Research shows that nearly 85% of American homeowners have experienced a pest problem in the past year. Does that include you?
Whether you’re dealing with ants, roaches, moles or a litany of intruders in between, one thing is for certain: You need these unwanted guests gone as soon as possible.
When you’re in the throes of an infestation, you may be tempted to call the first pest control company you find online, without doing much research into their credibility or reputation. Yet, taking this shortcut could leave you with more problems than you started with, along with less money and a worsened headache.
The best pest control companies are those that get the job right the very first time. They’re responsive, professional, and rely on the most modern tools and technologies to successfully eradicate the pests that have called your property their own for too long.
Today, we’re sharing 10 qualities to look for when it’s time to compare your options. By prioritizing these factors, you can rest assured that the team you choose is the best one for the job.
Why Should You Look For the Best Pest Control Companies?
Sure, your brother’s co-worker’s uncle may swear he knows just the trick to help keep mice and rats away. However, consider the long-term consequences you could suffer if this so-called “wonder method” fails to take care of the rodents in your pantry.
First, you’ve spent money on an ineffective treatment. Pests aren’t exactly polite enough to make sure you’ve budgeted for them, so it’s likely that this was an unexpected expense. Not only can that take away from your monthly savings, but it can make it more challenging to turn around and pay for another, professional treatment in the same timeframe.
Next, there’s a good chance you aren’t 100% aware of the chemicals and treatments used in the failed pest control method. Can you be certain that there were no potentially dangerous chemicals used? While you want the pests gone for good, you don’t want to expose your pets and family members to fumes that could harm them.
Finally, it’s important to remember how much your time and sanity are worth. Trusting your pest problem to an unverified or unprofessional source can put you even more behind than you started. Meanwhile, as you spend your money and waste that time, the pests in your home are allowed to freely roam and reproduce, which can greatly exacerbate even the most manageable infestation.
Ultimately, it’s in your best interest to hire the best local pest control company right from the start. Yet, one online search query will reveal that there are likely quite a few in your community. How can you know which one to call?
To help you narrow down your options, here are 10 factors that can help you categorize the teams near you. If you find one that checks all of these boxes, add them to your speed dial list and give them a call as soon as possible!
1. The Best Pest Control Companies Are Licensed
Put simply, a business license means credibility.
It means that the company in question isn’t performing this service as a sideline venture or part-time gig. Rather, they’ve invested the time, energy and resources required to stand out as a reputable expert in their space.
In the state of Idaho, you can search for any business by name to make sure that they hold an active and up-to-date business license. This service is available for any company, across any industry. Simply visit the Oregon Secretary of State’s website and use their handy online search tool.
Here, you can find any local company with a simple search! You can see their current filing status, along with their filing date, renewal information and other key details about their business history. If the pest control team you’re considering doesn’t have these credentials or is unwilling to share those details with you, consider that a red flag.
At the end of the day, there are plenty of legitimate pest control companies in your area. You don’t have to settle for one that insists on flying under the radar. Teaming up with a group like that could mean major issues if the work is subpar and you decide to pursue charges or seek compensation for the money you spent.
2. They Are Insured
Most of the time, you don’t have a pest problem deep in the woods. Rather, you have an issue right inside of your home, or along your lawn and garden area. That means that anyone you hire to take care of this problem will be working around some of your most valuable belongings.
What would you do if one of the technicians accidentally damaged some part of your property? For instance, they could lose their balance and knock over an expensive vase in your kitchen. At the same time, would you be able to cover the medical bills if a team member slipped on your icy sidewalk and broke their hip?
A valid pest control company will carry insurance that covers both property damage and personal liability. This way, you know they are fully covered and financially secure in the event of an accident.
If you welcome someone onto your property who is not insured, you could be held liable for any damages incurred while they’re there.
3. They Are Members of Industry-Recognized Organizations
At Altus Pest Control, we’re proud to be members of the National Pest Management Association, or NPMA. The NPMA is a non-profit organization comprised of around 5,000 members from all around the world.
The mission of the NPMA is to educate pest management professionals on tools and techniques that are both effective and safe for public health. Members have access to top-tier training and education opportunities, as well as public policy advocacy, regulatory changes, market updates and more.
