As a homeowner, business owner, or property manager, there are many steps you can take to keep pests at bay. This includes keeping the interior and exterior of your property clean, sanitized, and well-maintained.
However, despite your best efforts, you may still find yourself with some unwanted guests on your hands. Pests are not only unsightly to look at, but they can also damage the cleanliness and structural integrity of your buildings.
Instead of trying to tackle the job yourself, it’s important to choose a pest control service you can trust. You need a local authority that can provide skilled technicians, expert services, and competitive rates.
Not sure how to find a company that checks all the boxes? In this post, we’ll break it all down into a comprehensive guide.
Ask Trusted Connections
In today’s Digital Era, most people start their search for any kind of professional service by checking one reference: Google. While the internet can certainly help you identify local companies, we suggest beginning a little closer to home.
Start by asking your trusted friends and family members if they have ever had to hire a pest control company in the past. If so, which company did they hire and how did the experience go? They may be willing to share the name and contact information of the team right there on the spot!
If you’re coming up short in your inner circle, you can also expand your search into the social media realm. Tools like Facebook Recommendations make it easy to post a question and ask for local inputs and suggestions. By asking your online community, you can get advice from a larger network of your friends, relatives, and followers.
Check Their Online Presence
Once you have a list of the most-recommended pest control companies, then it’s time to head to Google. When you enter the name of each company in the search field, the first thing you should see is their Google Business Profile. Formerly called Google My Business, this is a small window that displays nearly everything you need to know about a local provider.
Details you can learn about a company from viewing this profile include:
- Operating hours
- Contact information
- Services provided
- Customer reviews
Take the time to read through the information you find. You should also see a link to the pest control company’s website. Click through and make a note of what the user experience is like.
Is the website intuitive and easy to navigate? Is it well-designed? While a rudimentary site isn’t necessarily a red flag, well-established and reputable companies will often invest in quality graphics and professional site design.
Above anything else, the site should be comprehensive. You should be able to scan it and quickly learn the type of services they offer, any plans or packages they provide, and how to get in touch to schedule your visit. They should also have an “About Us” page that includes details such as their company background, leadership bios, and pest control experience.
Read Online Reviews
Most pest control companies will also be more than happy to share testimonials, reviews, and ratings from their past clients. While each person’s experience is unique and you can’t expect yours to look the exact same, this type of feedback can help you gauge how your own project might go.
According to researchers, 84% of people now trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from people they know. Take some time to scroll through these comments and stories to see if any common themes stick out.
For instance, do many people talk about how prompt and professional the pest control technicians were? Was the team easy to communicate with? Was the price worth the investment?
Learn from the experiences of others and continue your search if too many red flags appear. One or two negative reviews shouldn’t be enough to deter you from a company, but it is concerning if those seem to be the trend. Reading online reviews can be a great way to avoid a sticky situation down the road, especially if someone else has already gone through it and tries to warn you.
Check Licenses and Credentials
Once you’ve completed your preliminary due diligence, you should have a shorter list of viable pest control companies. Next, it’s time to dig a little deeper and learn more about each team.
The first place to start is by checking their credentials. Contact each company and make sure that the technicians all have current, up-to-date licenses as well as all necessary insurance policies. Then, ensure that the licenses they hold are correctly classified for the job at hand.
In most cases, this information is readily accessible online. Pest control companies will often have a webpage that clearly lists all of their credentials, as well as any professional, industry-specific organizations that they participate in. You can find all of our information, including our business license number, on our Credentials page!
At Pest Solutions, we’re proud to be current members of the following organizations:
- Pest Control Operators of California (PCOC)
- National Pest Management Association
- The Family Owned Pest Control Network
- California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR)
In addition, we’re also accredited by QualityPro, the only recognized and accepted credentialing authority in the professional pest management industry. We also have solution-specific credentials, including our designation as a Certified Contractor for GreenTech Heat Solutions, a leading designer and manufacturer of electric and propane-powered bed bug treatment solutions.
The company you hire doesn’t necessarily need to have these exact same qualifications and certifications. However, they should be licensed to do the work you need them to do. If you can’t find that information on their website and they are unwilling to furnish it, you can always check their status with your state’s pesticide regulatory office.
Ask About Experience
It’s true that everyone has to start somewhere. Still, do you want your termite infestation to be the very first one that the team tries to handle?
