Living in the Piney Woods region of Texas, many residents in The Woodlands and North Houston area deal with a variety of unwelcome pests such as raccoons, possum, rats and of course those pesky mosquitos we are famous for. No one wants to have to call a pest control service but it’s a fact of life at times. How do you know a good pest control company from a bad one? That’s just one of the questions many people ask when realizing they need professional help with their pest problem but there is a lot more to choosing the right company. You want to make sure you are getting the most for your money and not just clicking on the first result that comes up in Google. We have compiled a basic, four point checklist to make sure you hire the right pest control service and get the right treatments at a fair price.
CAN THEY MEET YOUR NEEDS?
There are many pest control providers in The Woodlands and the surrounding suburbs, however there is a stark difference in what providers specialize in or don’t specialize in. Just because they are a pest control service, does not mean they will offer the specific treatment or pest removal you may need. For example, let’s say you have an ant infestation or a flea problem around your home; you Google for a pest control provider and contact “ACME” Pest Control and explain to them the situation and they will likely be glad to help you; but that’s ants & fleas. What happens when you live near a bayou and a gator or raccoon wanders into your backyard? Do you just call the same pest control company for that as well? Maybe, but not all pest control companies will be suitable for every situation; some specialize in reptile removal, endangered bird relocation for example, and some only handle insects and small rodents. You have to know what you are dealing with to find the right provider that matches up with those needs. Of course, this is just an example as gator and raccoon calls aren’t too common; a majority of calls here at Champions actually fall into the two most common categories:
Everyday Pest Control Requests
Typically most of our calls are simply to prevent and control many of the pests common to the Houston area such as ants, love bugs, crickets, spiders, fleas, rodents and other pests common to this region. There are some factors to deciding the proper treatment you will need for your home in order to achieve the best result based on your circumstances. Taking these variables into consideration will ensure that the treatment outcome matches your expectations and fulfills your pest control needs based on those variables.
- What level of pest activity are you dealing with and what is your tolerance threshold for pest activity? This will make a big difference because 100% eradication of some pests like ants and spiders is just not feasible while more uncommon pests such as fleas and earwigs can be nearly 100% eradicated. Ants and spiders are so common to the ecosystem that you have to find the acceptable level of pest activity that does not interfere with your family’s peace of mind. For example, a small ant pile here or there might not be a problem; but, 3 foot high mounds all over your yard are definitely a different issue. Finding the answers to these questions will help us to know what type of control strategy to use so we can meet your expectations.
- Are you open to a regular service plan? Typically if you want to maintain control of your home and yard and not just put a bandage on the situation, then a regular automatic service plan is the most popular option. Usually set up for bi-monthly visits, this will keep your yard free from infestation and keep your pest activity to a minimum. Treatments should be guaranteed and offer free emergency treatments between regularly scheduled ones should there be any unusual activity between visits due to weather or something else. Keep in mind that if you have a very heavy infestation or your tolerance for pest activity is very low most pest control companies also offer monthly services instead of the longer intervals between treatments.
- In order to achieve the best results in controlling your space and keeping unwanted pests out, you really need to make use of integrated pest management. This method is actually a combination of hindering pest nesting and breeding grounds, blocking pest access to the home by pests using various methods such as ultrasound or visual deterrents that make your home undesirable or hostile to pests. This is typically the best approach to fully control your pest problems and prevent new ones.
Termites are a big problem in this region and have cost homeowners significant amount of money in damages simply because people don’t know much about preventing or eradicating termites. When looking at Houston pest control companies there are a few factors that can directly impact how much your service may cost. Primarily, it depends on the size of infestation and the size of the affected area. Most often a liquid treatment is more effective than a simple bait approach as the termites in Houston are very adaptable and the bait becomes less effective. Be sure to get some key info from the proposal of the pest control service prior to making a decision, it should contain the following info at the very least:
- The license number of the company performing the duties.
- A detailed battle plan that visually lays out the areas of treatment.
- Indication of the chemicals or solutions to be used and any warnings that comes with it.
ARE THEY ESTABLISHED AND WELL REVIEWED?
Pest control companies are a dime a dozen in Houston; so finding one isn’t difficult. Finding a company that offers great service at your price point; that can be a bit more challenging and takes some footwork on your part. When searching through Google listings make sure to go through this three point evaluation prior to choosing:
- Reputation – Do they have a solid following and reputable history? Check websites such as Angie’s List or Home Advisor to get unbiased feedback from customers who have used them in the past to get a feel for their reputation.
- Warranties – Does the company stand behind their work with warranties or a guarantee that bolsters confidence that the work will be completed properly? If they aren’t willing to stand behind their work, that speaks volumes.
- Staffing – Does the company require background checks of its employees as well as licensing? If they don’t this could be a sign that a business is running in an unethical manner. You need professionals who know their craft and you can feel safe letting in your home.
IS IT A GOOD VALUE?
This is a question that really will have different perspectives depending on your own scales. Typically a company offers a solid value if they engage in the following business practices, regardless of pricing:
- Provides a free written estimate for services with no obligation.
- Is open to reviewing competitor estimates and matching their price or better.
- Is very upfront about contracts whether long-term or short-term as well as contract costs and exclusions and liabilities.
- Provides a written guarantee or warranty of the work performed and clearly states the terms & limitations of the warranty.
DO THEY FOLLOW PROPER SAFETY GUIDELINES?
Since pest control often deals with toxic chemicals and other substances; it’s important to know that the company you hire is careful with such poisons and treatments as not to damage your yard or endanger your children or pets. Find out if they take these main precautions prior to hiring:
- Do they discuss minimally toxic alternatives with you and how to reduce environmental damage?
- Are they insured with enough insurance to cover you, your property and also their employees? If not you could wind up responsible for any employee hurt while servicing your property or any damage done as well.
- Do they wear protective clothing when necessary and use other protective gear?
- What pro-active measures do they take to prevent accidents and promote safe work practices?
WHEN YOU NEED VICTORY OVER PESTS, YOU NEED CHAMPIONS
Since 1979 our family owned and operated pest control service has been delivering top tier quality and results to families and businesses all over the Woodlands, Spring and North Houston area. Our highly skilled exterminators and pest control consultants have over 50 years of combined institutional knowledge of entomology and controlling pests of all species. We maintain a strong focus on safety, responsibility to our environment, and offering flexible service options that are tailored for each and every customer individually. When you hire Champions you are hiring a company that prides itself on quality pest control. We strive to build relationships with our clients and hold ourselves accountable to them to provide the best service at a fair price every time. Contact one of our consultants today and let’s take the fight to your pest problem!