Pest Control - Consumer Advice
Learn about pest control services and consumer protection advice on selecting a professional pest control company.
Every pest control service is not the same. The safer, more effective pest control products cost more. The level of training and experience of the service technician may vary greatly. In addition, the warranties offered by various companies may differ and indeed be worthless if the company subsequently goes out of business.

pest-control "Happy Haphazard" pest sprays... done dirt cheap

BE CAREFUL: Unrealistic price cutting and resultant inadequate servicing is more likely to occur with some companies operating from a rented residence using a temporary phone number. Here today - gone tomorrow.

Such low pricing may only be achieved by providing a sub-standard service using trainee operators and the cheaper old style highly 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 minimize 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 pest professional should recommend pest 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 more than five years.
One of the most common consumer complaints 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 to pay for retreatment and repairs.
Consumer Advice on Selecting a Pest Controller

Selecting a professional pest controller that will provide an appropriate "value for money" and 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.

Obtain several quotes and check out each of the companies. First inquire 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 recognized Pest Control Association?
Ask questions about termites and the different treatment options the company employs, the materials used, and their application techniques. Compare notes on the methods of each company. Which company seems the more professional?
Insurances: 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 service warranty or "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.

Books & References on Professional Pest Control

Handbook on Pest Control by Arnold Mallis. The leading industry text book in the United States of America since 1945. The most detailed textbook in the world on urban pest control. Current edition exceeds 1,400 pages.
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 Common 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.

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