South Jersey Homeowners and Business owners who choose professional termite and pest control services need to be able to make informed decisions on deciding whom to contract for treatment of their properties.
Take your time and do your homework.
Most pest problems can wait a few days for you to choose a professional company and remember these people will be coming into your home or business.
Take the same time and care in choosing a pest control company as you would in finding any professional like a doctor or lawyer.
- First, the effectiveness of the company’s pest management programs,
- and second, the satisfaction level provided by the company’s customer service.
Buy VALUE, not PRICE.
Beware of exterminators that offer bargains that sound too good to be true.
Look for a company with a proven history of successful exterminations and positive feedback from customers who were completely satisfied.
1. Always deal with a qualified, licensed, certified and insured pest management company.
a) Determine if pest control companies are licensed in your state.
Homeowners can call state pest control regulatory agencies for information regarding the status of pest management companies. In most states, the regulatory agency is the State Department of Agriculture.
b) United States federal law requires commercial applicators of “restricted use” pest control products to be certified. The certification program is left up to the state.
These applicators are required by law to pass qualifying exams that test their knowledge to prove their competence. In order to maintain their certification status, all commercial applicators are required to attend educational programs on a continual basis.
c) Ask for proof of their licensing status and insurance, including “errors and omissions coverage” for operator mishaps such as carpet stains or broken art objects – this is liability insurance to cover any damages to your house or furnishings during treatment.
Based on your findings to Question #1, locate a short list of local South Jersey licensed firms via referral, print advertising or the Internet.
Not only will this help narrow down your search, it also allows you to review any positive or negative feedback supplied by other consumers and may offer details about the services they provide.
2. Ask friends, neighbors, and co-workers to recommend pest control companies they have used successfully and how satisfied they were with the service.
You can also ask the firm for customer referrals and contact the referrals – but remember – every company has at least a few satisfied customers.
Ask the clients if their questions were answered satisfactorily, what their perceived level of service was, if there were any contract problems and if they would re-contract this firm again.
3. Evaluate pest control companies that are members of national, state and local pest management associations such as the National Pest Management Association – NPMA, the New Jersey Pest Management Association – NJPMA, and the International Pest Control Operators – IPCO.
It will indicate if they have access to up to date information and techniques – and can apply them to your situation.
Pest Control Associations offer their members educational opportunities to keep them abreast of new technology and other developments. These organizations also have codes of ethics to help members strive to meet quality standards.
4. Are they a member of the Better Business Bureau, what is their rating and are there any outstanding complaints? If not, call your local Chamber of Commerce for the same information.
5. Do they have a brick and mortar business, or just a P.O. Box? What good is a guarantee, warranty or a long-term contract if they are mixing chemicals out of their basement or van?
6. How many years have they been practicing pest control in South Jersey? A new company has not had time to establish a reputation yet – which means you cannot be sure of what you will get or what kind of experience they have.
7. Before signing a contract, be sure to fully understand the nature of the household pest to be exterminated, the extent of the infestation, and the work necessary to solve the problem.
Make sure you understand what they are going to do to solve your termite or other pest problem, how long it will take, how many treatments are covered and what is included in your service agreement.
If a sizable amount of money is involved, consider getting bids from several pest management companies.
You also want to be sure they don’t plan to just throw chemicals at your problem – a responsible pest control professional will look at your pest problem from all possible angles and figure out what the best treatment is to take care of the problem, keep your family safe and have the least amount of effect on your environment.
8. If a guarantee is given that shows they stand behind their work. Understand what it covers, how long it lasts, what you must do to keep it in force, and what kind of continuing control, prevention, and management are necessary.
9. Don’t be rushed into a decision. Since you are paying for professional knowledge as well as skillful application of pesticides, look for someone whose judgment you can trust.
Be wary of the commissioned salesperson trying to sell you services you do NOT need.
10. Sleep on it (remember again, these people will be coming into your home or business).
If you still feel comfortable with the firm and their contract the next morning, sign and make sure that you get a fully executed copy (signed and dated by both parties).
Finally – grade the firm based on the agent’s visit to your home:
- Was the representative dressed neatly and professionally?
- Did they arrive on time and answer your questions to your satisfaction?
- Was their vehicle clean and in apparent good mechanical condition?
- Was the inspection thorough?
- Did the inspector check all areas of the house?
- Did he/she show you and explain their findings?