Choosing a pest control professional is one of the most important decisions you will ever make.

OK, not really, but it can be pretty darn important, especially if you are currently sharing your domicile with critters of the six or eight legged variety (and even some four legged ones).

Finding the right pest control pro, however, not as simple and straightforward a task as you may think.

While price may impact your final decision, keep in mind that you get what you pay for. Cheaper may not necessarily be better. In fact, a price that is too low or seems too good to be true should be treated as a red flag and prompt further investigation into the company. A price that is ridiculously low could indicate a company that is in trouble. It could also mean that treatment of your pest problem could fail miserably and you could wind up worse than when you started.

What to do? What to do?

These five tips will help you choose a rodent pest control contractor that is qualified, capable and has a good reputation. In other words, he or she just might get rid of your unwanted house guests (sorry, your unemployed brother-in-law who has taken over your sofa and is eating you out of house and home is your own problem – that’s a pest of a different variety).

  1. Check out the company with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Visit the Better Business Bureau’s website and check out the business at  http://www.bbb.org/us/find-business-reviews/. This will give you some good information including how many complaints the business has received, if those complaints have been resolved and what grade the BBB gives the business.
  2. A site like Angie’s List (http://www.angieslist.com/angieslist/) can be a great source for customer referrals, complaints and other information on the company. You can read reviews from actual customers regarding the company’s performance, effectiveness and quality of service.
  3. Check for complaints on the company or technician through your state’s Department of Agriculture. Pest control certifications are managed through the Department of Agriculture of the state in which the company is operating. For instance, if the company is in Virginia and you are getting service in Maryland, you want to make sure that the technician or company is able to perform pest control services in Maryland. They will also be able to tell you of any complaints that have been made on the company.
  4. Ask the company if they guarantee their work. If so, ask what that guarantee entails. If they don’t guarantee their work, then know that you are taking a gamble. Now you (or they) may argue that the price is so low you don’t need a guarantee, but if you have to pay that same low price several times in order to achieve the desired results, well, that adds up. You could find yourself shelling out some serious dough only to wind up going with a more expensive company in order to resolve your pest problem.
  5. When the technician arrives, ask to see his or her credentials. This is to ensure that the person servicing your home or property is certified and qualified to perform the task for which you hired him or her.

So, bottom line here is that you shouldn’t just jump on the first, cheapest pest control company that you run across. If you really want the most for your money and want to actually GET RID of your pest problem, then do your homework. Investigate, ask questions and make smart choices.

Either that or start charging those critters rent.

Got a burning question about pest control or household pests? Leave a comment here or send an email to stephanie_mayberry@gmx.com and it could end up a topic here!
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