When you’ve just found out that your home or business has been infested with bed bugs, there are probably a million thoughts and questions running through your head. What do I do? Who do I hire? Where do I find the RIGHT pest professional? Should I try one of the DIY methods I found online?
IBBRA is here to help. Below you will find everything you need to know or ask, before hiring a pest control company.
Questions to Ask
During your initial inspection or interview, the technician will not only be inspecting the area, devising a treatment plan and getting all necessary info but they will also giving you a chance to interview them. You should ask any and all questions that come up. Don’t be shy, your pest professional should be able to answer any and all questions easily.
- First and foremost, what credentials does the company have, are they licensed and insured? Always ask to see their license and insurance. All pest professionals should hold liability insurance to cover any damages to your house or furnishings during treatment and “completed operations” coverage that covers for damages that occur or are discovered after the contractor leaves the premises.
- Do they “specialize” in bed bug treatments? Ask how much experience they have and what methods were used?
- What type of treatments and processes does the company offer? (Heat, Chemical, Fumigation, Other?) Which treatment option offers the most effective success ratio and why?
- Which treatment would be best for your environment and why? (Children, elderly, sick, medical or mental situations, handicapped, pets, clutter level will all come into play)
- Do you have to be involved in the treatment process and what is expected of you, your family, staff and/or tenants?
- How many treatments will it take to get rid of your problem? (Be sure to fully understand the nature of the pest, the extent of the infestation, and the work necessary to completely solve the problem)
- How much is this going to cost you? (When dealing with bed bug treatment it can be costly)
- Do they offer or provide extended or extra services for preparation?
- Do they offer a post-treatment follow-up?
- Do they have or have access to a detection dog team?
Things to Be Aware of and Avoid
There are several red flags that might come up in your initial interview or conversation with a pest professional. Trust your gut and get a second opinion if necessary. Here is a short list of things to avoid.
- Avoid any person or company that does not or can’t show you a valid ID, company license and insurance.
- Be aware of anyone who offers a treatment without confirming and “showing you evidence” of bed bugs or signs of them.
- Be aware of exterminators that offer “too good to be true” bargains.
- Stay away from anyone telling you, you MUST throw away all your furniture! (There may be exceptions for some furniture, but you should never be required to throw everything out)
Information You Should Have Ready For The Technician
To provide the most effective treatment possible, you will need to give your pest pro some background and additional info. Be prepared to answer the following questions. Remember, be honest and don’t be embarrassed. Bed bugs can affect anyone and past failed treatment attempts shouldn’t be an embarrassment either.
Your pest professional will need to know:
- When did you first notice the bed bug activity?
- Have you been on any trips or vacations lately?
- What is the current conditions (structures, age) of the dwellings?
- Have you tried any previous treatment methods?
- Are there any special concerns (health, environmental..ect) that they should be aware of?
The Pest Control Companies Responsibilities
As in any professional business, pest control is bound by business ethics and moral responsibility; and as professionals is expected to abide by them and provide the following:
You should be provided with well written/emailed educational materials on bed bugs that include realistic expectations, including warnings for impediments to the success of treatment (lack of client cooperation, reintroduction after treatment, etc.)
They should provide you with different preparation and instructions sheets required by the client or tenant dependent upon the service and treatment were chosen. (Dog inspections, preparation for heat or chemical and post-treatment instructions)
You should also be provided written agreements detailing the type of service, cost of service, fees for additional services if necessary, the time it will take, number of expected visits, estimated the success of the job and prevention tips)
What IBBRA Does For You
The IBBRA is dedicated to eliminating bed bugs by providing the most accurate educational materials, recognized product approval platform, and a network of trusted pest professionals. All of the pest professionals featured on the IBBRA website are required to uphold the most ethical business practices, remain current with all laws and regulations in their area, and be licensed and insured. Use our provider map to find a professional near you. You can navigate directly to their website for more info, or get their contact info right from their IBBRA listing.