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Choosing a Pest Mgt. Professional
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Pest Management Professionals
When the need to hire a pest management professional occurs, this can be an overwhelming task. You are going to hire someone you do not know to administer a toxic chemical in or around your home, and you probably have never had to do that before. How do you choose a good pest management professional (we call them PCO's which is short for Pest Control Operator). I have put together some guidelines for choosing one.
THE FOLLOWING ARE THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN HIRING A PCO
- References: Do not be afraid to ask for references. Any reputable company will have a reference list, or even letters of reference from satisfied customers. A word of caution; these will obviously be only satisfied customers. If a company serviced 1,000 customers over the last year, a list of five satisfied customers will not tell you about the satisfaction level of the 995 others. Even the worst company will have at least five references. I have seen companies not be able to produce any references. Part of the reason is that it is tough for a PCO to ask their customers to use their name for references. But another part of the reason is what I call "splash and dash companies". These are companies that spray a pesticide and run to the next, never trying to communicate with their customers to really help solve their problems. Ask as often as you can for the PCO's references.
- If a PCO has been in his own business for a short period of time, then the references are not going to necessarily exist. Don't hold this over the PCOs head. You will need to ask more directed questions. You can ask how long the PCO has been in the industry. Usually, someone doesn't just get into this business. They will usually have several years experience with another pest control company. See if you can use previous employers as references. Maybe they picked up some of their previous customers and they can be references.
The reason I put this web site together is to provide the consumer with most of the knowledge that all PCOs need to know. This will in turn create a very educated consumer. Now, some consumers don't want to know anything about cockroaches, mice, fleas, ticks, spiders, or anything like that. These customers normally just want these pests out. Everyone else, however, wants to be able to do something to prevent pest problems and, if all else fails, hire someone.
So when you are ready to hire someone you should be able to ask certain questions and get the right answers. If you don't, then find someone who does have the right answers.
This may seem strange criteria for hiring a pest management professional. However, I am a firm believer that your impression of an individual is right a majority of the time. Humans have an uncanny knack of picking up "vibes" from people. If you are not comfortable with a PCO, then keep looking. There are a lot of them out there. Remember, this guy is going to be spraying toxic chemical around your home. Therefore, comfort doesn't seem to be a bad idea after all.
SO YOU WANT TO HIRE A PCO
The following is a checklist for the average homeowner to follow when you have a pest problem at home or at work:
- Use Pestdude's web site to determine:
- What is the pest that you are having a problem with
- Is it a real problem, or did the pest just wander in
- If it is nesting inside, is their something you can do
- Once you are educated, and you need to hire someone, find at least five companies that service your area. You can find them by:
- Check on the PCOs credentials. Sometimes this is difficult and you may be better if you can go on the referral of others you know. But whenever possible, you should check one or more of the following:
- Once you have hired a PCO, follow them around. Make sure they are doing their job correctly. If not, let the governing agencies know. Call the main office. Make sure that they either improve their act or go into another line of work. If they are doing their job right, also let their office know. Good feedback is as important as bad feedback.
If you have any questions, please ask Pestdude!
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