Homeowners face an uphill battle keeping pests off their property. According to the National Pest Management Association, bugs, rodents, and unwanted creatures of all kinds can wreak havoc in the home. Just consider these statistics:
- Termites cause over $5 billion in property damage every year.
- 6% of pest controls professionals have battled a bed bug infestation in the past year.
- As many as 30% of all homes have had a rodent problem at some point.
Ridding the home of pests requires the help of a professional. The only problem is that there is often dozens of options to choose from. You want the work done quickly but also effectively, which takes the right kind of pest control professional. Look for these qualities in whoever you choose to hire.
- Licensed, Bonded, and Insured – Never work with anyone who doesn’t meet all the legal requirements for working in pest control. That means they have a valid license, an active pest control bond, and insurance with adequate coverage. Professionals who try to avoid these legal obligations can’t be trusted. Worse, if they make any mistakes while working on your home, you may not be able to hold them accountable.
- Member of Professional Organizations – National, state, and local organizations for pest control professionals exist so that members can discuss best practices and customer service strategies. Participation in these organizations signals a high degree of professionalism and a commitment to constant improvement. Membership doesn’t guarantee you’re getting the right professional, but it speaks positively about his or her character.
- Positive Online Reviews – The internet makes it easier than ever to research a professional before hiring them. Read customer reviews to learn how other homeowners have been treated and whether their pests went away. You can also investigate whether a claim has been filed against the pest control bond, which all professionals in the industry must-have. If a valid claim has been filed, it means the professional failed to follow industry rules and had to compensate a customer.
- A Clear Contract – Avoid any pest control professional who cannot provide you with a detailed contract before the work starts. The contract should outline what the work will entail, exactly how much it will cost, and what kind of results you can expect. Good contractors are eager to be upfront and transparent, compared to less honest ones who will try to keep things vague.
- True Value – What do you need most in a pest control professional: someone who can come quickly, the lowest price possible, a guaranteed solution to your pest problem, or organic pesticide products? The answer is different for every homeowner, so it’s important to figure out what your biggest priority is and focus your search on that. The right contractor is whoever can best meet your specific needs.
- Experience and Expertise – As someone eager to rid your home of pests, you understand that fixing the problem isn’t easy. Pest control professionals with a lot of experience and wide-ranging expertise are the best equipped to figure out the root of your pest problem and the best possible solution. Don’t hesitate to ask the professional that you’re considering to hire about their background.
- Commitment to Safety – The same things that are bad for pests can also be bad for you, your kids, and your pets, if not used properly. Even if the person you hire does not offer “green” pesticide options, they should be completely committed to working safely and respecting any concerns you bring up. As added peace of mind, check out whether unsafe practices have triggered any claims against their pest control bond.
- Integrated Pest Management – Some professionals deal with only certain kinds of pests or specialize in just a few treatment options. There is a time and a place for specialists, but most homeowners will want to work with a general pest control professional who can handle all aspects of the process. Along those lines, look for someone you can form a long-term relationship with because pests are rarely a one-time problem.
- Ideas for Prevention – The best professionals will do more than rid your home of pests, they will also help you prevent them from returning. Not all professionals are forthcoming about prevention strategies because, ultimately, it means less business for them. Look for someone who can help you solve your pest problem, not just treat it temporarily.
Having a license, bond, and insurance is the first entry on this list because it’s definitely the most important. Licenses prove that professionals are competent, and the bond and insurance policy ensure they’re accountable. At Viking Bond Service, we understand how important these credentials are because we have issued pest control bonds to professionals across the country. To learn more about how bonds keep you protected and keep contractors honest, please consult this free resource all about surety bonds.