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Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Pest Control Service in Denver

Poor pest treatment, contamination of the environment, exposure to toxic chemicals, and the extra cost of a new treatment are the risks you run whenever you attempt a DIY pest control solution. It is wise to hire a pest control specialist in Denver who is conversant with contemporary pest application methods and established standards to arrest a pest infestation in your home or office. However, bear in mind that some individuals posing as pest control specialists in the city lack the requisite skill and experience to do the work.

As a result, homeowners should always ask the professional they intend to hire the following questions to determine if they are competent and experienced enough to do the work:

Are You Licensed to Practice as an Exterminator in Denver?

Denver exterminators are not required to obtain a locally issued occupational license to provide their services to members of the public. However, any exterminator that intends to use or supervise the use of pesticides in eliminating pests from a customer's home or property must obtain the appropriate license and certification for such work from the Colorado Department of Agriculture. Applying pesticides without holding the appropriate license or certification may attract civil penalties for offenders. The maximum penalty shall not exceed $1,000 per violation, except where the penalty is doubled by a court after determining that the offender has committed the same crime a second time. To avoid civil penalties, exterminators in the city are encouraged to contact the Colorado Department of Agriculture's Pesticide Applicator Coordinator at (303) 869-9063 to find out about the licensing and certification process.

The Colorado Department of Agriculture issues several types of pesticide applicator licenses to interested persons. These license types include:

  • Qualified supervisor license: For anyone who wishes to evaluate pest problems, recommends pest controls using pesticides or devices, mixes, loads, or applies any pesticide, sells any application services, and operates devices without any type of supervision
  • Certified operator license: For anyone who intends to be using restricted-use pesticides without the on-site supervision of a qualified supervisor
  • Private applicator license: For individuals who use or supervise the use of a restricted-use pesticide to produce an agricultural commodity on property owned or leased by the applicator or the applicator's employer
  • Commercial applicator license: for individuals, other than a private applicator, who engages in the business of applying pesticides for hire

To obtain any of the aforementioned pesticide applicator licenses, interested persons must first pass one or more licensing examinations administered by the Department. Note that the examination type is typically determined by the category of license the individual intends to obtain. For more information on exam types, registration, and schedule call (303) 869-9063.

After successfully completing the appropriate exam, applicants can now proceed to applying for the pest applicator license they want. Applicants who wish to apply for either a qualified supervisor or certified operator license can do so on the same online portal, while those interested in obtaining a private applicator license can do so on a different online portal. Although the Department has stopped paper applications, applicants who may not be able to use the online portal can still request paper applications. Applicants who have questions concerning the licensing portals or paper application can contact the Program Coordinator at (303) 869-9063. Regardless of the application process that is utilized, applicants must provide accurate information and pay the appropriate licensing fees for their application to be considered.

In addition to obtaining an appropriate pesticide applicator license and certification, exterminators who apply or supervise the use of restricted-use pesticides must also be certified as private or commercial applicators by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This is typically performed based on Federal Certification Standards and applicants can obtain a private applicator certification after demonstrating a practical understanding of agricultural pest problems and treatment strategies, as well as correct pesticide storage, use, handling, and disposal. Similarly, applicants can obtain a commercial applicator certificate after showing that they understand basic pesticide use and safety, as well as at least one specialty application area. Applicants can contact the EPA through email or fill out this online form for more information on Federal Certification Standards.

Are You Registered with the Colorado State Pest Control Association?

A poor pest control service exposes you to a variety of liabilities including health problems, property damage, and potential court cases. As a result, it is not only important that you hire an experienced and competent professional, but also an individual that is a member of a state-recognized pest control association. Professionals who are members of a pest control association often comply with the industry standards, state pesticide regulations, and the EPA guidelines, consequently reducing the possibility of mistakes during the job.

