Hiring A Termite Co.
Hiring a Termite Company
When you pick a Termite Company, choose carefully. Your relationship may last for years and years.
Many of us view Termite Company inspector/salesmen as we do a used car salesman. Talk fast, say believable things, choose which questions to answer. Get your signature on the bottom line. Believe me, not all are like this, but those types are out there. If you don’t feel comfortable with your inspector/salesman and his presentation, say thank you and simply move on.
Having a termite company hassle is just not worth the seemingly best upfront deal, ask questions, be prepared. Know your company, at least a little, before signing on the dotted line. Follow my plan below to help you get the best fit when hiring a termite company.
A lot goes into hiring a termite company. Choosing a termite company who has a business plan that allows you to experience the level of service you desire.
Hiring a Termite Company – The Bad, the Good and the Ugly
Bad: Large companies tend to charge more, for the same or similar services.
Good: But may have better trained and supported technicians.
Ugly: Smaller companies may offer a lower price but keep in mind, some states do not even require testing of pest control employees before applying pesticide or termiticide chemicals. Da…?
Ask questions when hiring a termite company
During your first face to face contact with a potential company you need to be prepared to ask a few questions. Hopefully the answers you get will allow you make good decisions when hiring a termite company.
You may want to ask your neighbors who they use and whether they would recommend them. Choose three pest control companies that you are think you might be comfortable with. I have dealt with some very unhappy folks waiting out of their contract with a company that promised the lowest price. You most often get what you pay for in this business.
Here is a Quick Summery of what hiring a termite company is like. All of these steps are mostly the same with all termite companies.
- You call, or they drop by doing fee inspections.
- Company does their initial inspection on your property
- They report their findings to you in writing via a graph drawing depicting termite locations or conducive conditions you can correct. (no written report, tell them good-bye.)
- Company Proposals are to be in writing, so you can compare with other proposals.
- Company presents treatment, guarantee and payment arrangements.
- You agree to their terms and sign a contract.
- Your termite related work is scheduled.
- Company performs the termite treatment.
- Company answers any termite related or treatment related complaints.
- One year later company does your annual inspection and issues a written report.
- You receive your bill.
- You pay your bill.
Repeat steps 9, 10, 11 until your contracted period is over, then start at number 1 again.
If you have an infestation of termites you will want to decide on a treatment and guarantee. There are lots of possibilities but these are my choices.
- Complete Comprehensive termite treatment, (using a formulation of BASF Termidor)
- Perimeter Plus termite treatment or a (Termidor or Premise)
- Termite Bait Station System treatment (Advance Termite Bait System)
- Do it yourself Termite Treatment (DIY) (Termidor SC or Advance Termite Bait System)
Once you hire a termite company to treat your home they will be the company who will do the inspections, issue and back the guarantee and bill you for your yearly premium commonly refereed to as your annual renewal.
Before signing a contract with any pest control company, get treatment estimates from several different companies. Ask questions about termites, how they will treat your house, cost of treatment, cost yearly inspection, types of guarantees, how many years can you renew, etc. After you have narrowed your selection to two or three companies, contact the better business bureau for additional information on the companies. You may also want to consider contacting your State’s Agricultural Dept. Find your states AG Dept here.
Annual Guarantee Renewal
You should have the opportunity to renew your annual guarantee for at least 5 years or more at a fixed yearly premium rate. If you decide to hang on to your coverage, and you probably should, you need to pay the renewal fee each year on or before your treatment anniversary date. Most termite treatments are guaranteed for a one year period with the option to renew for an additional 4 years or longer, that’s up to individual companies..
Questions You Should Ask
- What will your company do should termites return after treatment?
- If I have a repair guarantee, do I have to pay a deductible?
- All homes don’t qualify for REPAIR guarantees, ask if your’s does.
- After the initial one year guarantee period, how many extra years can I renew my contract?
- How much will my annual contract renewal cost be?
- When my contract period is over do I have to retreat my house again at my expense? Is there a discount for the next treatment?
- Ask for an insurance certificate. Companies who don’t have any insurance are counting on you not asking.
- If your getting a bait treatment, ask how often their inspections will be performed, and the distance apart the stations will be placed.
Be Careful when you Bargain For Treatment Price
Before you decide to drive a hard bargain on the cost of your termite job remember customers who drive a hard bargain usually get the best prices, but not always the best jobs. Driving too hard a bargain can be unfair to a Termite Company who in turn may be unfair to the customer by spending less on chemicals and time on the job. Companies that do not earn enough profit can find themselves in financial trouble. They might be forced to cut corners. The most obvious place to cut cost is to use less than the prescribed amount of chemical resulting in a treatment that does not properly protect the home and the homeowners investment. Some Termite Companies work short handed or lower their treatment standards to accommodate lower skilled technicians. My advice would be to get a good medium priced Termite Company and ask enough questions until you understand what they are going to do and then check to see if they did it.
Something Wrong With Your Treatment?
If you suspect that the Termite Company you did business with did not do the job correctly, and they will not give you satisfaction, you may visit your state’s Dept. of Agriculture. They will check the job, no charge, and report any violations to the Termite Company and see that they are corrected. Find a list of links for State AG Dept here.
Most Termite Companies give free inspections with written estimates. I understand that in some areas of the country there are charges, just make sure to ask if there is a charge when you phone them.
Don’t accept a bid written on a business card. You need detailed information on guarantees, treatment procedures, payment plans etc. Later you’ll want to sit down and compare apples with apples and oranges with oranges. Not just prices.
- Don’t be surprised at how much prices can differ from company to company.
- Can I treat My Own House? Treating a house for subterranean termites “used to be a job best left to professionals”. In some cases special equipment is required and termiticides are much stronger chemicals than pesticides, and can be a danger to the environment and yourself if handled improperly.
There are types of treatments a fit person can do and get professional results with. All the information you need to do a treatment is located here and you can purchase products professional pest control operators use here. Remember, if you do it yourself there is NO GUARANTY and no one to blame but yourself if termites stay active in your structure.
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