Step 1: Make sure the company has experience in working with the bug/rodent/animal that you have a problem with. There’s no sense to hire a general exterminator to handle major league issues like scorpion infestation.
Step 2: Always ask what chemicals the exterminators are using and what equipment, so you can be sure that it is safe (for you and the neighborhood). You may want to decline some chemicals if you have a low tolerance for certain ones, or you may be okay with anything as long as it gets the job done. You should always talk to an experienced exterminator who may be able to advise you if certain poisons are especially life-threatening to pets or young children. You could also consult a doctor if the exterminator is unsure.
Step 3: Determine in advance what you need done and what you’re willing to pay for, as the contract states. While it is not customary for exterminators to make home repairs (such as caulking and the like) it’s not unheard of for a company to offer this provision. Be sure to ask for an itemized invoice with each charge printed in advance.
Step 4: Ask about follow up appointments and applications and see just how far they’ve thought this plan through. You can decide how often you want the exterminators to come back; for example, monthly visits (recommended for restaurants for sure), quarterly visits or even yearly visits. If you don’t want recurring visits, then at least be sure to establish a friendly relationship with the company so that you can contact them immediately should a problem arise. Regular services may be costly, but if you determine in advance what you need, you need not spent too much. You can always pay for inspections, and avoid using extra chemicals if there have been no pest problems.
Step 5: Make sure you evaluate the company’s satisfaction policy. Get everything in writing including one-time services, regular services, miscellaneous expenses, and what to do should there be any disputes.