Tips for choosing the best pest control providerOctober 7, 2018
When you spot unwanted pests around your home, your first reaction is to grab a can of bug spray. If it’s a larger animal, you might put out some poisoned bait and hope the thing dies in a location that’s convenient for disposal. However, there’s a lot more involved in commercial pest control. For instance, did you know that some fairly common Aussie pests (like possums) are government-protected? Harming them could lead to prosecution, so you want to expel them in a way that won’t get you arrested.
Professional anti-pest services are your best option at this point, but it can be difficult to select the right one. You want someone that is well-trained and fully insured, so you don’t face liability for work-place incidents. This is particularly important when dealing with dangerous pests like snakes and venomous spiders, but also covers mundane situations like climbing a roof to check for nesting pests. What other criteria can you consider?
Australia is a pretty big nation – we’re essentially a continent, if you throw in New Zealand, Fiji, and other nearby land masses. This means we have our own eco-system and our pest control experts need the ability to deal with our unique brand of terrors. Find a local company with regularly updated training. Some companies will put their staff through refresher courses every month, offering the safest, most hi-tech options for pest control.
You also want the kind of firm that has a nationwide footprint. They should either have a branch network that stretches from Perth to Parramatta … or a willingness to traverse from Darwin to Devonport in search of unwanted pests. You also want a firm that has a strong online presence, because you can reach them at any time you need to. These days, we do everything online, and we want virtual access to all our service providers.
Controlling pests is a tri-pronged activity. You need to inspect your property for infestations and vulnerabilities, especially for pervasive pests like termites. Once you spot unwanted visitors, you get rid of them, making your space unsuitable for re-visitation. It’s crucial to find the kind of pest control professional that offers both preventative and ‘curative’ services. It saves you money, you build up trust, and they become more familiar with your individual situation. Look for exterminators that do free site visits before they begin.
If possible, they should include follow-ups as part of their package. You might need an inspection every few months, and it will save you money if they subsidise their site maintenance rates. You also want exterminators that are experienced in a wide range of pests. Common Australian pests include spiders, termites, cockroaches, wild game, and small rodents, so find out exactly which pests your prospects are trained to control.
As an island nation, we are particularly careful about ozone depletion and global warming. After all, if all those doomsday predictions come true, sea-level land masses will be the first to go. Plus, our geography and weather patterns mean we feel the effects of climate change more acutely. This makes environmentally friendly pesticides a key part of our survival strategy, so find out the type of chemicals your exterminator routinely uses.
There are environmental agencies that certify companies, so check whether your chosen anti-pest team are certified. You can also see if they have any industry awards. Governing bodies and industry evaluators often have award ceremonies to reward good work, so you could check to see if your intended exterminator has any recognised prizes. Other things to look for are whether they’re safe for pets, kids, and kitchens. Check their emission levels, carbon offset rating, and their standing with HACCP and AEPMA.
Anyone can brand a ute and buy spray cans, but that doesn’t make them a pest control expert. Check into the background of your prospects. How long have they been around and how many staff do they hire? Do they have a franchise programme? How open are they about their training and their team – can you tell what each one studied or what kind of sites they’ve worked on? Can they give you referrals, and will they allow you to speak to prior customers? What does their website look like? Are they on social media?
You could also look into the overall ethos of the company to see if it aligns with yours. For example, do they do any charity work? Do they work with neighbourhood kids or run any type of mentorship programme? What’s their local footprint like in terms of training opportunities and hire ratios? Where exactly are their offices located and what equipment do they use? All these criteria will help you find the right team.