If you have bed bugs, one of the most important decisions you can make is choosing your pest management company.
But how do you choose?
There are a couple of problems which make this difficult.
1. No specific certifications. Applying pesticides in the US requires state certification, but this certification is not focused on bed bugs, and does not necessarily qualify an applicator to be effective at bed bug control.
2. Non-chemical treatments do not require state certification. Anyone can take a heater or a steam cleaner and say they do bed bug control.
So, without further ado, here’s what you should look for when selecting someone to perform bed bug control.
1. Look for membership in the National Pest Management Association. While this doesn’t guarantee that the company is effective in performing pest management, it does show a dedication to a higher level of professionalism.
2. Look for the company to hold QualityPro certification. Qualification for this requires them to have criminal background checks on employees, follow good hiring and business practices, perform quality training, and so forth. It is an easy way to identify a company that follows good, modern business practices.
3. Make sure the technicians carry state pesticide applicator certifications, even if they are performing non-chemical control.
4. If you are having a canine inspection performed, make sure the handler for the dog and the dog itself have been certified by NESDCA as a team.
5. Find out if the company has experience working with bed bugs. Just because a pest management company can control cockroaches, ants, or fleas, doesn’t mean it can effectively control bed bugs. It takes special training and experience.
Notice that my list doesn’t include the type of treatment performed (heat, steam, cold, pesticides, etc.). Despite what you might have heard elsewhere, there’s no consensus as to the best way to control bed bugs. What’s important is experience and results with a particular method of controlling bed bugs.