When you discover your home has termites, it is a natural reaction to panic, and of course, most people want them eliminated immediately. This can result in a hasty decision that could end up costing you much more in the long term.
While you should always contact a professional exterminator, you need to use a bit of care when doing so. Not all exterminators are legitimate, and some are simply out to sell treatments you may not really need.
In order to help you through this process, below are some tips for what you should look for in a reputable pest control company, along with a list of what you should avoid.
Signs of a Reputable Pest Control Company:
- Offers to provide you with a free, on-site inspection and treatment estimate
- Is licensed, certified, and insured
- Has a strong knowledge of termite information, including identification
- Understands building construction
- Is well versed in the pest control laws of the area
- Takes the time to explain different possible treatment options
- Creates a customized treatment plan for your home
- Takes notes on your home and infestation problem
- Utilizes EPA approved chemicals
- Provides references
Signs of a Disreputable Pest Control Company:
- Only provides an estimate per gallons of materials to be used
- Does not have a physical business location or phone number
- Will not disclose what chemicals are to be used
- Offers to perform general repairs to the home or yard as part of the package
- Arrives without you calling, professing claims of termites in the area
- Claims to be sponsored or endorsed by certain organizations
- Offers to perform treatments on the spot due to “leftover” chemical from other jobs
- Offers a price reduction if you agree on the spot
Prior to agreeing to any type of termite treatment, you should get all of the following documents in writing from the pest control company:
- A detailed description of the treatment plan
- The name of all chemicals to be used in the treatment
- Copies of the product labels of the chemicals to be used
- An explanation as to whether a warranty will or will not be provided
- If a warranty is to be provided it should include the time period of the warranty, future treatments, retreatment programs, damage repairs in case of re-infestation, and what circumstances void the warranty.
- Copies of documents proving membership to pest control associations
- A contract with signatures from the homeowner and the applicator
Taking a bit of time to locate a reputable pest control company will be well worth the effort. Never rush the process, or make a decision simply because you were being pressured. Reputable companies will allow you to take as much time as needed, in order to form a lasting relationship that will benefit both parties.