Most pest control professionals in Denver are members of the Colorado Pest Control Association, a state-wide organization providing education, training, communication and cooperation; to enhance the positive industry image through community relations and to monitor and participate in legislative and regulatory advocacy. For more information on the benefits of hiring a member of the Colorado Pest Control Association call (800)678-6722. Interested persons can find pest control professionals who are members of the Colorado Pest Control Association by visiting the association's website or on a third-party website maintained by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA).

How Much Do You Charge for Pest Control Services and Why?

The cost of a pest control service in Denver is influenced by a variety of factors. These include the size of the affected area, the type of pest control method to be used, and how frequent the pest treatment will be administered. While these factors typically influence the cost of a pest control service in the city, homeowners should be wary of professionals that charge ridiculous prices by claiming that the pest infestation is too much or that they are going to use a different pest control method for the job.

To avoid falling for these tricks, homeowners should always speak to at least three different exterminators whenever they are in need of a pest control service. It is good to invite each professional to the affected area as this will enable them to assess the severity of the pest problem. Homeowners should also ensure that each exterminator submit a written estimate for the job after inspecting the area. By getting and comparing these estimates, homeowners will be able to determine the actual cost of the pest control service they need.

Pest control workers in Denver earn an average annual wage of $46,070. The list below compares the average hourly wages of this category of professionals in the city with those in other parts of the State of Colorado and other locations across the United States:

Denver Pest Control Workers Average Hourly Wage
$22.15
Grand Junction Pest Control Workers Average Hourly Wage
$20.24
Lakewood Pest Control Workers Average Hourly Wage
$22.15
Fort Collins Pest Control Workers Average Hourly Wage
$19.92
Aurora Pest Control Workers Average Hourly Wage
$22.15
Fort Worth Pest Control Workers Average Hourly Wage
$19.76
San Diego Pest Control Workers Average Hourly Wage
$20.67
New York City Pest Control Workers Average Hourly Wage
$21.35
Philadelphia Pest Control Workers Average Hourly Wage
$19.66
Chicago Pest Control Workers Average Hourly Wage
$19.05
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Do You Comply with the City of Denver Regulations for Pesticide Application?

Although there are no specific pesticide regulations in Denver, professionals who intend to use or supervise the use of pesticides in the city may be required to comply with the state's guidelines. The Colorado Department of Agriculture is responsible for carrying out the administration and enforcement of the state's Pesticide Act. Some requirements of the Colorado Pesticide Act include the mandatory registration of every pesticide product to be used across the state, application for a state permit to use certain pesticide products, prohibition of the use of a pesticide product on which a written cease and desist order was issued, and compulsory notification of customers of the potential side effects of a pesticide product before use. Note that using a pesticide product in a manner that is not in accordance with the state's Pesticide Act may lead to the suspension of the professional. For more information concerning the state's Pesticide Act, contact the Colorado Department of Agriculture at (303) 869-9063

What Type of Pest Control Method Are You Using?

Pest control methods refer to any treatment or elimination solution used to rid your home or property of pests. While you can initiate a simple pest control method in your home, it is always in your best interest to hire a professional to accurately identify the pest problem and select the best pest control method to use. Depending on the pest problem in your home, exterminators can choose any of the following pest control method listed below:

  • Organic Pest Control: In dealing with pest infestations, this control method focuses on the use of natural compounds such as spinosad, pyrethrin, neem oil, diatomaceous earth, bacillus thuringiensis, or sulfur rather than man-made chemicals such as pesticides. Among the organic pest management options are:
    • Wondercide All-Purpose Organic Home & Garden Insect Control
    • EcoRaider Ant & Crawling Insect Killer
    • EcoSmart Ant & Roach Killer
    • Verdana Cold-Pressed Organic Neem Oil
    • Essentria IC3

In addition, organic pest control strategies also involve the use of trap crops, pheromone traps, and the release of beneficial insects.

