Undercover Exterminator Secrets- By: Lauren Spencer
Most pest control companies are quite reputable and above board. However, there is a small percentage that give the rest a bad name. Hopefully you will never have to call an exterminator, but if you do, these handy tips may help you spot the honest companies from the bad ones.
Bedbugs are back with a vengeance and exterminators are having difficulty treating them. Apparently in New York City alone, complaints regarding these pests doubled in 2006, to 4,638. This is a 71% increase from 2000 to 2005. They are a tough problem to get rid of and often require multiple visits to deal with them efficiently. Sometimes exterminators even enlist the help of a bed bug inspection dog, believe it or not.
Read your contract! Those lifetime guarantees that many pest control companies advertise may have more hidden clauses then you have insects. Look for the section that limits you to binding arbitration. By signing this you are agreeing to waive your right to sue or launch a class action suit.
Pest control representatives claim that a reputable company would never agree to a lifetime contract or make guarantees they cannot keep.
Are you really getting the pesticide you paid for? Apparently the cost to develop a new pesticide product averages about $100 million dollars. As a result, the cost of existing brands don't come cheap. Most reputable exterminators probably use the product they claim they are using, but there are some who do cut corners.
According to Steven Dwinell, president of the Association of Structural Pest Control Regulatory Officials, a good example of this has occured during termite pretreatment for homes under construction. “It might cost 40 cents per square foot to treat a foundation,” he says, “but the contractor offers five cents. Whoever wins that bid isn’t using pure juice.”
Sometimes exterminators will combine milk into a white colored product, or others may use a cheaper, but less effective product.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, some companies have been known to use too much of a pesticide, resulting in serious health problems for the homeowner.
JP McHale Pest Management, Inc. claims that customers get signed agreements listing the products used for their service and a ticket providing product information, amount used and the mixture rate. As with any paid service, homeowners should protect themselves by asking lots of questions and getting multiple estimates.
Pests tend to get around. Pest control companies generally treat infestations one home at a time. In reality, however, it's not unusual for insects or rodents to move from one house to another, often spreading through an entire neighborhood. The next time you have a problem, do everyone a favor and let your neighbors in on it.
Do I really need year round service? Many pests such as carpenter ants, may be a terrible problem in fair weather, but make themselves scarce during colder winter temperatures. Ensure that the year round pest control contract you just signed, is really required.
Reputable companies will provide a contract for a minimum number of visits, but will only come if you call. Upon inspection of the property, they will only treat if necessary.
Know Your Pests. Spend some time on the internet researching your particular pest. I know that this is what you are paying the exterminator for, but a little knowledge goes a long way when interviewing prospective companies. You'll have an idea of the types of treatment they use and approximate costs. If someone tries to take advantage, you'll be ready.
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Everything you need to know about Santa Cruz real estate is right here at MySantaCruzRealEstate.com. Lauren Spencer, Coldwell Banker Realtor will be glad to answer your questions about homes in Jewel Box CA.