When you decided to put down roots in the Pacific Northwest, you were likely dreaming of days spent by the endless fields and cool evenings on the back porch.
Chances are, you didn’t plan on dealing with a pest problem. Yet, the reality is that even the most diligent homeowner can still experience these unwanted guests. When they’ve overstayed their welcome, you need an expert on your side to give them the boot.
Are you wondering, “Who are the best exterminators near me?” If so, it pays to do your research.
Choose the right team, and your home can become pest-free again in no time. Partner with the wrong crew, and you could be left running in circles. You don’t have to spend your money and spin your wheels on half-hearted efforts that fail to fully eradicate the pests.
Today, we’re sharing 10 questions to ask prospective pest control companies to narrow down your options and help you find the best ones for your needs.
The Importance of Due Diligence
Especially when you’re dealing with a particularly invasive pest species, your first inclination might be to call the first team of technicians that you come across.
Yet, doing so could put you even further behind. Instead, take the time to ask these important questions and conduct quick interviews with each team before giving them the work. Most pest control companies will provide free estimates, and it’s wise to take advantage of this offer.
Obtain a few different estimates so you can see which team is the most affordable. Then, compare the professionalism and overall quality that each team provides. At the end of the day, it’s best to choose a crew that has the reputation and competency level you’re expecting, so try to lead with those factors.
When you’re ready to get started, let’s take a look at 10 of the most important questions to ask any team that you contact.
1. How Many Years Have You Been in Business?
It’s true that everyone has to start somewhere. Still, if you’re dealing with roaches or rats in your home, do you really want a brand-new team learning on the job?
You need a company that has been in business long enough to intimately understand all of the local pest species that call Eastern Oregon home, as well as the best methods to treat and control them.
At Altus Pest Control, we’re proud to have more than 35 years of combined experience in the pest control industry. Not only are we well-versed on the pests that invade the Pacific Northwest, but we’re recognized as an overall leader in the greater pest control business.
Before signing on the dotted line with any company, ask about their history. In addition to their years of service, also check into their local reputation and industry standing. You can contact the following entities to learn if there are any open or past complaints filed against the company:
- The Better Business Bureau (BBB)
- Your state’s Attorney General’s office
- Your state’s Department of Agriculture
- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
The Department of Agriculture and EPA may be involved if the company in question has received complaints for misusing pesticides.
2. Are You Licensed and Insured?
Your great-uncle’s best friend might be able to come over and spray your yard for stinging insects, but do you really know what he’s using and if it’s safe for your family?
Not only can DIY approaches wind up being a major waste of time and money, but they can actually damage your house and yard in some circumstances. That’s why it’s always best to leave your home in the hands of the professionals.
Ask each pest control company to show you a copy of their business license. Then, make sure it’s authentic and up-to-date. Reputable technicians will not scoff at this request and will be happy to provide the documentation you need. You can also check a company’s business standing on your state’s Secretary of State website.
At the same time, also make sure to ask about the team’s insurance coverage. As they work in and around your home, technicians can encounter risks and you need to make sure they are protected, along with your property.
Our team at Altus Pest Control is both licensed and insured. We have a long-standing reputation with our local community and we are dedicated to client satisfaction.
3. What Kinds of Pesticides Do You Use?
You deserve to know all about the chemicals that are being used to treat your home for pests.
Ask each exterminator to explain the pesticides they use, as well as their methods of application. This way, there are no questions or gray areas and you can decide for yourself if you’re comfortable with the approach.
A team with nothing to hide will be willing to show you the labels of each pesticide they use, along with the instructions they follow to apply it. In these instructions, you can find details on proper application rates, as well as any necessary precautions that the team should take.
If you receive any pushback on this request, consider this a red flag and continue your search elsewhere. A company that is not forthcoming on the products or applications it uses likely has something to hide. For instance, they might use a banned pesticide that’s considered generally unsafe, even if effective.
Our team is ready to share any information about any product we use. We value our clients’ health and safety and equip our technicians with the latest equipment and products, ensuring that they’re in line with today’s top industry recommendations.
One important distinction that sets us apart? All of the products we used are approved by the EPA. The EPA goes to great lengths to evaluate and assess pesticide risks, taking into account ecological risks, as well as risks to human health.
