Choosing a Bed Bug Exterminator
Use these questions to help narrow down your choices of bed bugs exterminators and find the one that is right for you.
When you realize you have bed bugs, you will likely feel a mix of shock, disgust, disappointment and panic. The main question you have will probably be:
How do I deal with this situation?
If you've done a little research, you've probably concluded that do it yourself extermination isn't going to cut it. You know you're going to need the help of a professional to tackle this problem. Thanks to the internet, finding bed bugs exterminators is pretty easy. But how do you narrow down all the choices and pick a good one?
When you're in the process of hiring a bed bugs exterminator, there are some important questions you need to ask before you hire anybody. The answers to these questions are what will help you choose the best professional you can. What makes it tough is that you probably don't know the right questions to ask. Not to worry though -- you'll know in just a moment.
The questions below hit the major points you need to cover with a potential bed bugs exterminator. Each question provides a short explanation to help you evaluate the exterminator's answers. Make sure you read the answers to these questions because some of them might suprise you.
11 Questions to help you evaluate bed bugs exterminators
- Are they licensed or do they only have a trainee permit?
You want somebody that is fully licensed.
- Does the company send employees out or do they use sub-contractors?
It is better if they are not using sub-contractors.
- Do they carry professional indemnity and public liability insurance?
- Can they provide references that demonstrate experience exterminating bed bugs?
Some exterminators have experience with other pests but not bed bugs. You are looking somebody with specific bed bug experience. This is important.
- How long have they been in business?
If they are new, be careful and check their references thoroughly.
- How do they operate?
Good bed bugs exterminators will generally use what is called Integrated Pest Management or IPM. It is a thorough approach to pest control that uses several different kinds of treatment. If an exterminator's approach is to simply spray some pesticides around the bed and leave, that is a sign that they probably don't handle bed bug extermination well.
- What are they going to have you do?
If they don't need you to do any preparation work, it could be part of the way they operate or it could be an indication that they don't handle bed bugs very well. Find out more about how they operate (see above).
- Will they provide a detailed plan for the extermination?
Bed bugs are a difficult pest to control. The treatment can be complex. Good exterminators provide written plans. These plans will normally include your responsibilities in the process.
- Do guarantee to completely exterminate bed bugs?
WARNING: Most experienced companies won't offer that as a guarantee.
- Is the exterminator associated with at least one professional association?
The National Pest Management Association is the big one. Most states also have their own pest management/control association. If an exterminator does not belong to any of these, why not?
- Are they competing on low prices alone?
It takes a lot of hard work, knowledge and experience to successfully control a bed bug infestation. That comes with a price. If bed bugs exterminators you talk to are trying to entice you with their low prices, be careful.
Ultimately you are looking for a stable, reputable business with a proven track record exterminating bed bugs specifically.
If you have asked all of your questions and are satisfied with the answers, there is one more question left to ask. This time it is one that you ask yourself after speaking with a potential exterminator:
Do I have a good feeling about them?
Do you get the sense that you can trust them? Do you like them? Is this somebody you would feel comfortable having in your home?
Bed bug extermination can be an invasive process. You are bringing a stranger into your home. They will be working in your bedroom, in your closets and possibly other places. Some people are more sensitive about this than others. You want to hire somebody you feel comfortable bringing into your home and working with.