loading Loading, please wait...

Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Pest Control Service in Jacksonville

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, pests destroy property and do carry diseases - termites alone cause over $2 billion in property damage every year. Pest infestations can be a problem for the rich and the poor alike, but a good pest control professional helps you avoid the related health risks, financial liabilities that may result from pest activities, as well as the serious health hazards from the wrong use of pesticides. Anything short of a competent and experienced pest control professional may be disastrous. Hence, you should always ask the following questions to ensure that you are hiring the best hand to rid your home of pests:

Are You Licensed to Practice as an Exterminator in Jacksonville?

In Jacksonville, pest control professionals do not need a locally-issued occupational license to provide their services to interested persons. However, per state law, each pest control business location must be licensed by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS), and the owner of the business must carry the required insurance coverage for $250,000 per person and $500,000 per occurrence for bodily injury and $250,000 per occurrence and $500,000 in the aggregate for property damage, or combined single limit coverage of $500,000 in the aggregate, and employ a full-time Florida-certified operator in charge of the pest control operations at the business location.

Before hiring a pest control company or professional in Jacksonville, make sure that they have obtained the necessary license and certificate of operation. Members of the public can confirm a pest control business or professional license status by utilizing the state's pest control public database search portal. Note that reputable pest control professionals will have both a business license and certificate.

To obtain a pest control business license, applicants must submit a completed pest control business application form, alongside a completed certificate of insurance, a completed employee identification card application for each employee and the certified operator in charge of the business, and the appropriate license fee to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services at:

The Conner Building, No.8
3125 Conner Boulevard
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1650

In addition to obtaining a pest control business license which allows them to operate as a business entity in the state, anyone who intends to practice as a pest control specialist must also obtain the appropriate pest control operator certificate before providing their services to members of the public. Interested persons can obtain a pest control operator certificate in the following areas:

  • General Household Pest and Rodent Control,
  • Termite and Other Wood-Destroying Organisms Control,
  • Lawn and Ornamental Pest Control, and/or
  • Fumigation.

To obtain any of the aforementioned certificates, applicants must be at least 18 years of age and must sit and pass the written examinations administered by FDACS. Note that only individuals that meet the FDACS experience requirements will be allowed to take the certification examination. Applicants can apply to take the pest control operator certification exam online or by mailing a completed application form to:

The Conner Building, No.8
3125 Conner Boulevard
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1650

For more information concerning the process and requirements for obtaining a pest control business license and a pest control operator certificate, contact the FDACS at (850) 617-7997, or send an email to the Department.

Besides pest control business license and pest control operator certificate, professionals who apply or supervise the use of restricted-use pesticides are additionally required to be certified as a private or commercial applicator based on Federal Certification Standards. This certification is handled by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). To obtain a private applicator certification, applicants must demonstrate a practical understanding of agricultural pest problems and treatment strategies, as well as correct pesticide storage, use, handling, and disposal, before getting certified. To obtain a commercial applicator certificate, on the other hand, applicants must show 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 Florida State Pest Control Association?

When considering hiring an exterminator in Jacksonville, it is very crucial to check if the professional is a member of a state pest control association. Most Jacksonville exterminators are members of the Florida Pest Management Association (FPMA), a statewide association representing the pest control industry as well as protecting Floridians for over 70 years. Exterminators who are members of FPMA have access to extensive training, research solutions, industry updates, and multiple networking opportunities. As a result, hiring an exterminator that is a member of FPMA not only means you are dealing with professionals who deliver quality services but also provide these services by maintaining a high level of professionalism.

In addition to FPMA membership, exterminators can also join other pest control-related associations such as the Certified Pest-Control Operators (C.P.C.O.) in Florida. The CPCO was founded to represent the individual certified pest-control operator, irrespective of the size of the company they worked in or owned. Members of the CPCO also have access to technical training, special seminars, and state-mandated continuing education units (CEUs), which equips them with the requisite knowledge for carrying out pest control services.

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

The cost of a pest control service in Jacksonville is determined by factors like the size of the affected area, the type of structure to be treated, the type of pest treatment to be used, and the number of pest treatments required. Depending on any of the aforementioned factors, pest control professionals may charge different rates for their services.

However, it is important to note that unscrupulous individuals often charge more than what is required for a pest control service. As a result, it is wise to seek the opinion of more than one pest control professional whenever you need a pest control service.

You should consult with at least three different pest control providers in the city about the service you require. Furthermore, you should request that each pest control professional to offer an estimate for the service and compare them. By comparing these estimates, you can determine the actual cost of pest treatment.

Pest control workers in Jacksonville earn an average annual wage of $37,980. 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 Florida and other locations across the United States:

Jacksonville Pest Control Workers Average Hourly Wage
$18.26
Miami Pest Control Workers Average Hourly Wage
$18.80
Tampa Pest Control Workers Average Hourly Wage
$18.71
St. Petersburg Pest Control Workers Average Hourly Wage
$18.71
Orlando Pest Control Workers Average Hourly Wage
$18.70
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 Jacksonville Regulations for Pesticide Application?

