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Considerations When Selecting a Pest Control Company

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As much as we genuinely hope that you will utilize Venables Pest Management’s services, we also acknowledge that there are several other fantastic and highly reputable pest control companies in our area. There are also a growing number of companies that do not operate in the best interest of the customer, and we’d like to give you an insider’s perspective on some tools to assess whether the pest company you’re considering will best fit your needs.

A joke in our industry has emerged about us all driving white trucks and most technicians dressing similarly. Most websites promote friendly faces that feel very local and promote their green and eco-friendly products and practices. However, what is seen on the surface can vary widely once the service is initiated.

To add to this, a significant number of companies selling door to door have emerged over these last several years as well. Selling tactics by companies conducting sales in this manner vary widely, but often we hear about the use of scare techniques to coerce consumers into purchasing services. Common themes tend to include incorrect identification of pests, presence and severity of an infestation, and incorrect information about the pest company with which the individual is currently on service.

Many of these companies have fantastic marketing teams and employ highly trained salespeople so as the customer, you don’t quite understand what you’ve signed up for until you proceed with service and find out that the experience doesn’t fully live up to the expectations you’ve been promised. In fact, a Google search often even comes up with rave reviews. Unfortunately, many of these service offerings also bind customers into multi-year contracts that are very hard to get out of without incurring additional costs.

Below is a list of considerations when selecting a pest control company. Many of these are applicable to all contractors and home services as well:

  1. Pest Control Operator Licensing Requirements – Do both service technicians and salespeople hold active licenses from the Washington State Department of Agriculture? You can verify here. They should also have their license on their person while conducting business. If a person is in training, their trainer needs to hold a valid license and be present on site too.
  1. What are the hiring practices of the company? Are background checks and pre-hire drug tests being completed?
  1. What are the training practices and length of training for newly hired individuals? (VPM’s training program is typically 4-6 weeks to give a point of reference.) What about ongoing education?
  1. Is the company in good standing with the Washington State regulatory agencies? L&I has a great contractor lookup tool to verify the status of contractors and tradespersons:
  1. What is the length of the contract you are signing? What is the penalty if you elect to discontinue service before the initial contract period is complete?
  1. How quickly will you receive a response if you have a pest concern between your regular service visits? Will there be an added charge?
  1. What is the regular service frequency? What will happen if you need to skip or reschedule a visit? Will you still be charged for the visit that wasn’t completed?
  1. Are the pests that you are paying for and receiving service for pests of concern in the PNW? (Many lists can look very impressive, but if they include more than spiders, ants, mice, rats, yellow jackets and overwintering pests take pause.)
  1. What is the longevity of the company? How long have they been around and operating under their current name. (This speaks to their reputation. This may also be investigated under the L&I link above.)
  1. Is the company in good standing with the National Pest Management Association and the Washington State Pest Management Association? (Bonus: if they have Quality Pro Certification.)

A final note… The sales process should also feel comfortable and not forced. You should be allowed time to digest information, gather bids from other companies and consider your options. If you are offered a “today only” special that, too, should be considered a red flag.

As always, Venables Pest is happy to answer any further questions or concerns you may have on this topic. Ultimately, we want to be sure you are well cared for with your pest control needs – whether by ourselves or one of the other reputable local companies in our area.

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