Membership into the NPMA is not required to be a reputable pest management company. However, it shows commitment to excellence and a focus on industry leadership. Ask each prospective company that you interview if they are members of the NPMA. If not, inquire on what guidelines and guidance they reference as a baseline for their education and performance.
4. They Guarantee Results
You don’t want your pest problem only halfway solved. You don’t want to get rid of most of the ants in your kitchen only to find that the few that remain have created an entirely new colony a few months later.
A reliable pest control company is proud of their work and more than willing to stand behind it. Their technicians use methods that they know are reliable and capable of taking care of your infestation completely.
As a result, they offer a service guarantee that many in the industry are unwilling or unable to extend. Take our team, for instance.
We offer guaranteed solutions to every pest problem that you may encounter. We will call upon our decades of combined experience and access to top-of-the-line pest management tools to fully solve your problem the first time. We’ll make sure you’re 100% happy with the service we provide, and your satisfaction is our top priority at every turn.
5. They’re Familiar With Local Pests
When you’re on a quest to find the best local pest control company near you, it pays to go with a team that has a local headquarters nearby.
Why is this so important?
There are some general pests that homeowners all over the country deal with. These can include ants, roaches, and fleas, among others. Then, there are some pests that are more acclimated to your particular climate, showing up in greater quantities in your region than elsewhere on the map.
Oregon residents and business owners alike are all too familiar with these location-specific bugs. Some of the most common ones include box elder bugs and elm seed bugs! Arriving around the Pacific Northwest in the early spring, these pests can invade the exterior of your home as the temperatures turn warm, wreaking havoc on the interior once they make their way indoors.
Ask each team how long they have been in the general pest management business. Then, ask how long they’ve been doing work in your part of the state. Are they familiar with the bugs that are bugging you? If not, the treatments they use could be ill-equipped to truly take care of the issue at hand.
Ultimately, it’s best to find pest control specialists that live and work in the same area whenever possible. We’re a local, family-owned company that has the industry knowledge and local expertise you need to help you live pest-free.
6. They Have Glowing Reviews
You shouldn’t have to play a virtual game of hide and seek to find out what people are saying about the pest control company you’re considering.
If you don’t know where to start, you can always ask your friends and family members if they have any recommendations. Who do they hire for their regular preventative pest control services? If they’ve had an infestation in the past, who did they use and were they satisfied with the outcome?
To widen your circle just a bit, consider posing the same questions on your social media profile, reaching your Facebook or Twitter followers, for instance. Once you have a short list of viable prospects, search for their business name on Google to learn more about them.
In the search engine results pages (SERPs) that pop up, you should see the online Google My Business (GMB) profiles of the top pest control companies in your area. These small boxes contain critical information about each company, including their location, contact information and hours of operation. You can also see user reviews here.
To find more feedback from past clients, follow the website links on each profile and click around the pages you find. Most professional pest control companies will have a dedicated page just for Testimonials, where you can read more from former customers who have been in your exact same shoes.
While each company will naturally put their most glowing reviews on these pages, look for trends in the details that can help you learn more about them. Does their timeliness keep coming up? Does everyone reference their professionalism and expertise? Insights such as these can help you get a better picture of what you can expect moving forward.
7. They Hire Trained, Experienced Technicians
The pest control technicians that arrive at your doorstep should be courteous, professionally-dressed and on time. In addition, they should also be well-versed in exactly how to approach and eliminate your pest problem.
When you team with our company, you have immediate access to technicians and experts who have more than three decades of experience in the pest control industry. Not only do we use the highest-quality products available, but we go to great lengths to hire the best technicians around.
Then, we invest in their ongoing education, training and career management. We provide our team members with access to resources that can help them grow in their field, so we can continue to provide our clients with the top-notch service they’ve come to expect from our local team. Many of these educational opportunities are made available through our membership in the NPMA, which is one more reason to look for companies who carry this credential!
If you’re unsure about the caliber of the team you’re hiring, it’s always OK to ask about their credentials. How long have they been in the business and what makes them qualified to perform the work required? Reputable companies will be more than willing to share these details to help you feel as comfortable as possible about hiring their team.
