Dealing with a pest infestation—whether its roaches, rats, ants, or even gophers—is one of the most frustrating experiences you can have as a homeowner. And if it turns out the company you’ve trusted to help you solve your pest problem is unqualified and unlicensed, you might find yourself struggling to solve a whole new set of problems.  That’s why we’ve put together this handy reference guide, designed to help you identify the best pest control company for your needs and budget. Take a look and discover what sets extermination experts apart from pest control pretenders.

Key Considerations When Choosing an Exterminator

Choosing the right pest control company to deal with your infestation begins with R.A.T.S. No, we’re not talking about the furry friends who love to infest attics and homes across California; this particular breed of R.A.T.S. stands for Reputation, Accreditation, Techniques, and Service. The R.A.T.S. system is designed to help you identify contractors who are committed to customer service, value, and excellence. Let’s take a look at each qualifying factor in turn:

Reputation

As with people, a company’s good name is worth its weight in gold. To find a pest control company with an exceptional reputation, try:

  • Conducting your own independent research; both the Better Business Bureau and the California Structural Pest Control Board have records you can examine to find reported complaints, outstanding violations, and other issues.
  • Talking to friends and family, as well as your co-workers, about their own experiences with local companies, and asking for a recommendation
  • Asking companies to provide you with testimonials from satisfied customers

Accreditation

Licensing and adherence to the laws of Los Angeles and California aren’t just “nice to have”—they’re there to protect you and your family in the event of complications and problems. Make sure the company you choose:

  • Has up-to-date licenses and insurance for its technicians, and the right licenses for each type of job (you can double-check licensing with the California Structural Pest Control Board). Insurance is as important as licensing, as it is both required by law and can help protect you from potential legal obligations in the event of a mishap.
  • Regularly updated training, techniques, and skills to ensure you receive the best possible service, regardless of the type of infestation you’re facing
  • Can provide you with a thorough explanation of the problem, a clear and firm estimate before work begins, and a list of procedures they use to reduce the likelihood of accidents.

Techniques

Depending on your specific concerns and the nature of the pest you’re facing, you might have special concerns about the products and approach your pest control company will use. A few things to consider when asking about techniques include:

  • What kind of methodology do they use? Do they specialize in environmentally friendly products and methods that are harmful to pests but not to your family and pets?
  • Do they offer extended services, such as a monthly maintenance plan and attic cleaning?
  • Can you consult with an expert and ask detailed questions before you sign up for service?

Service

Customer service is the foundation of any successful business, and as a customer, you’ll definitely want to make sure you’re getting a company’s best. Be sure to look out for:

  • Friendly, helpful employees who pay attention to your specific concerns and do their best to accommodate your needs and answer your questions about billing, the work, and any special circumstances or exceptions.
  • Knowledgeable and experienced staff who can summarize your pest problem in a clear way, and give you all the details of not only the infestation itself but how they will treat it.
  • Companies that offer a guarantee. Knowing you can count on a company to stand by its work and honor its agreement to keep your home pest-free is important not just to your comfort, but to the health and safety of your family.

No matter what kind of pest you’re fighting, choosing the right exterminator might just come down to R.A.T.S.! Taking the time to get in touch, learn about the people and procedures, and verify the credentials of your potential pest control partner can go a long way in starting a partnership that will help you ensure you and your family enjoy a pest-free today and tomorrow.