Knowing what questions to ask a pest control company can save you time, money, and heartache. Don’t assume you can’t afford professional treatment.
Choosing the wrong company can mean an extended infestation, more bites, wasted money, and more lost sleep. Being informed about bed bugs and treatment options in advance will help you select the best pest control company for your infestation.
Selecting the right pest company to inspect and treat your home or room is the most important decision you’ll make. You need to be able to trust them. The pest control industry is made up of two different types of companies, honest and dishonest.
There are ethical companies out there and you will know who they are by using these “Questions to ask a pest control company” and paying close attention to how they answer. Be informed BEFORE TALKING TO THEM.
Questions to ask a pest control company
- Where are the bed bugs?
- Are the bed bugs are isolated to one room or have spread to other rooms and furniture (sofas, chairs, curtains, blinds, etc).
- Do they require a specimen to treat your home? Ethical companies require it and would never treat your home based on symptoms and not evidence.
- What if your couch or chairs are also infested?
- Are mattress encasements included in the cost of their service? How many?
- Should you isolate your bed now or later?
- How will you ensure you do not re-infest your home or car?
- Should you avoid mopping or vacuuming in the areas after they treat?
- How can you treat personal items that could be infested? You have to operate under the assumption that everything could be infested, even if you’re pretty confident it’s not.
- How many times will they come back and treat the home? A minimum of three is standard practice to address egg laying and hatching cycles. It may depend on the size of your infestation.
- How should you prepare in advance for treatment?
- What should you do if you see a bed bug?
- Where exactly are they going to apply the pesticides in each room. Be very specific, as in “how will you treat the sofa, carpets, etc.”
- How can you organize your laundry
- What should you do about your pets or house plants?
- Is their work guaranteed? What is the guarantee?
- What should you do if they damage furniture or possessions?
- How soon can you sleep in the treated room?
- What detection techniques do they use?
- How long will it be before all the bugs are all gone?
- Is your company licensed and registered under the States Laws?
- What if I still see bed bugs after treatment?
- Do they have liability insurance in case of damage to your home or furniture? What does it cover?
- What are the terms of service agreement?
- Are they also in your car?
- Will you provide a list of all pesticides you will be using?
- How many bed bugs are there?
- What pesticides will they use? (write everything down so you can look it up later)
- How long will the pesticides last, or what is the residual of the pesticides?
- Will they put pesticides or powders inside the walls or on furniture?
- How do residual pesticides work?
- Do they use steam as part of the treatment? What do they steam?
- Will the pesticides hurt your pets if they lick areas where they have been applied?
A company representative should answer each question patiently
If a representative is impatient, hasty or answers in brief yes or no answers BE SUSPICIOUS. That (to me) implies they are either not experienced, don’t like their job and therefore don’t care about being successful, or they are poor communicators. You need a pest control company that knows bed bugs, and understands the toll they take on you.
Pest Control Operators must pass licensing tests for specific pesticides.
As a consumer, you are entitled to ask which pesticides the company is licensed to use. In Oregon, (check your state) They must be trained and licensed for each “EPA regulated” pesticide they handle.
Many companies do not enforce this or they use the company owner’s license for all the operators. This is illegal. This is why some pest companies call themselves green. Because they are not licensed to use pesticides formulated to use against bed bugs, that require certification.
Most green companies are using pesticides that kill on contact, but have little to no residual or lasting power. A residual of two weeks isn’t enough to catch hatching bed bugs. The residual power of pesticides is the most important benefit of using them. Since you could go your entire infestation without seeing a live bed bug yourself, what good is a kill-on-contact bug spray? You can’t kill what you can’t see, but you can with residual pesticides.
Many residuals use a process where the poison is encapsulated in microscopic bubbles containing the pesticide. The pesticide is sprayed under baseboards, possibly under cabinets, door and window frames, etc. Residual pesticides can last anywhere from three days to 3 months depending on the chemicals and potency.