Have you found evidence of pests living in your home? There’s no shame in that, especially since pests are a common problem in many homes across the UK, even those homes that use the strictest measures to keep their homes clean.
If you’ve noticed pests in or around your home, then it may be time to call a pest control professional. There are many companies offering their services to rid your home of pests, but which one offers the best service?
Choosing the right exterminator can be challenging, especially if you’ve done a Google search to find a company near you. You may have found several companies in the area that look like they’re offering similar pest control services.
Be sure to do your research and create a list of at least three pest control companies who seem capable of tackling the type of pest problem you’re experiencing. A longer list of companies is better, but at least have three pest control firms to compare before choosing one for your pest control project.
We’ve put together a list of the most important questions to ask an exterminator before hiring them. Asking questions can help you find the best company for your circumstances. You’ll also avoid choosing those companies that may not have the knowledge and experience for this line of work.
1). How Long Has the Company Been in Business?
You’ll want to look for a company that has been around for several years. The longer they’ve been in business, chances are they’ve earned quite a bit of experience in the industry. Along with this experience also comes a wealth of knowledge and resources to tackle even the most difficult problems.
A young company may simply not have the experience needed to solve your pest issue. In addition, a company that’s been around for several years will generally be available in the future. You’ll also avoid hiring an unreliable company that doesn’t stand by its services.
2). Do you have customer references?
This is a great question for several reasons. For instance, the longer the referral list, the longer the company’s been in business (in most cases). Asking for this list also gives you past clients of the company you can talk to and ask about their experiences with the firm.
Be sure to ask for a list, even if the company’s website shares customer testimonies. If a company seems reluctant to share their customers’ feedback, or provide a list of references, consider this a red flag. Move on to the next company on your list.
3). How Much Training Have Your Technicians Had?
You want to look for a company that offers highly experienced and knowledgeable technicians. The techs should also have the right credentials. In the UK, pest control technicians should at least be certified by the British Pest Control Association (BPCA).
This certification means the technician is a professional who has the skills and knowledge to take care of your pest problem. They’ve been properly trained to provide pest control services safely and effectively.
With a skilled pest control tech, you’ll have someone to rely on who can ensure you and your family (including pets) are safe and the methods used to rid your property of pests will be successful.
If you choose an unqualified pet control technician, you may find that their pest control efforts fail, which can be very expensive, and make the pest infestation even more difficult to eradicate.
4). Is Your Company Licensed and Insured?
Pest control companies in the UK are required to be licensed and insured in order to operate. What does this mean? A licensed and insured exterminator uses only the best safety protocols and application procedures for their clients. And you can rest assured that the company’s technicians have received all the necessary training to improve their knowledge and skills, as well ensure their and the client’s safety.
An insured pest exterminator carries liability and general liability insurance that protects you from damage caused by the pest control process.
Avoid hiring an exterminator if they are not licensed and bonded. This is a sign you’ll need to cross that company off your list and go on to the next pest control service provider.
5). What Services Does the Company Provide?
This is an important question because you’ll want to ensure the pest control company offers the type of services you need. Each type of extermination service is aimed at a specific pest problem. While you’re not an expert on pest control, you can use the following questions to learn about the type of solutions the company offers and more:
- What type of pests are in my home? Are they a common problem in this area (You may know the type of pest problem you’re having, but this is a great way to find out if the exterminator can identify the specific type of pest).
- What stage of life are the insects in (egg, larva, pupae, or adult)?
- How serious is the infestation?
- Can you tell how long the pests have been in my home?
- Do you know about how long it will take to clear up the infestation?
- Is there a chance the pests could return?
- How often should I request pest control services for my home?
6). What type of Products Are Used? Are They safe for Humans, Pets and Plants?
Some pesticides are made of chemicals that can be harmful to you, your family, pets and plants. So, it’s important to ask these questions, especially if someone in your home has medical conditions that can be affected by chemicals. These include allergies and multiple chemical sensitivities.
If chemicals are a problem, then you may want to consider searching for a pest control company that uses natural, eco-friendly products that won’t cause harmful side effects to you and your family.
Your exterminator should be able to offer information on the chemicals & substances used, as well as if these can be harmful or not. They should also explain the procedures to be used, and let you know if it will be necessary to vacate your home for a period of time after the treatments have been finished.
7). Do You Offer a Written Quote and Do You Stand Behind It?
There are pest control companies that, unfortunately, use a low estimate to entice a potential customer to hire them. If you hire a company like this, you may later find they charge you hidden fees.
To avoid these issues, make sure the company sends a technician to do an inspection. Once they’ve assessed the problem, the company should provide you with a quote that covers all fees. If not, the company may try to charge a higher fee because they found the work was more than they had expected.
When you receive the exterminator’s estimate, be sure you understand exactly what you’re paying for. If you have any questions, or if the estimate just doesn’t feel right, then don’t hire that company. Move on to the next company on your list.