While the following incident took place in San Diego, California, it is a useful warning for homeowners and commercial building managers everywhere. About two weeks ago, two homes in the city of San Diego were burglarized while the owners were distracted by an individual posing as a city pest control worker. Wearing an official-looking shirt with a name tag on it, the suspect requested to see the backyard in order to take measurements for raccoon and possum traps. While the suspect took the victims out in the back, his accomplice got inside the house and took cash and jewelry amounting to several thousand dollars.
This is neither an isolated incident nor the only way in which property owners can by scammed by con artists or unprofessional pest control companies. The most common tricks in the book include:
Finding a reputable pest control company to handle all your pest problems is sometimes a challenge, but there are certain steps you can take to increase your chances:
1. If you are paying for the services of a licensed pest control professional, always ask to see the employee’s license before agreeing to their services and before they start applying the treatment.
2. If you haven’t requested an inspection, don’t hire someone to do it just because they show up at your door. If you do allow them to look inside your house, say you would like to get a second opinion before accepting any treatments.
3. While effective pest control management is an ongoing process, you should be the one to have control over the services provided. If one application isn’t sufficient for the eradication of your pest problem, ask your pest control pro to explain why additional rounds are necessary and offer guarantee for their work.
4. If you have a bed bug infestation on your hands, hire the services of a pest control company that also offers canine inspection, as visual inspections alone are not sufficient to detect all life stages of bed bugs. Make sure the dog is certified and his handler has the knowledge and training to handle the inspection effectively.
5. Finally, make sure your pest control expert has access to the least-toxic alternatives to control a certain pest. If toxic pesticides will be used, make sure all products are approved by the Health Canada Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) and do not endanger your family and property.
Being vigilant and responsible about these things will increase your chances of finding a reputable and trustworthy pest control company and getting your money’s worth.
About the Author
Daniel Mackie, co-owner of Greenleaf Pest Control, is a Toronto pest control expert well-known as an industry go-to guy, an innovator of safe, effective pest control solutions, and is a regular guest on HGTV. Mackie, along with business partner Sandy Costa, were the first pest control professionals in Canada to use detection dogs and thermal remediation for the successful eradication of bed bugs. In his free time, he is an avid gardener.