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) is the agency responsible for regulating pest control professionals and the use of pesticides across the state of Florida. Anyone who intends to engage in the use of pesticides must comply with the established standards in the state. Some of these standards include mandatory registration of pesticides distributed, sold, or offered for sale in Florida with the Department and use of pesticides following label directions. Note that the use of any pesticide in a manner inconsistent with its label is prohibited under Section 487.031 (10), Florida Statutes.

Before allowing a pest control professional to spray pesticide in your home, you should ask if the brand of product they intend to use is registered. You can confirm if the brand of pesticide is registered by utilizing the National Pesticide Information Retrieval System (NPIRS) public database. You can search by the EPA registration number, pesticide product brand name, company name, or active ingredient (pesticide). Pesticides applicators who are unsure if a brand of pesticide requires registration can contact the FDACS at (850) 617-7940.

In addition to the registration of pesticides and the use of these pesticides per the state's regulations, pest control professionals are additionally required to avoid the use of pesticides that are adulterated or misbranded and make sure that these chemicals are kept far away from children.

Note that violations of Florida's pest control laws are taken seriously. If anyone is alleged to have practiced pest control in a manner that is not consistent with the state's regulations, the FDACS will evaluate and review the matter to ensure that the appropriate sanction is issued in accordance with Chapter 5E-14, Florida Administrative Code. For more information concerning the regulations for pesticide application call the FDACS at 1-(800)435-7352.

What Type of Pest Control Method Are You Using?

Pest control is typically a three-stage operation that involves properly identifying the problem, researching the type of pest you are dealing with, and choosing the best pest control method to use in handling the problem.

Homeowners must understand that failure to accurately determine the best control method to use in case of pest infestation may result in the inability to control the pest and may even cause damage to the target site. Therefore, as a homeowner, it is always in your best interest to hire an experienced and competent pest control professional to rid your home of pests.

The most common pest control method used by professionals in the city are as follows:

  • Organic Pest Control: This relies on the use of natural substances such as spinosad, pyrethrin, neem oil, diatomaceous earth, bacillus thuringiensis, or sulfur in dealing with pest infestation instead of man-made chemicals like pesticides. Organic pest control solutions include:
    • Eco Defense Organic Home Pest Control Spray
    • 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 strategy involves the introduction of natural enemies of the pest, such as parasites, pathogens, and predators, to prevent the pest from reproducing and surviving in the target area. A good example of biological strategy is the introduction of Lacewings (Chrysopa spp.), a predatory insect that feeds on or lays eggs in, the insects you want to get rid of, reducing their numbers exponentially. While this method is safer than the use of chemicals, it can be counterproductive if it is not handled by a specialist. This is particularly important because not getting the biological pest control solution right may lead to the introduction of invasive species in an area.
  • Physical and Mechanical Pest Control: Here, the pest control professional makes use of physical means and devices to control pests in an area. 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: Here, chemical pesticides are sprayed to eliminate pests in an area. However, it is important to note that 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 licensed pest control professional not only knows when to apply pesticides, but also the type of pesticide that is required for a particular 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

While hiring someone for pest control is a fantastic idea, homeowners must always ensure that they are hiring an experienced specialist. Checking for reviews and testimonials on pest control companies in Jacksonville on trustworthy third-party websites such as Better Business Bureau can help homeowners identify professionals who not only understand the pest control approach to use but also when and how to utilize the method.

What Household Pests Do You Control?

There are different types of pest control services that you can receive from pest control professionals in Jacksonville depending on the problem that you are facing in your home. These services include pest extermination, pest removal, and pest prevention.

Pest extermination is received when there is an existing pest infestation that needs to be taken care of quickly. Similarly, pest removal is received when you need to rid your home of pests, especially larger pests like snakes, raccoons, and opossums. Pest prevention, on the other hand, is received when you want to prevent pests from entering your home.

While most pest control professionals in Jacksonville offer the three types of pest control services, it is wise to hire a professional that specializes in offering the specific type of pest services you need. This will help ensure that you get the right individual for the job. Nonetheless, you should also ask how much the specialist charges for the type of service you need. Listed below are pricing estimates for some pest control services in Jacksonville:

Bats and bird exterminator
$160.72 - $233.18
Bed bug exterminator
$123.09 - $160.00
Bee exterminator
$95.00 - $590.00
Carpenter ant exterminator
$78.00 - $600.00
Carpet beetle exterminator
$80.00 - $700.00
Cockroach exterminator
$140 - $500
Flea exterminator
$65.00 - $650.00
Exterminator for Mice, rats, and other similar rodents and small animals
$140.28 - $155.14
Mosquito exterminator
$107.76 - $156.07 (for one-time treatment)
Spider exterminator
$74.00 - $725.00
Termite treatment
$6.02 - $8.27 (per linear foot for chemical treatment)
Tick exterminator
$47 and $145 (per treatment)
Small animal exterminator
$297.28 - $368.61

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

Any person applying for a pest control operator license or renewal in Jacksonville must furnish the Florida Department of Agriculture with a certificate of insurance that meets the requirements for minimum financial responsibility for bodily injury of at least $250,000 per person and $500,000 per occurrence; and property damage of $250,000 per occurrence and $500,000 in the aggregate; or combined single-limit coverage: $500,000 in the aggregate.