Biological Pest Control: This involves the use of biological control agents such as parasites, pathogens, and predators because of their ability to effectively kill and keep pests at bay. Biological pest control method is a proactive strategy in which action is taken prior to pest presence or at the first sign of their presence. For example, the introduction of Lacewings (Chrysopa spp.), a predatory insect that feeds on or lays eggs in, the insects you want to get rid of, can help reduce the numbers of pests exponentially after their first outbreak. Note that this control method can be counterproductive if it is not handled by a specialist.

Physical and Mechanical Pest Control: This strategy involves the use of devices and physical barriers to both eliminate and reduce the spread of pests. Common means to control pests include tillage, flaming, flooding, soil solarization, and row covers, while devices such as screens, fences, barriers, traps, and mulches are used as mechanical solutions to pest problems.

Chemical Pest Control: This control method involves the application of pesticides as pest treatment. Although this method works faster, it is considered a more dangerous way to eliminate pests. This method can result in severe health problems if the pesticide is not used properly. As a result, pesticide applications should be left to licensed professionals alone. A qualified pest control professional understands not only when to administer pesticides, but also the type of pesticide required for a specific pest infestation. Common chemical pesticides used by exterminators include:

    • CimeXa Insecticide Dust
    • Suspend SC Concentrate
    • Termidor SC Concentrate
    • BioAdvanced 3-in-1 Insect Disease & Mite Control

Having seen that it is safer to hire a competent hand for pest control services, interested persons should not hesitate to get recommendations from trusted families, neighbors, and associates. Interested persons can also visit third-party websites such as Better Business Bureau for qualified pest control workers. Here, you can even check for reviews and testimonies on the professional you intend to hire.

What Household Pests Do You Control?

Denver exterminators offer a variety of pest control services depending on the needs of their clients. These services include pest extermination, pest removal, and pest prevention. Pest extermination includes every activity aimed at completely eradicating any kind of pest infestation in an area. Similarly, pest removal involves the use of a control method to rid a customer's home of larger pests like snakes, raccoons, and opossums. Pest prevention, on the other hand, involves the use of several observational practices and precautionary measures to ensure that pests do not enter an area.

While most pest control firms in Denver provide all three types of pest control services, it is in your best interest to choose a professional who specializes in the type of pest services you need. However, before the professional begins work on your home, make sure you discuss the nature of the job and how much it will cost to accomplish it. Listed below are pricing estimates for some pest control services in Denver:

Bats and bird exterminator
$177.07 - $256.90
Bed bug exterminator
$135.61 - $163.75
Bee exterminator
$95.00 - $590.00
Carpenter ant exterminator
$85.00 - $600.00
Carpet beetle exterminator
$87.00 - $700.00
Cockroach exterminator
$150 - $500
Flea exterminator
$70.00 - $650.00
Exterminator for Mice, rats, and other similar rodents and small animals
$154.55 - $170.92
Mosquito exterminator
$118.73 - $256.90 (for one-time treatment)
Spider exterminator
$85.00 - $725.00
Termite treatment
$6.65 - $9.11 (per linear foot for chemical treatment)
Tick exterminator
$50 and $145 (per treatment)
Small animal exterminator
$327.52 - $406.33

Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Exterminators in Denver?

Denver exterminators who wish to engage in the business of applying pesticides for hire are required to furnish the Colorado Department of Agriculture with evidence of liability insurance as part of the requirements for obtaining a commercial applicator license. This general liability insurance shall be in a minimum of $400,000. For more information concerning the insurance requirement for obtaining a commercial applicator license, call (303) 869-9063.

Reputable professionals who understand the risks associated with pest control will always have active general liability insurance. The truth is, the use of certain pesticides may result in serious physical and health problems such as blindness, nausea, dizziness, diarrhea, injuries, and death. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, four fatal and 2,820 nonfatal on-the-job injuries among pest control workers were registered in 2020 alone. If a professional that is not insured gets injured on the job, homeowners must bear in mind that they are most likely going to pay for the medical bills of the injured professional. The only way to avoid this is by making sure that your preferred professional has an active insurance policy. Homeowners should always ask the professional they intend to hire for proof of insurance. Nonetheless, homeowners should not hesitate to verify whatever proof they are given by contacting the professional's insurance company.

