How to Pick a Bed Bug Control Company
By Chris Williams on June 27, 2013.
Anyone who has had bed bugs knows that you really can’t get rid of them on your own. Consumer pesticide products just don’t work. Any pest management company will tell you that bed bugs are probably the toughest of all pests to eliminate.
If you discover that you have bed bugs, you want to be sure to hire a pest management company that has proven success against bed bugs. Here’s what to look for and the questions to ask:
The most important qualifications are past experience and success in controlling bed bugs in a situation like yours. If you’re an apartment resident, ask about the company’s experience in apartments. If you own a single family home, ask how the company approaches bed bug infestations in homes. Ask how many bed bug jobs the company has done in the past year.
It’s almost impossible to compare companies based solely on cost because every bed bug job is different and there are different ways to treat bed bugs, ranging from standard pesticides, to heat treatment, to steam treatment, to combinations thereof. There is no proven correct method. Some companies include ongoing monitoring and some provide extras such as barrier traps and mattress encasements. Costs also vary depending on the amount of area to be treated, who does the preparation, and the level of infestation. Some infestations are more severe and require more follow-up treatment. Be leery of a company that is willing to give you a firm price quote over the phone, without inspecting your home.
Details About Treatment
Ask who will be treating your home, how they are supervised, and if they are specifically trained in bed bug control. Ask what treatment method(s) they will use and how long the treatment will take. Ask if they will incorporate nonchemical tactics such as bed bug monitors, barriers, or encasements. Ask about follow-up: how will they monitor to see if bed bugs are still active? Bed bug control usually requires at least one follow-up service visit to assure elimination of the bugs.
Who is Responsible for Preparation?
Some pest management companies require residents to bag personal items and move furniture prior to treatment, while other companies prefer that their technicians do these jobs to avoid spreading bed bugs. Some companies will help you prepare if you can’t do it on your own. Ask how, or if, your personal items will be treated for bed bugs. Make sure you understand ahead of time exactly what your responsibilities are prior to treatment.
Ease of Communication
It’s essential that you be able to talk easily with your bed bug contractor and that you feel the contractor is being upfront with you about any problems and concerns. Make sure that you receive clear instructions about how to prepare for treatment. Your questions should be answered willingly, politely, and clearly.
Understand the Warranty
The company should provide a warranty and should monitor bed bugs for a period after treatment. Typical warranties range from 30 to 90 days. Some companies do not start the warranty period until the last bed bug sighting; others start the warranty at the initial treatment.