When you’ve already been through the process of comparing pest control providers, chosen one and invested months or years into a program, it’s tough to consider going back to the drawing board. But if part of your job has become making sure they do their job, you’re not saving yourself any hassle by sticking with a provider that delivers less than you deserve.
What does a successful pest control program look like? In general, it largely takes care of itself. It’s proactive, delivers on promises, helps you communicate with employees and third-party auditors, and adheres to best practices in the industry.
If that doesn’t sound like your current situation, take a closer look. If you’re experiencing any of the five common vendor issues below, it may be time to shop around for a more reliable partner.
Doesn’t Lead with Integrated Pest Management (IPM): As a widely recognized best practice in the industry, an IPM-based approach is a must-have for a reputable pest control company. Still, there are plenty of so-called “experts” out there not covering the IPM basics, like routine sanitation and maintenance to help prevent pests and minimize the need for chemical treatments, and proactive monitoring to track trends in activity. These comprehensive programs should be customized to your industry requirements as well as your business’s physical space and location.
Poor Communication and Documentation: Your provider should keep you informed at every step of your relationship—from setting clear expectations about how often they’ll service your location and communicate with you about your program, to providing details on observations and corrective actions taken. They should also thoroughly document each service and provide you with copies to keep on-site—especially if pest control is part of your industry’s third-party audits.
Wastes Your Time: If managing parts of your pest control program your provider should be handling takes up your precious time, that’s not fair to you. You shouldn’t have to follow up for the documents you need, or feel like you have to check after a service to ensure bait stations were placed as promised. Instead, you deserve a partner who proactively saves you time—for example, by conducting trainings for your staff on the active roles they should play in a successful pest management program.
Broken Promises: Your service agreement should be a bond between you and your provider that clearly defines which pests will be monitored and addressed, how often your space will be serviced, and what treatments will be included. If you’re asked to pay extra for something your contract says should be covered—such as an additional visit between regularly scheduled treatments—your provider is not honoring their side of the bargain.
Pest Activity: Realistically, no business can be 100 percent pest-proof, 365 days a year, and if you’re located in more pest-prone environments—like wooded areas or warm, moist climates—a sighting from time to time is even more likely. That’s why it’s a best practice to establish thresholds with your pest control partner: defined amounts of activity you agree is acceptable. If you continually experience activity above your defined threshold, or have had a more persistent problem bubble up that remains unresolved, your partner is not giving you the results you need. And if you received any pest control deductions on a third-party audit, your partner has let you down.
You take your job seriously, and you deserve a pest control company that does the same. If you’re putting up with any of these common provider issues, consider moving on. And if you’re dealing with two or more, it’s definitely time to embark on a search for a partner who you can count on to do the job right. Our free e-book, the Practical Guide To Picking a Pest Control Provider, is full of tips on how to vet potential providers, select the best one for you, and set up your new partnership for lasting success. It’s a great place to start when it’s time for a change.
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