|Learn about pest control services in USA and consumer protection advice on selecting a professional pest control company.|
|Unfortunately, the pest control industry has a mixed
reputation ... good and bad. It is far too easy to start up a pest
control business employing people to use the hazardous pesticides who do
not have the training or motivation to provide a safe and effective service.
|"Happy Haphazard" pest sprays... done dirt
Unrealistic price cutting and resultant inadequate servicing regularly occurs with some companies operating from a rented residence using a temporary phone number. Here today - gone tomorrow.
Such low pricing can be compromised by providing a sub-standard service using trainee operators and the cheaper old style more toxic pesticides - a hazard to themselves and the general public.
The modern technology products are far safer but much more expensive and require a higher level of skill to ensure an effective result.
| In most cases, a serious termite infestation will
require the use of some chemicals, in order to minimise the risk of severe
timber damage to a building. However, there are modern products and technologies
available to suit environmentally sensitive situations.
After a thorough inspection and detailed written report on the premises, your termite professional should recommend a range of termite control methods suited to your particular circumstances, with an emphasis on safety and effective protection of the premises.
| PLEASE NOTE: home insurance does NOT cover
termite damage to the timbers in a building. A chemical soil barrier treatment
should provide an effective barrier against termites for over five years.
The most common consumer complaint is that the Company has NOT done the job properly "the termites are back causing major damage" and the Company has disappeared, leaving the home-owner with the problem.
|Selecting a professional pest controller that will provide an appropriate "value for money" safe and effective service can be a daunting task. Your enquiries should focus on whether the business is a solid company in case a problem arises in the future, the level of expertise, insurance cover, any warranties applicable and the safety aspects employed.|
several quotes and check out each of the companies. First enquire
as to how long the business has been established. Do they have a good reputation
in the market-place. Are they a member of a recognised Pest Control Association?
Ask questions about termites and the different treatment options the company employs, the chemicals used, their toxicity and safety aspects. Compare notes on the methods of each company. Which company seems the more professional?
Make sure the company carries professional indemnity and public liability insurance for their termite control services and inspection reports.
Be present during the termite inspection. Study the general presentation of the inspector, such as, was the inspector in company uniform, with proper identification? Did he/she arrive in a tidy motor vehicle and use quality equipment, including a moisture meter? Was a thorough inspection carried out? Were you presented with informative documentation regarding the inspection findings and treatment proposals? Did he/she adequately explain the alternatives so you are confident he/she knew his/her subject matter? Were there any other aspects that may indicate professionalism or otherwise? Make notes and comparisons.
Enquire as to the qualifications and experience of the termite inspector. Does he/she have a current pest controller license (and not just a trainee permit). You should cite his/her State Government issued pest controller license, noting name, number and expiry date.
Enquire as to whether the company uses employees or sub-contractors. Be wary of companies with sub-contractors as problems often occur in the market place where sub-contractors are obliged to pay for the supply of chemical and other costs but do not assume responsibility if the service proves to be inadequate at a later date.
Ask about any applicable back-up service period. For example, a company may provide you with a twelve month "FREE service period" for a chemical soil barrier treatment where the termite controller is confident a complete barrier is in place around the entire foot-print or perimeter of the building. This annual service period may be extended annually thereafter (at the customers option) provided necessary regular inspections and other essential control measures are carried out as recommended.
Be wary of companies that offer a 10 or 20 year warranty as this commits you for that period, so you have to obtain (pay for) regular inspections and other work whether or not you want it. Such a long term warranty offer is usually unrealistic and a sign of short-term intentions.
Termites - Biology and Pest Management by M.J. Pearce. An authoritative text on termites, their biology and termite control methods world-wide.
Termites and other Commom Timber Pests by Phil Hadlington. This is an excellent book on Termites and Termite Control.
Trueman's Scientific Guide to Pest Control Operations. A Purdue University publication, Indiana, USA. A comprehensive text of more than 500 pages.
Wood-Destroying Insects, Wood Borers and Termites by J.W. Creffield. An excellent publication from CSIRO Publishing.