BBB offers tips for pest control


By John North

Better Business Bureau

It’s that time of the year again. Warmer weather can bring unwelcome pests to your home. If your home is being infested with insects, rodents and other pests, it may be time to hire a pest control professional.

A pest control company will exterminate a host of pests in your home. They will deal with rodents, beetles, termites, wasps, mosquitoes, roaches, bed bugs, termites and fleas. A pest control company will work with you to assess the level and type of infestation and then set a plan to get rid of them. However, before you decide to hire just anyone, the Better Business Bureau offers the following tips:

· Look at company websites and online reviews.

· Ask friends and family for recommendations.

· Consider reputation and experience.

· Get references and call them to ask about their experience.

· Get estimates from three different companies to compare.

· Check if the company is licensed, registered and insured as appropriate.

· Talk with the exterminator to discuss exactly what the problem is, share where and what you’ve seen or heard and ask probing questions to ensure he or she fully understands the pest problem.

· Ask what type of chemicals will be used and how long they need to set.

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

· Ask about warranties/guarantees and understand what is covered, how long it lasts and what you must do to keep it in force.

· 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.

· Make sure you tell the exterminator beforehand if there are children or pets in your home so he or she uses products safe for your environment.

· Ensure areas you’ve seen pests are clean and clutter-free to allow the exterminator to easily reach nooks and crannies to better spray.

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

· Take preventive measures to keep the pests at bay once the pest control company has successfully done their job.

Beware of companies that offer bargains that sound too good to be true or will tell you they’ll spray your home for free so you can try them out. Likewise, be leery of companies spraying your neighbor’s house, then immediately come to your house claiming all the bugs will head to your house and you must spray now.

Additionally, there are a few ways you can help keep out pests, such as keeping your gutters and downspouts free of debris. You should also keep trees and shrubs away from

the house and avoid stacking firewood or loose lumber close to your home. Also, seal any cracks or small openings.

If you have any questions regarding pest control companies, you can always get help from your BBB, such as a list of BBB Accredited pest control services and Business Profiles on companies you’re considering. Visit or call (937) 222-5825 or (800) 776-5301.

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