Choosing the Right Pest Control

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Choosing the Right Pest Control

By Dr. Lee S. Yudin

Pacific Daily News

October 31, 1998

 

Most of us make it a high priority to minimize our interactions with the insect world. We try ot seal up our homes and keep them as clean as possible just to avoid any contact with these six-legged creatures. However, due to their sheer numbers and their small size, insects have the expertise to make their way inside any dwelling. When home remedies no longer work, you may need to contact a professional Pest Control Operator.

            Since there are a number of Pest Control Companies doing business on Guam, here are a few suggestions to help you select the right company for your insect extermination needs.

  • First, don not panic. There is no need to become alarmed I you find that there are insect pests attacking your home, apartment, or business. Take you time, and do not permit anyone to rush you into purchasing pest control services. Take the time you need to make informed decisions. There is always time to purchase this service wisely and at your convenience.
  • You can look in the Yellow pages of the phone book to familiarize yourself with the different companies doing business in your area. Since certain pest control jobs require specialized equipment, specific chemicals, and pest familiarity, it is very important ot retain the services of a competent and professional pest control operator.
  • As the consumer, you are free to shop, but treat the companies with the same courtesy and respect you hope they will return to you as professionals.
  • Be sure that you are dealing with a reliable firm that is both licensed and certified to do the work, has an established place of business, and a dependable track record for providing quality services. Ask for reference letters of recommendation, number of years in business, size of company, and check them carefully. If affirm offers references of previous work, take time to check them carefully. Reliable firms welcome this approach.
  • Guam has a pesticide use and applicator law under which all commercial pest control companies must operate. Each technician will have identification issued by the Guam Environmental Protection Agency indicating their certification (and its expiration date) for using and applying restricted commercially used pesticides.
  • Arrange for a thorough pest inspection, with the knowledge that prices and terms can vary significantly between companies. A proper inspection should include a written report which notes the location of areas damaged by either active or inactive pest infestations. The report should include a description of where and how many treatments will be made to control the infestation. Ask for all treatment options available to correct the problem (i.e., the use of residual spay, fogging, baiting, and or fumigation).
  • An estimated cost of chemicals, baits, or other controls should be included in their report. Determine whether the estimate is a firm price and be cautious if it is not. If you decide to obtain more than one opinion, quote or inspection, let each firm involved know that other firms were contacted and what you have learned. Be sure the cost doesn’t distract you from the services offered.
  • You will probably be asked to sign a work order or contract when you engage a firm. Understand clearly what obligations you are assuming and what you will get in return. Read the fine print on the contract and ask questions if you are n not comfortable.
  • Know the terms of the contract. It is customary to provide a warranty on termite and general pest control work. Make sure you know exactly what warranty the firm offers. Compare warranties carefully.
  • Remember that a warranty is no better than the person or firm who gives it to you. And is only as good as the company remaining in business and providing you with an ongoing service program. Make sure you get copies of the contract and warranty fro your records. A warranty is not evidence that a firm is reliable.
  • You can also call the Guam Contractor’s License Board and Guam Environmental Protection Agency to see if the company has had any complaints filed against them. If there are any, ask for details.
  • Along with checking references, look at the company itself – its operations.
    • When you called for an estimate was the person you called courteous and knowledgeable?
    • Was the salesperson or estimator late for the appointment, or was he courteous, knowledgeable and sincere?
    • Is the overall appearance of the company respectable (i.e., office, uniforms, technicians and vehicles)?

 

As a consumer, make sure you are getting the service guaranteed for your pest problems.

 

Lee Yudin, Ph.D., is an entomologist at the University of Guam.