Purchasing pest control can be a daunting task. There are lots of options and variables to consider, and it’s a bit different than hiring other service providers to come into your home and perform a job. Pest control companies come into your home once every month or two for at least a year, usually more. Whereas air conditioning companies or plumbers come in, perform their job, leave, and typically don’t come back.
Pest control also differs in respect to financing. You pay a one-time bill to fix your air conditioning, but make an ongoing payment to a pest control provider over an extended period of time.
Here are the things to consider to make sure you’re hiring the right guy, and that you are getting the most for your money.
1. Pest control is a process. Remember this: If you have a pest problem, then you’re always going to have a pest problem. It is literally impossible to eliminate them 100% from your property. From your house, yes. But from your property (front yard, back yard, etc), no. There are simply too many pests surrounding our houses, all with various and ongoing breeding cycles. If you think you have batted them down, just give it a few weeks or months. They’ll come back.
For this reason, if you know you have a pest problem, we always discourage one-time treatments. It will fix the problem for a month or two, but then you’ll be right back where you started. Also, pest companies will charge you 3 or 4 times the amount of a regular service, because they know you have no obligation or reason to pay them any further, so they need to make their profits up front. Monthly services mean that a company makes its profit over the life of the contract, and that is fine for most companies. For the same price you would pay a one-time service, you could get five or six months worth of service, and be protected that much longer.
2. There is no such thing as quarterlies. Many customer request to be put on a quarterly schedule, hoping to save money by only having to pay four payments per year, rather than six. Financially, that makes sense, but it will not work scientifically. Pest products are federally regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA limits the toxicity of pest products, and mandates that at their maximum potency, they must break down beyond a specified amount within 60 days. Basically, this means that when applied at their highest mixture, pest products must be virually gone exactly 60 days after it is applied. There will be a give-and-take of a few days depending on environmental conditions (UV light, cold, rain, sun, etc), but after 2 months, your house is no longer protected. If you have a quarterly contract, your pest exterminator is not scheduled to return for another 30 days, leaving your home vulnerable for an entire month. If you are serious about ridding pests from your bathrooms and playrooms, then find a way to at least sign up a for bi-monthly program.
3. What’s their reputation? Find any third-party information you can on the company. Customer reviews is a great place to start. Read reviews on their Google maps profile, Yelp profile, Angie’s List, etc. They will give you a little bit of insight as to the satisfaction rate of their customers. Ask your neighbors and friends as well. If you have a pest problem, then your neighbors might be having one. What companies do they use? Do they like them?
Always remember that you are the one hiring the company. Know their policies and expectations for controlling your pest problem, but give them a little bit of slack and time to get your problem under control. Some pests are just more resilient than others.
Steve Bitter is a Marketing Manager with Bulwark Exterminating, based in Mesa, AZ. Bulwark Exterminating is an industry leader in providing high quality pest control service. Bulwark is fully operational in seven states, including eleven major cities. While Bulwark provides pest extermination for common insects such as ants, roaches, crickets and spiders, the company’s differentiating specialty is scorpion control. Bulwark uses the finest and most effective products in the world to solve common pest problems.