8. They Use Safe, Family-Friendly Products
It doesn’t take long to hop on the internet and discover dozens of underhanded ways to get rid of the pests that are bothering you. Many DIY “pest experts” claim that you can make your own household solutions full of caustic chemicals that will surely eliminate them for good!
The only issues? Not only is that approach inhumane, but it could also put your family and pets at risk. In addition, there’s a good chance you’ll kill only the pests you can see, leaving the rest to hide out and multiply behind the scenes.
Modern pest management techniques have evolved greatly in the past few years. Now, treatments are both effective and environmentally friendly, so you never have to worry about exposing your loved ones to dangerous, toxic fumes.
At Altus Pest Control, every product we use is approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). You can feel confident about inviting us into your home or workplace, assured that we can successfully take control of the issue in a way that takes both your family and the pests into account. Our methods are powerful enough to be effective, but not at the expense of the environment.
9. They Have a Virtual Presence
In 2020, any company worth its salt should have some kind of website or virtual presence. This includes even the smallest local pest management companies near you.
If they’re unwilling to invest in a sleek web design and don’t have any sort of social media profiles, it can be very difficult to learn more about their company, their team or their industry approach.
That’s why we’ve taken the time to create a website that not only looks great, but is easy for any user to navigate. With just a few clicks, you can find entire web pages that discuss in length the methods we use to treat any kind of pest.
For instance, when you navigate to our general Pest Control page, you can get a general overview of our pest management approach and the quality of the services we offer. From there, you can click on any of the pests on our list to learn more about our specific approach for that particular issue.
Take our Ant page, for example.
Here, you’ll find in-depth details on the pesky carpenter ants that tend to invade our area. In addition to general information on these ants (including how to identify them and the damage they can cause), we also share surefire signs of an infestation, and how to tell them apart from a similar invader– termites! In addition, we go into detail about our exact approach to treating these common pests and eliminating their colonies for good.
This attention to detail continues throughout our website, with similar notes and explanations provided for each pest that our team can help treat. In addition, we make it easy to find and follow us on social media! You’ll find buttons to our Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, and Pinterest accounts right at the footer of our page. This is a great way to keep up with our team, learn about upcoming promotions and understand more about local pests.
10. They Offer Free Quotes
You should be wary of any pest control company that sends you an invoice and expects you to pay for services before they are rendered. What if the initial scope was underpriced and the infestation ended up being far more advanced than the company first realized? In that case, you could be stuck with a bill that’s far higher than you first agreed to, but you’ve already signed on the bottom line without reading the fine print.
At the same time, it’s impossible for a team to give you an accurate quote without visiting your property in person to perform an inspection and fully understand the depth of the issue. A state-licensed technician will need to accurately identify the exact kind of pest you’re dealing with, as well as the source of the infestation.
In the meantime, this is where an educated quote can be incredibly helpful.
Look for a company that will provide free quotes and estimates upon request. This way, you can make an educated decision about whether you want to move forward with their team or continue your search elsewhere. As you review each quote, keep in mind that these are rough estimates that are subject to change once the team arrives at your property and fully assesses the pest problem in its entirety.
At no point should you ever feel obligated to choose a company based on their quote alone. Experts understand that you are doing your due diligence and that an estimate isn’t a guarantee of work. Take your time this process and only sign off to partner with a company once you’re certain they’re a great fit.
Local Pest Control Expertise You Can Trust
When you’re in the middle of a pest problem, you have so much more on your mind than diving into the many options before you. You need those bugs gone yesterday, and you’re ready to hire any team that can promise you a job well done.
While this might be the most convenient approach to take, it’s important to remember the significance and severity of the issue before you. Even a minor infestation can cause significant, costly damage to both the interior and exterior of your home. That’s why you should spend time researching the best pest control companies in your area.
The good news? This should be a one-time project. Once you find a team that meets or exceeds all of your requirements, you’ll know exactly who to call in the future. If you live in or around the Ontario, OR region, we’d love to be that resource for you.
With more than 35 years of industry experience and an in-depth knowledge of local pests, we’re the licensed, insured, certified and qualified team you’ve been looking for. To schedule a treatment or learn more about our preventative services, feel free to reach out to us today.