Your exterminator should guarantee to use the methods specified in the National Pest Control Association's
Approved Reference Procedure Manual, and not use, charge for, or propose any unapproved, duplicate or
dubious methods. He should supply you with a guarantee for a finite time period, (forget lifetime guarantees)
and be able to quote you a reasonable annual cost for the maintenance of that guarantee. That fee should
provide free annual termite renewal inspections, free termite treatment of any sort, which should also
include pre-treatment for any new construction to your home. He should also be able to supply you with
an insurance certificate if so asked. This would not be an unusual request, certainly if you expect
to spend a few hundred dollars on his services.|
That's just about the minimum. It is always
a good idea to get recommendations from your friends and relatives, The realtor that handled the sale
of your house might also be able to give you a name or two. If you have discovered a termite problem,
you should definitely contact the exterminator that supplied the original termite certificate for your
settlement. He will have a history on the structure and might therefore supply the cheapest alternative.
The man you will see, and the one that actually shows up to do the service will probably be someone
else, the service technician, and he may, or he may not, have any idea of what the salesman told you.
Make sure he understands everything in the agreement you and the salesman worked out. You should make
sure that this procedure is exactly what you need to do. A professional, ethical exterminator will want
to help you as economically as he can. A salesman won't always have the same work ethic, so you'll almost
always pay more.
I realize, of course, that an exterminator often acts as a salesman, even profiting
from his sales. To me, that kind of exterminator is a salesman first, and an exterminator second.
A TRUE, ethical exterminator, in my opinion, just gets the job done the most efficient, economical way,
using the least amount of chemicals. It's also my opinion that you won't find too many 'rich' ethical
It also helps to remember that exterminating is an expertise, not an exact science,
so each exterminator will have his own way to do the job, and of course, a different price. Inform your
exterminator that you expect the cheapest, most effective treatment without the proposal of any of those
unnecessary or dubious treatment procedures, no matter how "non-toxic" they may be. Actually, in a
perfect world, with perfect exterminators, you shouldn't have to tell him this. It should be a given.
On the occasion of the exterminator's visit, to give you an estimate for any kind
of termite control, make sure you are there, to talk with him face-to-face, and get the answers to all
the questions you have regarding your termite problem. Your final estimate will be higher if you don't
deal directly with him, letting the wife, (or husband) babysitter or maid do the job. Your relationship
with this exterminator will be a continuing one, make sure you are satisfied that he can answer your
Naturally, if your exterminator is called and comes to your home because
you have a termite problem, you should expect a quotation, perhaps in person, immediately, certainly
by return mail. Remember to take plenty of time to make your decision.