Are pest exterminators trained and licensed to handle pest control? 

When pests like ants, termites, cockroaches, rodents and flies invade your home or business, it can cause a lot of stress. Aside from the fact that they are unpleasant to look at and can damage your property, they also carry disease-causing pathogens that could potentially affect you, your employees or your customers. If you do not have the time to deal with the problem yourself, hiring an exterminator may seem like the only option. But before you make a decision, understand that not all companies are created equal. The prices of extermination services vary and so does the quality. The price tag of a service is not just the cost of the chemicals used, but also the education, insurance, state agriculture department licenses and the costs of employee salaries and taxes. 

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The industry includes over 20,000 businesses that perform pest control services in homes, restaurants, retail stores, schools, hospitals, nursing homes and transportation vehicles. They are primarily involved in the structural pest control of insects, but some are also engaged in the agricultural pest control of crops. Many of the companies in this industry are small, family owned operations with ten or fewer employees. 

In addition to the basic training required for all exterminators, some employers offer additional continuing education and certifications for their technicians. These training programs may include courses in customer service, biology and extermination techniques. Ask about the qualifications of the company’s technical staff and request that they show you their state licenses, pesticide applicator’s license or other certificates of compliance with local, state and federal regulations. 

Once the on-site inspection is complete, an exterminator presents a written estimate to the client. This usually includes the suggested treatment method and costs, as well as a recommended schedule of future inspections and treatments. The client should carefully review the information and if they are not satisfied with the explanation, they can ask the exterminator to provide further clarification. Once the agreement is made, the exterminator implements the treatment as outlined in the plan. This may involve extensive physical activity in hard-to-reach areas and the use of personal protective equipment. After the treatment is completed, the exterminator follows up with the customer to make sure the problem was effectively resolved.