Before you move too far with a company, ask them to explain their history and experience. Some of the questions you can ask at this juncture include:
- How long have you been in business?
- Do you have experience treating the specific types of pests that I’m dealing with?
- Can you tell me a little bit about your executive leaders and their past efforts?
One caveat to keep in mind: Longevity can be a sign of a great company history. However, even unscrupulous or sub-par teams can stay in business for a long time. Be sure to continue your research on the company, even if this point checks out.
For a clearer picture of what they’ve been up to over the years, check their rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website. Here, you’ll find information on any complaints filed against the business, as well as any violations they’ve conducted or any outstanding issues that remain unresolved.
Learn About Staff Training Techniques
This industry is rapidly changing. This is especially the case as new pest control equipment, tools, and technologies emerge. It’s important for companies to stay up-to-date on all of these developments and ensure that their staff members and technicians know about the changes as they occur.
Before hiring any certain company, ask them to explain their approach to training and professional development. Do they require their technicians to get a certain number of continuing education credit hours this year? How do they keep everyone informed on changes that occur to regulations, products, procedures, and safety protocols?
Often, companies will pair newly hired technicians with more seasoned ones so they can learn the ropes while on the job. Yet, this isn’t always the case. Ask how they bring new techs up to speed and if there is any type of mentorship or apprenticeship program in place.
If the company is still working in much the same way they were 10 years ago, consider this a warning sign. The best pest control experts are those who are constantly learning, developing, and honing their skills.
Anyone you speak to should be able to authoritatively identify the pest, measure the extent of the infestation, and share details about the pests and their typical behaviors. They should also be transparent and forthcoming about the products and solutions they use to treat pest problems.
Ensure They Cover Your Service Area
You don’t want to become too attached to a pest control company, only to find that they don’t come all the way out to your property. To avoid this kind of setback, ask the team to share their service area.
If you can’t find this information online, go ahead and ask. We’ve clearly labeled our service area online so you can easily see if your location is within our zone. We’ve also listed the names of all the cities we serve in and around Los Angeles and North Orange Counties.
If the company you’re considering is like us, they may also divide their geographical coverage by the types of services they provide. For instance, in the cities on the green portion of our map, we can provide all of our standard pest control services. For the blue-region cities, we only provide termite control services.
When comparing pest control costs, resist the urge to immediately go with the lowest-priced offer. You understandably want to save money, but you could wind up spending more in the long term if the company doesn’t eradicate the problem and you have to hire them again.
Most pest control companies will offer a written estimate at no charge. By requesting a few from the top contenders on your list, you can help eliminate any outliers. Spread the estimates out in front of you and compare the rates you were given with the services offered.
You may notice that while the prices are in the same range, the services vary quite vastly. It might take some time at the calculator, but the goal is to pick the company that offers you the most value at the lowest cost.
Note that when you reach the quote stage of a prospective partnership, some pest control companies may try to hook you by requiring you to sign a one-year contract. Before you pick up a pen, make sure you are extremely clear on what the contract includes.
Learn About Service Warranties
As you compare costs, check to see which pest companies offer warranties on the services they provide. If they do, how long do those warranties last, and what do they cover?
Some teams may be willing to return to your property and re-treat the pest issue as required, but this service won’t go on indefinitely. The contract you read should clearly state under what conditions the technicians will come back to your house, the types of services they’ll provide, and the fee that they’ll charge (if any).
Evaluate Personality Fit
No, you don’t have to become best friends with your local pest control technicians! However, you should feel at ease when you talk to them. You need to be able to accurately describe the pest problem you’re experiencing, including how many encounters or sightings you’ve had, without fear of reprimand or reproach.
Once you only have a few options left, call or chat with a team member. Notice how their demeanor seems and the way that you feel when you interact with them. They should be able to listen to all of your concerns and address them with respect.
Choose a Pest Control Service You Can Trust
When a pest infestation strikes, you may not know what to do. Even the tiniest nuisances can wreak havoc on your property and leave you feeling overwhelmed.
That’s why it helps to have local pest control technicians on speed dial! The tips we’ve shared can help you narrow down your list of options and eliminate any wrong choices. Then, you’ll be left with a team that you know you can trust to get the job done right the first time.
Are you ready to choose a pest control service today? Contact us today for a free estimate over the phone!