Some pests are very difficult to control. Most people when they discover a pest problem at home try to get rid of the pest straight away without thinking about the cause and effects.
Bed bug is a very difficult pest to control. Choosing a pest control firm is an important decision.
When should I hire a pest control firm?
a. The extent of the bed bug infestation determines when to hire a pest control firm. It is unwise to treat the pest problem when the infestation is established.
b. Where the treatment plan involves the use of restricted pesticides. The pest control professional is licensed to apply restricted pesticides.
c. Your expertise plays a key role. If you lack knowledge about bed bugs and you don’t understand the range of treatment to control the pests it is best to hire a pest control professional.
d. If you are overreacting (panic) to the bed bug problem it is best to hire a pest control professional. You need all your mental faculties working to treat the infestation.
How do I determine which firm to choose?
If after assessing the problem you decide to hire the pest control firm contact, a few firms. Take the same care you would when choosing a doctor to select a reputable firm to control your bed bug problem. Make sure you choose a firm that meets the legal and educational requirements for the job.
a. Interview a number of firms.
b. Be an educated consumer when selecting the firm. Don’t depend on sales pitches and advertising to assess the firm’s credibility.
c. Ask for references and investigate any complaints about the firm.
d. The firm must inspect the property before it gives a price quote or applies treatment.
e. The firm must provide a written inspection report, a treatment plan and how to prevent further infestation.
f. The firm must prepare a quote from inspection findings. Usually, firms don’t charge a flat fee.
g. The firm promotes safety for staff and customers.
h. The firm has adequate plans in place to achieve the objective.
i. The firm provides a written report and action plan of how to prepare for treatment and how to prevent further infestation.
j. The firm’s representative visits frequently until the pest problem is resolved.
k. The firm educates the client on how to prevent bed bug infestation.
l. The firm treats the client with respect.
If you rent a property, tell your landlord about the pest problem.
Before you choose a firm
a. Identify a few firms and interview representatives from each firm.
b. Speak to friends and families who have used pest control firms in the past.
c. Ask the representative about their approach to training employees and what treatments and techniques they use in bed bug control.
d. Choose a well-established and reputable firm with at least 5 years of experience treating bed bugs.
e. Avoid firms that insist on using spray chemicals outside of the dwelling. This option is expensive and ineffective.
f. Ensure the contract includes integrated pest management. Reputable firms use IPM in bed bug control.
g. Ensure the firm is licensed registered and certified.
h. Ensure the employees are well-trained and qualified.
i. Ensure the firm includes follow-up treatments in the quoted price.
j. Ensure the firm outlines the treatment plan, your responsibilities and what to expect during treatment.
k. Ensure the firm has a comprehensive treatment plan.
l. Ensure the firm educates you about detecting, preventing, controlling and minimizing bed bug infestation. If the firm does not address these issues it does not have your interest at heart.
m. Confirm the type of treatments they will use and check if the treatments are harmful to humans and pets. Ask how and where the pesticides will be used.
n. Ensure the firm is knowledgeable about the different treatment options. Ask the representative if the firm offers chemical and non-chemical treatments in bed bug control.
o. Find out if the firm charges an initial fee for inspection service. Some companies waive inspection fees or offer free inspection service.
p. After inspection the pest control professional should provide a written diagnosis of the pest, the problem and explanation of where the pests are located and how the firm intends to conduct the treatment.
q. Check the inspection report for the types of pesticides to be used during treatment, the frequency and application of treatment, the estimated cost of the treatment plan and information regarding the safety of pests and children.
r. Discuss any legal matters that require precautions after treatment. Most firms provide a Materials Safety Data Sheet that explains any treatment being used, hazards and necessary precautions.
s. Ask the representative about the firm’s experience in the industry and if necessary, ask them to provide references.
t. Never sign a contract until you review it and ensure it includes the name of the firm, a detailed treatment plan, the frequency of treatments, your responsibilities, the firm’s responsibilities and if the firm has a guarantee.
u. Read the fine prints carefully before signing the contract. Most firms never guarantee complete eradication of bed bugs. If a firm advertises it is 100% guaranteed to exterminate bed bugs, think twice.
v. Ask the representative about the firm’s liability insurance, workers compensation insurance and possible exclusions about cancelling the contract. Check if cancellation incurs a penalty.
w. Find out if the firm provides year-round coverage and how the firm handles service calls. Are calls scheduled or on an as-needed basis? Is there an extra charge for unscheduled service calls?
x. Assess the firm for professionalism (dress code, punctuality, customer satisfaction about questions and vehicle appearance). Is the vehicle clean and in good mechanical condition.
y. Focus on the firm’s quality of service, not price. If the firm offers bargains that are too good to be true, think twice. It is better to pay to get the job done properly than to pay many times and don’t achieve the objective.
z. Trust your intuition. If you feel uncomfortable about the way a firm responds to your queries it may be best not to hire the firm. Ensure the firm educates you about how to prevent a bed bug infestation.
Once you’ve selected the firm record:
a. the contact information
b. the names of employees who will do the job
c. the time and date of the inspection and treatment
d. the names of the products to be used in the treatment plan
e. the formulation of each product and where it will be used
f. your prior-treatment responsibilities and potential health effect of any product in the treatment plan.
You should always communicate with the staff until they achieve the objective.
a. Make sure they apply the treatments specified in the contract.
b. Make sure you assume your responsibilities.
Cooperation between both parties permits a successful bed bug control program.