Not only must new products be approved before they enter the market, but existing products are also reviewed periodically to ensure they continue to meet safety standards. By using EPA-approved products, we’re doing our part to ensure that the pest control techniques we use only contribute to the overall health of your home and never detract from it.
4. Who Will Perform the Actual Work?
The contact you speak to on the phone may not be the same person who comes out to treat your home for pests.
It’s important to make sure that any company you call has a robust team of certified and experienced technicians who are qualified to do the job. Each company in this industry is required to have at least one certified, licensed pesticide applicator, and some will also have certified technicians working under their direct supervision.
At Altus Pest Control, we are committed to hiring only the best, most professional technicians. We invest in our workforce and provide expert training for anyone who joins our team, covering the following topics as required by the state of Oregon:
- Laws and safety
- Structural pests
- General pests
You can rest assured that anyone we send to your home is one of our top experts, equipped with robust experience and industry-leading tools and resources. In addition to new technician training, we also comply with state laws mandating that all licensed exterminators and technicians complete continuing education courses to keep their knowledge and training top of mind.
5. Are You a Member of the NPMA?
The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) is a non-profit trade association that boasts more than 5,000 industry members that span the globe.
Increasingly, pest control companies are realizing the benefits of teaming with the NPMA, as the organization can help teams improve the overall quality of their business.
Throughout the year, the NPMA hosts myriad educational opportunities and events aimed at helping industry experts perfect their craft. It also maintains a regularly updated knowledgebase of online technical, training and safety resources for instant access.
If your pest control company is a member of the NPMA, those benefits ultimately extend to you as a homeowner. Through this organization, technicians have front-row access to continued education and regulatory guidance to help them continually provide top-notch services to every residential and commercial client.
Atlus Pest Control is a proud NPMA member. Not only do we receive frequent and timely expert advice, but we’re also among the first to know of industry updates. This way, we can respond in a more effective and efficient manner any time we’re called to perform an inspection or share our knowledge with others.
6. Can You Provide a List of References?
Before hiring any team, ask to see a list of these references and contact each of them. Ask for honest feedback about the company’s professionalism, safety and overall performance.
Sometimes, this step is already taken care of for you. Many companies will have a Testimonials page on their website, where they list reviews from past clients. It’s worth taking the time to read through these reviews to get a firsthand account of how the team operates.
Look for phases that speak to the technicians’ promptness and professionalism as well as the effectiveness of the treatment. Did they manage to get rid of the pests for good or was there a second infestation soon after?
In addition to calling a list of references and checking for online testimonials, you can also ask your friends, family members, and social media followers if they have ever used a pest control company for their property. If so, who would they recommend and why?
Using a tool such as Facebook Recommendations, you can reach a wide number of people in your circle with a single click. In addition, don’t be afraid to take your search a little wider.
Research shows that 84% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from people they know. If you’ve exhausted your local connections, Google each company on your list and read reviews on sites such as Yelp. You can also check the company’s profile on online business databases, such as Google My Business.
7. Can You Identify the Pests in My Home?
Any pest control technician who visits your property should be able to identify the pests that are invading it.
The team in question should have years of experience in your area, and should have no trouble explaining how the pests got there, why they’re staying and the exact methods they’ll use to remove them. They can also tell you the exact stage that the pests are in, such as:
Different stages often require varying treatments, so it’s important that the technicians properly assess their state. In addition to informing you on the exact pest issue you’re dealing with, the team should be able to explain the severity of the infestation. They should also provide a general timeline of how long they’ve been there and how long treatment will take.
If anyone comes to your home and seems stumped about these points, keep looking until you find a more knowledgeable crew. To that end, it helps to do your own research about the issue before the technicians come out. While you don’t need to be a pest expert, it’s important to recognize when the team is giving you valid information and when they’re spreading falsities to try and earn your business.
Our Altus Pest Control team operates differently. In addition to identifying your current pest problems, we’ll also explain how the pests are getting into your home, as well as any future problems you could face if the issue is left untreated.
