The weather is getting warmer, flowers are blooming, Spring has arrived!  So have the bugs. A homeowner can often control household pests through a combination of preventive measures, including proper sanitation and over-the-counter pesticides. However, some pest infestations may be extensive or a particular pest may be difficult to control, requiring pest control services. While most  household pests are merely a nuisance, some can cause serious damage to our homes or property and other pose dangers such as bites, stings and transmit disease-causing agents. Choosing a pest control company is a serious matter, you want someone who is honest, dependable, state-certified, and who has the proper training and expertise to use the pesticides safely in your home. Below are some tips to help you in your search to find a professional in your area.

• Select a company based on their reputation, time in the community and willingness to answer your questions. They should give you written material that describes the problem they propose to treat and how they propose to treat it including what chemicals will be used and in what amounts.

• Pest control companies differ in their guarantees so be sure to Inquire on the specifics. If a guarantee is given, know what it covers, how long it lasts, what you must do to keep it in force, and what kind of continuing prevention and management are necessary.

• Do not select a pest control company based on price alone, an advertisement in the phone book or the "deal of the week". Be cautious of unsolicited sales pitches and never select treatment just because your neighbor's property is being treated or because there is "leftover spray from another job". Get references and check them. 

• Make sure you receive a written estimate detailing how much will they charge to do an inspection to determine the extent of your problem, outline the services they would perform.

• Ask how long it will take to solve your pest problem, and how often the company will return to do more work or to track results. Ask the company what other measures they can take to manage the pest problems, or what you can do to reduce future pest problems.

Choosing a quality pest control company is an important decision. You want the company to solve your pest problem, but you also want to keep your home safe.  Do not be pressured by a sales person or a company to sign a contract immediately or to pay in advance, take your time to make a sound decision. The key to any decision is having confidence in the company you chose.