Keys To Finding A Qualified Pest Professional

Friday, January 16, 2009

By NPMA Staff

 

Discovering a pest problem or infestation that is threatening a homeowner's property, family's health and even just their peace of mind can be a major annoyance. The last thing one needs in this situation is the added stress of finding a reputable pest control company to service the problem. However, for preventative and reactive measures alike, finding a qualified pest management professional is easy to do if the homeowner does a little homework. 

"Essentially, a person is entrusting a service provider with the well-being of both their home and their family," says Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for NPMA. "A credible pest professional will protect a homeowner's property and their family's health from the damage and diseases associated with pests through responsible and effective service."

The NPMA offers homeowners these tips for selecting a pest professional: 

  • Ask friends and neighbors to recommend pest control companies they have used successfully and how satisfied they were with the service.
  • Be wary of the operator who comes to your home uninvited and offers to give your house a free inspection for pests. He or she may try to scare you into authorizing immediate and costly treatments.
  • If a sizable amount of money is involved, get bids from several pest management firms.
  • Don't rush a decision. Since you are paying for professional knowledge, look for someone whose judgment you can trust.
  • Before signing a contract, be sure to fully understand the nature of the pest, the extent of the infestation, and the work necessary to solve the problem.
  • Find out if the pest professional has liability insurance to cover damage to your house or furnishings during treatment.
  • If a guarantee is given, know what it covers, how long it lasts, what you must do to keep it in force, and what kind of continuing control, prevention and management are necessary.
  • Buy value, not price. Beware of bargains that sound too good to be true.
  • A federal law requires commercial applicators of "restricted use" pest management products to be certified. The certification program is left up to the state. Homeowners can call the certifying state agencies for information. (In Nebraska and Colorado, call the Environmental Protection Agency).

Use NPMA's pest professional locator on pestworld.org. Simply enter your zip code and immediately receive information on licensed pest professionals in your area.