Pest control can range from eradicating a simple daily annoyance to exterminating a serious threat to your family's safety and health. Most moderate to severe infestations will need professional pest help. In approaching providers, there are a few guidelines to keep in mind when interviewing prospective pest control companies. When letting such companies into one's home, it should always be kept in mind that these people are strangers. Entrusting a family home to an outside organization should be done with great care, especially when adding highly toxic chemicals to the situation.
It's a good idea to ask for recommendations. Chances are a friend or family member has a regular pest control company they can recommend. It's also a good idea to ask around to see if a friend might know a pesticide professional you can talk to and get a better idea of his company and their practices. There are small local companies that are excellent and big national firms that are less so. The opposite is also true. There can never be too much information.
When the pest control representative calls on you, know the questions you need to ask. Be ready with the answers you will need to hear. Be ready to ask questions you don't have in your list too.
Here are a few questions that may begin the process of assessing extermination companies.
- What extermination chemicals do they use? Do they explain the application method in detail?
- The initial pest control visit will involve a more intensive application of chemicals. Will you need to be away from home during the application? If so, how soon can you return to your home? What steps will have to be taken on your return? Can they give you specifics?
- Will you need to remove your pets from the home and for how long? You'll want a company that has solid answers to these questions.
- If you have young children or other sensitive people in your home, ask about any possible impact of the extermination chemicals on them. If they don't know this, that's a reason to be concerned.
- What do people with chemical sensitivity or allergies have to do regarding the chemicals used? Does the company offer a guarantee on these matters? Do they have printed information for you to read?
- Be aware of signing a contract too soon. Be sure to read everything, including the small print. You'll want a provider that will explain to you every line of the contract.
Future follow-ups, if necessary, may not need the same degree of home and schedule adjustment to accommodate the exterminator. It sometimes will be necessary to leave your home for a time. In very hot, cold or inclement weather, staying out of your home may not be possible. Make sure the pest company you contract with can reschedule if weather changes.
If any company won't answer any of your questions, find another one that will.
Author Bio: Rose McMillan is an experienced pest control professional who has worked at Terminix and now does freelance writing with the purpose of educating the general public.