Your Quick Guide to Selecting the Right Pest Control in Melbourne
Date: 09 Jan, 2018
When it comes to pest control, it is tempting to go entirely by cost and pick Melbourne's cheapest, or the nearest to your home, or the first one that pops up in an online search. But in a city with pests as varied as ants, wasps, bedbugs, cockroaches, bees, carpet beetles, head lice, spiders and more, it pays to give some thought before you begin to see signs of one pest infestation or the other. Instead, spend a couple of hours checking out website or calling up exterminators, and try to get some vital information:
- Can you get a guarantee that a pest removal operation will not stop them coming back?
- Do they use methods that are safe for your family and pets? Are they eco-friendly?
- Do they have all the valid Melbourne and Victoria licenses to practise?
- Can they give written testimonials and references?
These and a few other questions will help you make the right choice.
1. How do I know my pest control company knows its job?
One of the best metrics is the years of experience: if they’ve been around for long, they’ve been doing a good job, and are likely to be around for a few more years too. Above that, check to see that they have all the right licenses from the appropriate Melbourne, Victoria State and Australian Federal authorities, which points to their expertise and local knowledge. And finally, look for customer testimonials and/or references that come with a phone number or email - so you can verify the statement for yourself.
2. How many years have you been around?
You needn't sound like a police detective, but you can gauge experience by asking questions like:
- How many years have you been at the same address and using the same name?
- How many times have your licenses been renewed?
- Have you won any industry awards or 5-star ratings?
These indicate that the exterminators have been around for a while and are running a stable, trustworthy business.
3. Do you have any testimonials or online reviews I can check out?
Most pest control service providers will easily give you testimonials and references. It is only the ones who have a good reputation who will be transparent - and let you contact old customers directly. Doing so makes sure that you get an honest, uninfluenced opinion of their work.
4. May I see your papers?
Ask to see licenses, insurance papers, bonds and any other paperwork that ensures you will get good service. Pest extermination is a regulated business in Melbourne, and must comply with city, state and federal regulations. A company sure of its work will usually display them openly in its offices.
Whenever a pest control technician makes a home visit, ask to see their individual licenses and certificates too. The Department of Health and Human Services (under the Victorian Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008) issues a Pest Control Licence with photo ID (which can be verified on the Department’s website).
5. Why is a pest control license so important?
Under Victoria and Melbourne law, it is illegal to run a pest removal business without appropriate licence. A license ensures that the exterminator serving you is capable of:
- Identifying the pest and its habitat
- Determining an appropriate pest management plan
- Applying and handling pesticides safely
- Answering your questions and giving advice about the pesticides they use
Victoria state provides three separate authorisations - for controlling ordinary pests (arthropods, rats & birds), for foxes and rabbits, and for pesticides that require fumigation. Always check the authorisation on their license.
6. How do I know you know your job?
You're not an exterminator, so how do you make sure the answers you get are the right ones? You can make sure by asking the same questions to a number of different operators, and check if they give similar answers. Ask questions like:
- How much training have you had? Are you willing to show papers?
- Can you give me the names of the pesticides you use? Can I photograph the labels (this is recommended by the Department of Health for first aid & emergency)?
- Can you tell me how your pesticides are child and pet-safe?
- What guarantee do I have that pests won’t come back (a reputed exterminator will not give a false guarantee)?
Frankly, if the answers seem too reassuring, they probably aren't genuine.
7. Will you give an estimate or a written quote?
An estimate is just a guess, and there's no saying it'll not change. On the other hand, a company that knows their job will make a thorough assessment and give you a full quote, to which they will not tack on additional or hidden charges, even if their costs rise. Hence, be aware of what kind of number is cited to you. If it sounds too cheap, there will probably be hidden costs that you might be asked to pay for later, leaving an unpleasant experience.
8. Will you give a guarantee?
Pest control is a business that deals with a wide variety of animals, and there is no guarantee ever that action on one pest will not stop another coming in, or even the same species re-infesting. It all depends on severity of infestation, the exterminator’s assessment and choices made in selecting the methods, which need to balance the need to remove the pest against the safety of your family).
A good Pest Control Agent will not offer a false guarantee, but will happily make a free service visit if you have a re-infestation.
9. Will you do what I want?
A good company's answer is: NO. They will do what you need, based on their expertise. They should be willing to gve you the right advice, and be transparent on the methods they choose (and their effectiveness). If they stand their ground, they know their job.
Your Pest Control Selection Checklist
- Costs: ask a few companies in Melbourne for quotes.
- References: Ask yur friends, colleagues or neighbours for someone they trust.
- Licenses: Ask for all the appropriate licenses and verify the technician's authorisation on the Victoria State Department of Health's website.
- Papers: Check for the company's insurance and bonds.
- Advisory: Ask for their opinion of the problem, and what guarantees they give.
Give us a Call
If you have a question we haven't answered, please call Protech Pest Control and we'll be happy to answer it as best as we can.
Call us from anywhere in Melbourne on 1300 780 980.
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