that anytime you see one mouse, you should multiply the number by 12. So if you’ve set up mouse traps in your home and caught four mice, this means that there could potentially be 48 left! Scary.
But mice are the least of your worries. If you’ve been seeing termite or carpenter ant swarmers, this could be the signs of major damage to your home.
The home has not followed the doctors orders by eating an apple a day, meaning it is not on a regular pest control maintenance plan. Now the home is sick and needs help.
So who do you call?
You need to know how to choose the “right” professional that will take care of your home, as well as your family and pets…we have the information to help you do just that.
The following is a summary on how to choose the right professional exterminator. It covers some of the common mistakes made by consumers when choosing a pest control professional, and also the four steps that you can take to help you choose a true “professional.”
We hope you find the information valuable, and if you have any questions please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
6 Mistakes to Avoid
Choosing an unlicensed exterminator. Inappropriately applying pesticides can put family members pets, and all non-target animals in danger. Pesticide application must always follow the label and be used in a safe, responsible manner. Most states, including Massachusetts, require an individual to be trained and licensed to use pesticides and other pest control related equipment. Licensed exterminators receive the appropriate training hours and are also required to collect yearly continuing education credits to maintain their license. Ideally your Massachusetts exterminator should hold a category “41” license and have a minimum of two years experience.
Choosing an exterminator based on low price. A low price can seem tempting at times, but it usually means more money spent in the long run. And also means more money spent on Tylenol for the headaches that it causes. A low price also means ‘skimping’ on product or using cheaper methods. Again, this will mean more trouble in the long run.
You should be shopping around for a reputable company that you feel comfortable with. Most companies prices are going to be fairly similar.
Choosing an exterminator without checking reviews. You want to check to see what other customers have experienced with a particular company. Are the reviews good? Bad? This will at least give you an indication as to whether a company will stand by their work.
Choosing an exterminator who doesn’t offer a money-back guarantee. You want to do business with someone that will stand by their work. If for some reason the pest problem is not resolved, the last thing that you want to do is have to pay again to have the problem fixed.
Choosing an exterminator that doesn’t carry proper equipment. A lot of companies do not allow their technicians to carry expensive equipment. Most of the time only a “senior” technician is allowed to use equipment like actizol machines. When a technician does not have the proper equipment or training with that piece of equipment, it can greatly reduce the effectiveness of a pest elimination service.
Choosing an exterminator that doesn’t care, it’s “just a job” until they find something else. When you have a pest elimination service done in your home, products need to be placed out along the interior and exterior of the home. These pest control products must be used in accordance with the label (the label is the law).
The home is a place where you spend a lot of time. It’s also where children and pets will play. You want to trust that these products will always be used according to the label by someone who takes pride in what they’re doing. To much is at risk to just, “wing it.”
It is important to have the exterminator that cares about the safely of everyone including the customers.
3 Steps to a healthy pest free home
Make a commitment to yourself to have your most valuable asset (your home) inspected and treated on a consistent schedule. Termites, carpenter ants, and rodents are constantly on the prowl looking for easy targets. A home that does not have termite monitors, rodent controls, or has not been treated within four (4) months becomes a lot more enticing to insects and rodents.
List your objectives.
Is the health of your home environment important? Would you want a company that is using the proper equipment and method to address your concerns? Do you want only one-time elimination from one pest, or do you want to be protected year round from multiple pests? Do you want to work with an honest, reputable company — or are you willing to risk working with the company that offers you the lowest price — knowing that the company might not be in business tomorrow and might not be safe to let into your home?
The way you learn about a company is to ask specific questions and listen carefully to the answers. Here are seven tough questions to ask an exterminator before they start work in your home:
- Do you have a category 41 license in MA?
- Will you be using restricted use products in/around my home? (restricted use products in MA are Rozol tracking powder, and Termidor)
- Are you licensed and experienced with those products? (see questions #1)
- Can I see your pesticide applicator license?
- How often should I have my home treated?
- When is it safe for people and pets to return?
- What can I expect in the days, weeks following this service?
The purpose behind these steps is to empower you with the information you need to make a wise decision in choosing a pest control professional. Regular pest control treatments is essential to creating a healthy indoor environment for you and your family, and this decision should never be taken lightly. These guidelines will help you to locate an ethical and excellent pest professional in your town.
What to expect from a good pest control company:
- Customer satisfaction: good reviews from happy customers
- Experienced and licensed technicians:
- The use of restricted use products and specialized equipment when needed
- Pesticide applications follow the label (the label is the law)
- A proper guarantee/warranty for work done
- Detailed explanations of work done and what to expect in the days to follow
- A thorough understanding of products and product labels. Which products work best for each situation
- Yearly re-certification training credits for licensing (MA requires 12 continuing ed credits for license renewal)