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What to look for before hiring a pest control company

[Sponsored] How do you protect your home from these and other uninvited guests?

Micropest Pest Control Sydney
Gerard Dallow has more than 35 years of providing pest solutions for thousands of pest infestations. - Photo courtesy Gerard Dallow
Gerard Dallow has more than 35 years of providing pest solutions for thousands of pest infestations. - Photo courtesy Gerard Dallow

This is a Sponsored Article written by Micropest Pest Control Sydney

It’s been estimated that termites, one of the world’s most destructive insects, are responsible for over $100 million of damage in Australian homes and $2 billion in US homes each year. It’s hard to believe that such tiny insects can cause so much damage to homes and businesses.

How do you protect your home from these and other uninvited guests?

While that may seem like a simple task, there are a surprising number of factors that you really should consider before picking up the phone. All pest control companies are not created equal, and the cost is not always the best barometer of expertise. 

We’re considering what you should look for in the pest control Sydney expert that you choose. Read on and tell us if you agree. 

Choosing a Pest Control Company: Four Factors to Note

Those brave souls who dedicate themselves to ridding our properties of insects, rodents, or other unwelcome guests are trained to do so. A pest control company carries a burden of responsibility to perform their duties in such a manner to keep people and pets safe. Here’s what you should know. 

1. Insurance and Licensing

Whether you’re battling with bedbugs or you’re carrying out preventative pest control for termites here in Sydney, you should be asking about insurance. Public liability insurance is a must, and you should never feel uncomfortable asking for the details of such insurance. There are many companies out there with no insurance. Some pests and extermination processes can affect the aesthetics and structure of your home, such as those required in the foundation or roof. Please take note of the damage clauses in your agreement and what they cover. 

Each individual or group wishing to administer pest management services will need a current pest control licence. While the requirements vary throughout the country, licensing requirements are taken seriously and are not easy to achieve by untrained individuals.

Ask for license types and numbers, and take some time to verify them with the controlling body. Research the certifications that the organisation possesses and compare these between your shortlisted companies. Find out whether the license is based on training or simply membership, what is required to achieve it, and whether they require ongoing training.

2. Experience

Experience matters! Ask them how long they have been in business and whether they use their own staff or contractors.

A significant difference between the licensing today and thirty-five years ago in Australia, to a full pest license, it used to take three years to complete and a lot of study. Today you can buy a franchise, and a trainer can give you a permit within thirty days. These newbies are not only trained well, but you don’t know who is walking around inside your home.

Where possible, look for a pest control team that has experience in managing your particular problem. Sound knowledge of the local species, their feeding habits, and breeding seasons, allows them to deal competently with an infestation. Pest control can be a disruptive procedure, and you will certainly prefer that the problem is handled effectively and safely on the first visit. 

Additional points that fall under the banner of experience may include:

  • Accurate and comprehensive pricing information. 
  • Careful management of expectations. 
  • Comprehensive contracts and agreements that cover all your concerns.

As with any partnership, you’ll want to find a team that you feel comfortable with. After all, these people will be in your home or regularly attend to issues in your office or commercial space. It’s the job of a team with years of experience to make you comfortable and set your mind at ease, leaving you with a feeling of certainty. 

Trust your intuition, and choose a pest control company that you feel relaxed with. Don’t make the mistake of leaving your pest problem until it becomes a major issue. Rather give yourself time to do your homework and unpack what’s best for you.

3. References

It’s fair to say that a pest control business that has been around for a long time is probably doing something right. Nevertheless, it’s a smart move to ask for references and talk with previous customers who have had a similar problem. Check out their company details on ASIC – Australian Securities and Investments Commission. 

Google reviews offer an excellent way for customers to voice their comments and rate their experience with a company, so be sure to check these out before signing on the dotted line. These comments will also give you a little more insight into how the company deals with its clients, their work ethic, and value for money.

It’s true that the best type of promotion is through word of mouth. Almost everyone you know will have used a pest control company at some point, so ask friends and family who they would recommend. These honest and unbiased opinions are valuable tools for choosing the right exterminator.

4. Methods

More consumers today are concerned about environmental and safety issues, and rightly so. Therefore, forward-thinking pest control businesses are likely to employ ‘green’ solutions that are less damaging to the environment and customers.

Differentiation Between Past and Current Pest Management Treatments

In a nutshell, the main fundamental difference between pest management in the past, and current methods, is all about repellent and non-repellent chemicals. When I first started in the industry, all the pest treatments we used were very cheap, toxic, environmentally unfriendly, smelly, messy, repellent and just outright dangerous. Some are even believed to be carcinogenic. The attitude was the more potent and the smellier the chemical was, and the more chemical applied, the better. Customers complained if there was not enough toxic smell or swimming pools of chemicals left on the floors, old school.

The current modern quality pest control treatments are little or low odour, non-repellent, low toxicity, expensive, stainless, and most importantly, environmentally friendly. Environmentally friendly in the sense that they don’t stay in the environment for an extended period. Unfortunately, most effective pest treatments have an element of toxicity but in increments relative to the target pest and not to babies and pets. Treatments are applied more strategically, reducing the amount of volume. Today if the pest treatment applied smells, the customer complains. But be warned, many cowboys out there will use highly toxic cheap chemicals to save a few dollars.

Ask the companies that you are considering how they plan to tackle the problem that you have. What methods do they prefer to use, and why? Which products do they make use of, and how do they affect the environment and you? Can they show you the labels and why they chose this particular product? Do they have a humane way of dealing with larger pests such as rodents, birds, or possoms? 

Take note of their proposals and compare them with others. A reputable company will be happy to share any information they have on your pest problem and will offer ways to prevent recurrences. They will use only recognised and registered pesticides and share the potential hazards and required precautions.

You may find that an array of methods are used, which gives you an opportunity to choose those that you prefer. 

Pick a Pest Control Specialist

Effective pest control is a delicate balance between service, knowledge, and experience. A reputable company will conduct a pest and termite inspection and take time to consider your concerns and questions before starting any work. Additionally, they will offer fair pricing, specific contracts, and in many cases, guarantees.

Choosing the right pest control Sydney company offers you a pest partner for life. They will be your go-to service when dealing with bedbugs, rats, flies, spiders, or termites – unsung heroes without capes, offering quality and value.

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