Pest control operators who do not meet the above-mentioned insurance requirements will not be licensed, and hiring such a person to rid your home of pests will expose you to several financial liabilities that may result from incompetence as well as on-the-job accidents that occur while they are working on your premises.

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. It is important to note that these accidents will result in liabilities regardless of how they occurred, and the only way to avoid liabilities is to ensure that your pest control specialist is insured.

You can always ensure that your preferred pest control specialist is covered by requesting proof of insurance and calling the insurance company that issued the certificate to confirm whether or not the professional's insurance coverage is still active. You can also call the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services at (850) 617-7997 to see if the professional has active insurance coverage on file.

How to File a Complaint Against a Bad Exterminator in Jacksonville

Pest control-related scams are not new to residents of Jacksonville and other parts of Florida. In July 2021, the state's Attorney General filed a complaint in the Fifth Judicial Circuit in and for Marion County against a landscaping company targeting seniors with false promises and incomplete work. The company used deceptive contracts, flyers, invoices or sales pitches to convince their victims to hire them for landscaping and pest control services which were never rendered. There are several other unscrupulous individuals posing as legitimate pest control service providers in Jacksonville. Some of these scammers even go as far as providing fake references to convince their victims. Other scam techniques used by unscrupulous persons acting as legitimate pest control professionals include enticing customers with low service charges, requiring full payment before beginning work, and using inferior materials for the work. To avoid falling for these scam tricks, homeowners should take the following steps:

  • Get Recommendations From Trustworthy People: It is easier to find legitimate professionals by getting recommendations from family, friends, and close associates. In most cases, the professional that will be recommended must have worked for the person recommending them to you.
  • Get and Compare Multiple Estimates: Comparing estimates from different exterminators helps you to know the actual cost of a pest control service. In addition, it will help you select the exterminator whose price matches your budget appropriately.
  • Make Sure the Professional is Licensed: Always check whether the individual you intend to hire for pest control is licensed by utilizing the state's pest control public database search portal.
  • Hire Only Professionals That Are Insured: Do not hire anyone that is not carrying an active insurance policy. You can confirm whether your preferred professional's insurance is active by requesting proof of insurance and calling the insurance company that issued the certificate.
  • Ask Questions About the Service: Make sure you research the type of service the exterminator is promising to offer before signing an agreement. You should also ask about the pesticide that the professional intends to use and if these products are registered with the FDACS. Finding out about the pesticide that will be used in your home beforehand will protect you from health problems that may result from inappropriate use of pesticides and exposure to harmful chemicals.
  • Avoid Paying Full Price Before the Job is Completed: Do not make full payments until you see that the service is satisfactorily completed.
  • Always Insist On 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.
  • Read Your Contract: Carefully read any contract you are given and always ask questions if you do not understand any part of the contract, before signing

Victims of pest control related scams in Jacksonville can report the incident to the Florida Attorney General's Office online or by downloading, completing, and submitting a consumer complaint form at:

Office of Attorney General
State of Florida
The Capitol PL-01
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1050

Likewise, if the incident involves the use of pesticide in a manner that is not consistent with state pest control regulations, homeowners can report the incident to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services by downloading, completing, and submitting a pest control form at:

Bureau of Inspection and Incident Response
3125 Conner Boulevard, Suite N,
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1650

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

Homeowners in Jacksonville are frequently torn between choosing a local exterminator and a big company such as Arrow, Aptive, Orkin, and Bulwark whenever they require pest control services. While both options remain viable, it is in your best interest as a homeowner to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of hiring a local exterminator or a big pest control company before making a decision. Listed below are the advantages and disadvantages of hiring a local or national brand.

Pros

Local Pest Control Firms
A comprehensive understanding of the local pest infestation
Pest control plans that are less expensive and adaptable
Service is personalized
Because they are members of the community, their success in business depends on the quality of their services
Most local pest control companies provide 24-hour service.
Nationwide Pest Control Brands
Ideal for pest infestations that necessitate the use of sophisticated tools
Price and Plan are consistent
Services are more diverse
Business success is determined not only by the quality of their work but also by how satisfied their consumers are after obtaining their services.
Working hours are fixed

Cons

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