The First-Time Homeowner’s Guide to Pest Control Services

There were more than two million first-time homebuyers last year. If you were lucky enough to be one of them, you still might be adjusting to the responsibility of homeownership.

You’re learning that you need reliable service providers that you can call to assist you with just about anything. You’ll need to have good pest control services if you want to enjoy your new home without bugs and other critters.

It’s important to get the decision right the first time, and we’ll walk you through the steps to find the perfect pest control company for your needs.

Start with Research

The place to start is to see what the top local companies are in your area. You’ll want to ask your neighbors, colleagues, and family members for names of pest control companies they’ve worked with.

As you start to get a list of names, you’ll find that some companies were mentioned more than once. These are the ones you want to focus on, as long as the feedback was positive.

Do a search for each company online, take a look at their websites and online reviews. Also, look at business sites like the Better Business Bureau and Angie’s List for more feedback.

Licensed and Insured

Since pest control providers and technicians deal with highly dangerous chemicals, they have to undergo training and pass an exam to get licensed.

Most states also require that pest control companies carry business insurance. You should look for their certifications and licensing information on their website.


It’s best to work with an experienced pest control company. They are likely to have a strong reputation in the community and they’ll have the experience to spot common pest problems.

These companies are likely to take their reputation seriously and deliver outstanding service with a strong sense of professionalism.

Interview Potential Pest Services

At this point, all of the pest control companies might look the same to you. There are some things you want to ask to help you differentiate between the best companies and the other ones.

These questions are the ones you should ask to find the right service provider.

Who Will Actually Provide the Service?

There’s a good chance that the person doing the estimate isn’t the person who will treat your property. There are technicians and other employees that will do the work.

You need to know who’s doing the work, if they are licensed and insured, and if background checks have been performed.

Can I See the Labels of the Pesticides and How They Are Applied?

This is an important question to ask because you want to know exactly how your property is treated. It’s a matter of safety for your pets, family, and guests. Some providers, like Affinity Pest Control, mention that the treatments used are safe for kids and pets.

What Additional Training Do Your and Your Employees Have?

Pest control providers that are serious about their work will have additional certifications. They’ll have additional training to stay up to date on technology and pesticide application.

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They may have certifications in certain areas, such as eco-friendly applications and wildlife management.

Can You Provide a Written Estimate?

A written estimate can protect you from a bait and switch situation. You should get a few estimates and compare them before making your decision.

Read the written estimate closely. There may be a clause in the contract that authorizes regular service. You want to be clear on the services you’re getting, the costs, and if there is a guarantee on the service.

Is It Possible to Identify the Source of the Issue?

You’re hiring pest control services to eradicate the household pests. The best way to do that is to deal with the source of the issue. Not all providers will be able to tell you what the source is.

The ones that do tell you will be able to eliminate the problem instead of providing a temporary solution.

Scam Alert

Unfortunately, there are some service providers that are little more than scams. Companies that use these tactics to get you to sign up should raise red flags.

They might pressure you to sign up right away, and to sweeten the deal, they’ll add on other services like painting or landscaping.

Some companies might say that they have a patented formula that only they can use. Ask them if it’s registered with the EPA and your state’s Department of Agriculture. All pesticides need to be registered with these agencies.

Scammers seek out the most vulnerable among us, mostly elderly people. Some companies will turn to door-to-door sales in retirement communities to drum up business. If you see this type of activity, ask them to show their license and/or certifications.

They may try to generate a sense of urgency by saying your neighbor had a pest control problem. They’ll say that your home can have an issue, too. They’ll then offer to take care of the problem.

One other red flag is that they can’t provide an estimate because they charge by the gallon. Pest control companies can use quite a bit of pesticide to cover your property. That gives a scammer an opportunity to mark up the prices.

Finding the Best Pest Control Services

Homeownership is a great thing, but it does come with a ton of responsibility. You’re in charge of maintaining the property. If you have household pests, you’ll need to have a pest control company take care of it.

Finding pest control services isn’t always easy. You need to know the warning signs to spot scams and ask the right questions to find the best provider in your area.

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