Los Gatos Weekly Times

Ask Angi: What should I ask when I hire a pest control service?

- Paul F. P. Pogue (TNS)

Late summer brings good times, such as swimming parties and picnics, and valued guests, such as friends and family. But the season also brings along uninvited and less well-loved guests, such as wasps, ants, cockroache­s, spiders and stinging insects. The same weather that makes outdoor activities so inviting also sets off these insects’ most active part of the year. And of course, rodents and other pests are always trying to find ways into your home.

If some have decided to take up residence in or around your home, a profession­al pest control company can take care of the problem for you, usually at a cost ranging between $50 and $500. However, every pest control pro takes a different approach based on the location and specific pest; some use trap-and-release or move a nest to a different location, while others might use poisons or baits to kill the pests.

Ask your pest control service these questions to ensure the best fit to solve your problem.

1. How will you address the source of the pests?

A good pest control company doesn’t just get rid of the infestatio­n. They will carefully work to determine what’s attracting them to your house in the first place. They’ll plug up entry points and advise you about food and debris storage to avoid attracting more.

2. Is this a one-time treatment?

You can hire a company to perform a single pest applicatio­n. This work will vary depending on the type of pest, but you’ll typically pay more for a one-time treatment. A single deep treatment takes more time and costs more, but future visits will require less time and effort.

3. How widespread is my infestatio­n likely to be?

Some pests can be dealt with via baited traps. But major infestatio­ns, such as termites or bed bugs, can require treatments that seal off the entire structure.

4. Do you offer a long-term contract?

If you have regular pests, more frequent visits can help keep them under control. Long-term contracts usually have better rates and stronger warranties.

5. What experience do you have with my specific problem?

Different pests require different expertise. The same treatment that gets rid of ants will not work on a bee or wasp nest, and neither will work on termites. You’ll also want to let your pro know about any pets you have inside or outside of the house and to ensure that whatever treatment is used will also be safe for your pets.

6. Are you licensed, bonded and insured?

Most cities, counties or states license pest control companies, especially those that use chemicals. Make sure they have the appropriat­e documentat­ion to work where you live.

7. What kind of warranty or guarantee do you offer?

Pest control companies can’t always offer a long-term warranty for a single job, but most reputable companies will come back to fix oversights or mistakes shortly after their visit. Ask about their policy.

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