BBB’s advice on hiring a pest control contractor


By John North - Guest columnist



It’s about the time of the year where you should consider hiring a pest control contractor. Late summer and early fall are the optimal times for treating your homes for unwanted pests. Though there are preventative measure you can do yourself to decrease the chance of pests in your home, some pest infestations may be extensive, or a particular pest may be difficult to control, requiring the services of a pest control company.

If you’ve never had to deal with hiring a pest control contractor, you may not know where to start and become overwhelmed. It’s important to make sure the pest control company you choose is competent. If pesticides are misused, both health and property can be damaged. Before contracting with a pest control company, consider your options.

Better Business Bureau offers these tips for choosing a pest control contractor:

• Look for pest control contractors with a good reputation, reviews and a reasonable price.

• Get recommendations from friends and family.

• Get estimates from three different companies.

• Make sure the company has the required licenses, registration, certificates and insurance.

• Ask if the exterminator belongs to any professional associations, like the National Pest Management Association.

• Ask for an inspection. The company may charge a fee to do this, but then you will have a written diagnosis of the problem or an identification of the pest, as well as a solution to control the pests.

• Review the contract. A contract should include the name of the company, length of the service, treatment plan, price and any guarantee.

• Ask for pet-safe products if you have pets in your home. When they come to spray, be sure to keep your pet away for a couple hours to be sure the chemicals are completely dried.

• Be sure your taking preventive measures at home to keep the pests at bay once the pest control has successfully done their job. For instance, clean up food sources, fix plumbing leaks and makes structure repairs.

Don’t fall victim to shady tactics. Avoid anyone who shows up uninvited to your home offering a free pest inspection. You may end up with bugs or be pressured to sign up for services you don’t need. Beware of companies that will tell you they’ll spray your home for free so you try them out, then make you sign a contract that actually is a one-year agreement. Also, beware of companies who are spraying your neighbor’s house, then immediately come to your house telling you all the bugs they had will make their way into your yard and house and you must spray now. Be cautious of companies who want to do pest control as part of a package deal, such as general home repair or tree trimming or that will give you a special price if treatment is done immediately.

For more information about choosing a pest control contractor, visit BBB.org or call 937-222-5825 or 800-776-5301. BBB can provide a list of BBB Accredited Businesses in a variety of industries and Business Profiles on ones you may be considering.

By John North

Guest columnist

The writer is the president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Dayton and the Miami Valley.

The writer is the president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Dayton and the Miami Valley.