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How to find a trustworthy exterminator

Summer is the perfect time for insects and other pests to enter your home. Whether you’re looking to rid your home of them or just take precautionary measures to keep them out, your Better Business Bureau offers advice to help fend off unwanted pests.

Nationally, more than 3,100 complaints and about 779,000 inquiries were compiled about pest control services last year. Likewise, more than 5,400 inquiries were recorded about pest control services locally.

While many people try to tackle pests with traps and sprays, some people prefer professionals. Exterminators have the knowledge to identify, eliminate and manage pest problems. Your BBB advises homeowners take time choosing pest control services they can trust. Your BBB recommends a few tips for finding a trustworthy exterminator.

• Consider a company’s reputation and years of service.

• Shop around and get several quotes. Don’t settle for the lowest bid.

• Check with family and friends. If they’re happy with a company they used, most likely you’ll be too.

• Ask if the exterminator belongs to any professional associations, like the National Pest Management Association.

• Understand the nature of the household pest to be exterminated, the extent of the infestation and the work necessary to solve the problem.

• Get a written contract, which details the work to be completed. Don’t sign anything until all blanks are completed. Get verbal promises in writing.

• Get any guarantees in writing too. Know what they cover, how long they last, what you must do to keep it in force, etc.

• Never pay up front. A legitimate, trustworthy company won’t do business that way.

• Make sure the company is properly licensed, certified and insured.

• Avoid anyone who shows up uninvited to your home offering a free pest inspection. You may end up with bugs or be pressured to sign up for services you don’t need.

• Ask questions. Don’t be afraid to inquire about something if you don’t understand.

Additionally, there are a few ways you can help keep out pests. Keep your gutters and downspouts free of debris. Keep trees and shrubs away from the house. Avoid stacking firewood or loose lumber close to the house. Also, seal any cracks or small openings you may have in your house.

Remember, if you have any questions regarding exterminators, get help from your BBB, such as a list of BBB Accredited Businesses and reviews on ones you’re considering. Visit or call (937) 222-5825 or (800) 776-5301.

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