We’re proud to take a proactive stance against pests, following guidelines set forth by the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Institute of North America. The IPM standards center on identifying, managing and reducing the risk of pests in a way that minimizes any economic, health or environmental risks to surrounding areas. We’re dedicated to keeping your home, family and pets safe and we have the tools, knowledge and resources to do so.
8. Do You Offer a Written Quote?
Hiring a pest control company to treat your home and property is an important investment. As such, most companies will assume that you are taking bids from multiple local experts. Yet, some might be difficult to work with, holding their pricing back until they know they’ve got the job.
In return, they may offer a rough estimate of what you can expect to pay. This estimate is often given verbally, and sometimes without anyone actually inspecting your property or assessing the level of your infestation.
Never accept a verbal estimate or offer, regardless of whether it’s given over the phone or in person. While it’s rare, there are some dishonest companies that will tell you one price, and then charge you a much different number when it’s time to send the invoice. If you signed before reading that fine print, you could find yourself in deeper water than when you started.
Instead, team with a company that provides a written/pdf quote before performing any services, and vows to stand by it. They should also take the time to perform an in-depth inspection before talking numbers, as your situation is unique and should be treated as such. Most importantly, make sure that it is a quote, rather than simply an estimate.
As its name implies, an estimate is just that. It isn’t set in stone and there is too much wiggle room built in, allowing unscrupulous companies to take advantage of unassuming homeowners. Stick with companies that provide free inspections and written, detailed quotes. That way, you know exactly what you’re paying for so there are no surprises.
9. Do You Guarantee Your Services?
At Altus Pest Control, we have a customer-centric motto: If the bugs come back, so do we!
We’re confident in our ability to effectively eradicate any pest from your home, and we offer a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee on our residential pest control service. Known as our Protection Promise, this guarantee ensures you that if you aren’t satisfied with our work for any reason, we will provide additional follow-up services until you are.
If you experience any bug issues between our treatments, we’re happy to come back and take care of the issue for you. Along the way, if we fail to meet your expectations, you can request a credit or refund up to the full amount of your last service charge.
In addition, we also provide an industry-leading Re-Service Guarantee. If your pests come back between our scheduled visits, we will re-service your home free of charge.
How can we offer such terms? The answer is simple: We’re confident in our abilities, tools and resources.
Ask any potential pest control company if they can offer the same level of service and if they stand by their work in the same manner. You shouldn’t be forced to pay over and over again for half-hearted treatments that don’t do the job.
10. Do You Offer Custom Pest Control Plans?
Each pest infestation is unique.
The conditions that led to your issue are not exactly the same as anyone else’s. At the same time, the treatment and approach that best suits your property might not work as well at your neighbor’s house.
Understanding this, we take a customized approach to every pest control service we provide. When you reach out to our team, we’ll work with you step-by-step to determine the most advantageous and affordable route for your situation. This includes discussing all of your treatment options, explaining our available methods, and answering any questions you might have.
Then, we’ll take all of these details and create a custom treatment plan that best fits your needs and your budget. This way, you can feel confident that your plan isn’t cookie cutter, but is designed around your exact requirements, nothing more and nothing less.
Think twice about teaming with a company that takes a generic, one-size-fits-all approach to your pest control services. This could mean paying for services that you don’t need or agreeing to treatments that might not be as effective considering your situation.
Ask any contact if they’re willing to tweak their standard packages to fit your requirements. If you receive a negative response, inquire why that’s the case or keep searching until you find a team like ours that takes a personalized approach with every client.
Who Are The Best Exterminators Near Me? The Local Team You Can Trust
If you’re dealing with a pest problem, the last thing you need to worry about is weeding through unreliable teams to find the best local exterminator. In times like this, it’s helpful to have a trusted local team on speed dial.
Instead of spending hours Googling, “The best exterminators near me”, why not go straight to the source? If you’re in the Eastern Oregon area, we’d love to be your go-to pest control experts.
Our team has served this industry for decades and we’re one of the top teams in the Pacific Northwest. We’ve earned this reputation through years of high-quality, customer-focused service and an ongoing dedication to our craft.
From ants to voles and every flying, stinging, burrowing and biting pest in between, we do it all. In addition to residential pest control services, we also provide safe and effective treatments for commercial clients. Feel free to explore our site to learn more about the services we provide and contact us today to get started.