Avoid bedbug extermination scams

November 11, 2010 6:52:48 AM PST
Not satisfied with the comforts of home, bedbugs are migrating to public places like movie theaters and retail stores and then hitching rides on unsuspecting consumers. Not only are bedbugs a growing problem, they are also a hard problem to get rid of.

The Better Business Bureau recommends doing your research to find a pest control company you can trust to get the job done efficiently.

According to a recent survey by the Pest Management Association, 95 percent of exterminators had encountered a bed bug infestation in the previous year-compared to only 25 percent of respondents 10 years prior.

While homes are the most common place for infestations, bedbugs also invade hotels, movie theaters, clothing stores and offices. In the past 12 months the BBB has received 8,761 inquires from consumers about pest control companies.

"When you discover an infestation in your home or business, you want to act quickly and get a professional in there fast," said Steve J. Bernas, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. "Despite the urgency of the problem, you still need to do your research and make sure you are enlisting the help of a qualified and trustworthy pest control specialist.

To find exterminators you can trust visit www.bbb.org.

When hiring a pest control company, the BBB recommends that home and business owners consider the following:

Start with the BBB. Always research a business with your BBB first. The BBB maintains reviews on good and bad exterminators across North America. Go to www.bbb.org to quickly find local companies that uphold the BBB's standards for ethical business practices.

Credentials count. Make sure the exterminator has sufficient training and certifications. Ideally, the company will also be a member of a national or local trade association. Also research the company with your local pest control regulatory board.

Ask about liability insurance. Find out how the company is covered, and how you will be reimbursed, if they happen to break any of your belongings or damage your home.

Get educated. Make sure that you completely understand the extent of the infestation as well as the possible remedies and side affects of any chemicals used. Do your own research into the problem and possible solutions.

Read the fine print. Always read the find print carefully and don't just take a representative word for it. Pay close attention to any warrantees or termination fees if entering into an extended contract for monitoring or future services. Never sign a contract that is incomplete or does not include all promises made by the company.

For more referrals on hiring home maintenance professionals, visit www.bbb.org


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