How to File a Complaint Against a Bad Exterminator in Denver

The Colorado Attorney General's Office handles various kinds of consumer fraud, including pest control service-related scams. Pest control service-related scams include collecting money and not showing up to do the job, inflating the price of the service, performing shoddy work, and charging for services that were not rendered. Residents of Denver are encouraged to be on the lookout for unscrupulous individuals posing as pest control workers. Residents can avoid pest control service scammers by identifying these common red flags:

  • Professionals appear in front of your door uninvited
  • They show up in an unmarked truck and refuse to provide adequate details about their business location
  • They refuse to show their license or any other qualification issued by a professional body
  • They offer ridiculous prices
  • They demand upfront payment
  • They refuse to provide a written contract for the work

Residents can also avoid falling for pest control service scammers by taking the following steps:

  • Ask for recommendations from people: One of the easiest ways to get a competent pest control professional is by getting recommendations from people you trust. In most situations, you will get a professional that is trusted and has been tested.
  • Get and Compare Multiple Estimates: It is always important to get estimates from at least three different exterminators for your work. This will ensure that you do not pay more than what is necessary for a pest control service, and also help you find a professional that is within your budget
  • Hire only licensed professionals: Always ensure that the individual you intend to hire for pest control is licensed by the Colorado Department of Agriculture. You can do so by calling (303) 869-9063.
  • Make sure your professional is insured: Always request proof of insurance and verify the details of the insurance policy before hiring anyone for a pest control job.
  • Ask questions about the service: Do not sign an agreement with an exterminator unless you fully understand the services they are offering. Make sure you find out the type of pesticide the exterminator intends to use beforehand and ensure that they are registered with the Colorado Department of Agriculture.l
  • Do not pay full price before the job is completed: Wait until service is satisfactorily completed before you pay the total service cost
  • Get a written contract: It is always good to get a written contract detailing the nature of the service and the expectations tied to the service you need.

Victims of pest control-related services can file a complaint with the Colorado Attorney General's Office online. However, note that the Attorney General's Office does not have the authority to provide legal advice and does not have the authority to investigate or prosecute your individual case. If you want the wrong use of pesticides to be investigated, you can download, complete, and mail a pesticide complaint form to:

Colorado Department of Agriculture
Enforcement
Matthew Lopez
305 Interlocken Parkway
Broomfield, CL 80021

Choosing Between Local Pest Control Firms and Large National Chains: The Pros and Cons

While engaging a professional to deal with your pest problem is always a simple decision, choosing between a local exterminator and a large corporation like Arrow, Aptive, Orkin, and Bulwark is not. In such cases, homeowners should weigh the benefits and drawbacks of employing a local exterminator vs a large pest control company. The benefits and drawbacks of hiring a local or national brand are listed below. In such situations, homeowners are advised to first compare the advantages and disadvantages of hiring a local exterminator or a big pest control company. Listed below are the advantages and disadvantages of hiring a local or national brand.

Pros

Local Pest Control Firms
A thorough awareness of the local pest infestation
Plans for pest control that are less expensive and more adaptable
Service is personalized
Because they are members of the community, their success in business is decided not only by the quality of their job but also by how satisfied their customers are
Most local pest control companies provide 24-hour service.
Nationwide Pest Control Brands
Ideal for pest infestations requiring the use of specialized tools
Price and Plan are fixed
Services are more diverse
Because they are not members of the community, their success in business is decided by factors other than the quality of their services
Working hours are fixed

Cons

Local Pest Control Firms
Nationwide Pest
Lack of advanced pest control equipment
Shortage of laborers and resources to handle a big project
The cost of pest control plans is exorbitant
No personalized service