If your home is infested with termites, bed bugs or other damaging pests, then you might be ready to hire a home fumigation service. However, it can be difficult to find a good fumigation specialist because most homeowners are not familiar with the process.
Home fumigation is not particularly common, so you may not know anyone who has ever had it done. Hiring a home fumigation service requires a bit of research to ensure that your insect problem will be fully eliminated.
Even if you have tried several methods of DIY pest control, it is best to leave something as serious and all-invasive as fumigation to the professionals. Although a home fumigation service can be expensive (and is rarely covered by homeowners insurance) it is important to find the best service available in your area. Settling for an inexpensive pest control company can literally come back to bite you in the end.
How complicated is home fumigation?
Although fumigation requires a lot of prep work, the overall idea seems simple: saturate a home with insecticide gas and kill every critter lurking inside. However, specific bugs require specific chemicals and the house must be prepared in a certain way to keep the procedure safe for you, your family and your pets. The home fumigation company will let you know how to prepare for fumigation, how long you must be out of the house and when it is safe to return to your home.
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Because heavy insect infestations can be hard to control, do not be surprised if your home fumigation estimate includes multiple visits. Professionals may need more than one visit after the fumigation to eliminate any bugs the insecticide missed. This can be common with termites, as fumigation gases cannot reach colonies located underground. A final inspection will usually occur, to make sure all the bug colonies have been removed.
Minor infestations may be able to be treated in just six hours. A larger home with a major infestation could take up to a week to complete.
How to Begin Your Home Fumigation Service Search
As with most goods and services, it is best to ask friends and family members for recommendations for fumigation providers. If they had a positive experience with a certain company, then you stand a good chance of having the same outcome. Negative experiences can vary according to circumstance, so do not rule out a pest control company until you have sought additional opinions from the people you know.
If you cannot obtain enough information from friends or family, then look up online fumigation provider reviews. You may wish to research online reviews even with a good recommendation from someone you know. Be sure to look for honest reviews, not just the customer testimonials a company includes on its own website. Naturally, a company will only share the most positive feedback on their own website.
It is always a good idea to check the Better Business Bureau (BBB) for customer complaints and feedback. The BBB is one of the oldest and most respected sources for honest business feedback and ratings. The BBB assigns ratings to businesses using a scale similar to grades in school, with an A+ being the highest grade a company receives. This makes it easy to recognize good companies at a glance.
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Your state’s environmental protection agency should also have records of pest control company performance. You can call or visit them online to look up customer complaints within the past few years.
What to Look for in a Pest Control Expert
A good pest control expert will have excellent customer service interaction and will be happy to answer your questions. Communication is a primary qualifier for a good fumigation specialist because you are trusting this company with your biggest investment. A good fumigation provider will make sure you understand each step of the process.
- Pest control experts must disclose the type of fumigants that will be used. They are required to name the pesticide (or pesticides) and their active ingredients. These are usually printed on a fumigation notice that will be posted on the building.
- Your fumigation notice also includes the fumigation dates during which the building must be unoccupied.
- You must be told your predicted date of re-entry.
- The fumigation provider must provide a list of warning signs and symptoms to look for after fumigation. Although most people experience no ill effects after fumigation, it is possible to experience headaches, nausea, dizziness or other symptoms that need medical attention.
- The company should educate you about any alternatives to fumigation, such as heat treatment or spot treatments. In most cases, fumigation is the best choice for total elimination of pests.
Make sure any potential pest control expert provides you with detailed information on how to prepare for the fumigation. They should provide you with a list of items you must remove from the home, such as pets, houseplants and fish tanks. A reputable fumigation provider will also instruct you to remove all valuables from the home, including jewelry and artwork.
They should give you detailed instructions on protecting food and medication from the toxic insecticide. Most fumigation companies will include special bags to seal these items if you choose to leave them inside the home. You should also receive a detailed list of safety measures to take during the fumigation, such as arranging to have natural or propane gas lines shut off and removing shrubs and other vegetation back from the exterior walls of your home.
Tips on Checking Fumigation Service Reviews
You can find online reviews for most pest control experts like most home maintenance professionals. To ensure finding the best possible fumigation service, take the time to read longer reviews. While you are reading, look for these key points:
- How well did the company prepare the occupants for the fumigation process?
- Did the customer know exactly which fumigant was used in his or her home?
- How long did the fumigation process take?
- Did the pest control expert follow up to ensure that all pests were gone?
- Did the fumigation company provide prompt and friendly communication?
- Would the customer hire the pest control professional again?
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