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Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Pest Control Service in Indianapolis

Pest can be found in almost every town in the United States. It is estimated that there is around one rat for every person living in the US. A licensed and properly trained professional pest control company can help you avoid experiencing pest infestion issues in your home. However, before you hire an Indianapolis-based pest control company, make sure that you thoroughly inquire about their credentials and experience to confirm they can effectively carry out the job. You can ask the following questions:

Are You Licensed to Practice as an Exterminator in Indianapolis?

Exterminators and pest control businesses in Indianapolis must be certified and licensed by the Office of Indiana State Chemist (OISC) before offering pest control services in the city. If an exterminator provides pest control services without a valid state-issued license, it is a violation that attracts a fine of up to $1000.

Structural pest control exterminators must be licensed as commercial applicators to offer pest services. A certified commercial applicator is a person who has the necessary skills and knowledge to handle the use of pesticides for any purpose, including in homes and commercial establishments. The OISC issues two types of commercial applicator licenses to interested individuals in Indianapolis. This includes:

  • Licensed commercial applicator for hire: A licensed commercial applicator employed by a licensed pesticide business to use or supervise the use of pesticides on another individual's property. This individual also assumes direct responsibility for the business's supervision and use of pesticides.
  • Licensed commercial applicator not for hire: A commercial applicator employed by a private company to supervise or use a restricted use pesticide only on the employer's property.

The applicant must pass an appropriate core examination to obtain the above-mentioned licenses. The applicant must then fill out and submit a license application form alongside the appropriate application fee to

Office of Indiana State Chemist
Purdue University
175 South University Street
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2063.

Note that a licensed commercial applicator who intends to supervise and use pesticides for the production of agricultural commodities on a property belonging to their employer or their property must be certified as a private applicator by the OISC. Exterminators interested in becoming certified as private pesticide applicators must complete a core exam and a category exam covering information on pest identification and biology, pesticide chemistry, pesticide application techniques, equipment and calibration, and environmental concerns.

The OISC exam manual is useful for interested parties to get the latest information about upcoming examinations and other relevant information.

Any individual in the business of applying pesticides for hire to the property of another or advertising that they do so, must obtain a pesticide business license from the Indiana State Chemist's Office. This license is important to practice pesticide business in Indianapolis legally. To obtain it, applicants must do the following:

You can direct your queries regarding the OISC's licensing and certification procedure and requirements for exterminators and pest control businesses in Indianapolis to the office at (765) 494-9563. You can also check if the company has been licensed and certified by utilizing OISC's Pesticide Business/Applicator Search platform.

Are You Registered with the Indiana State Pest Control Association?

When choosing a professional exterminator in Seattle, apart from being licensed and certified, membership in the Indiana Pest Management Association (IPMA) is also an important criterion to consider. Being a member of the IPMA is very important for any professional who wants to stay up-to-date with the latest techniques and technologies in the field of pest control. This organization also provides its members with various training and education resources. Besides these benefits, members of the IP also have high standards they are expected to meet, usually provided for in the IPMA By-Laws. This ensures that those who are members are highly skilled and experienced when compared to their non-member counterparts.

You can easily find local pest control companies in Indianapolis that are members of the IPMA through its Pest Management/Supplier Company Information platform. Some professional exterminators in Indianapolis who are members of the IPMA also belong to reputable pest control associations like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). However, before hiring an exterminator in Indianapolis claiming to belong to these associations, ensure that the individual holds a valid membership with the relevant association. You can confirm if the membership proof provided is valid by contacting the relevant pest management association.

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

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average wage of an experienced and licensed exterminator in the city is $18.80. The exact cost of a pest control service in Indianapolis will vary depending on various factors. Some of these include:

  • The location of your home in Indianapolis
  • The size of the infested area
  • The types of pests that the exterminator will be dealing with.
  • The level of the pest infestation
  • Pest control method to be employed by the exterminator
  • Cost of supplies required to complete the job effectively
  • The urgency of the situation
  • The frequency of the exterminator's visit for the required pest control services

Before you hire an experienced and qualified pest control professional in Indianapolis, it is important that you get and compare the rates of multiple pest control companies in the city. Doing so will allow you to avoid being taken advantage of by unscrupulous operators. Although it is important to compare the prices of different pest control services, it's also important to avoid hiring the one that offers the lowest rate. Carry out your due diligence always when provided with estimates by multiple exterminators to ensure you pick the most suitable for your budget and intended pest control service.

Pest control workers in Indianapolis earn an average annual wage of $39,100. The list below compares the average hourly wages of this category of professionals in the city with those in other parts of Oklahoma State and other locations across the United States:

Indianapolis Pest Control Workers Average Hourly Wage
$18.80
Lafayette Pest Control Workers Average Hourly Wage
$20.83
Fort Wayne Pest Control Workers Average Hourly Wage
$18.24
Bloomington Arrow Pest Control Workers Average Hourly Wage
$16.15
Evansville City Pest Control Workers Average Hourly Wage
$18.58
Chicago Pest Control Workers Average Hourly Wage
$19.05
Detroit Pest Control Workers Average Hourly Wage
$20.61
New York City Pest Control Workers Average Hourly Wage
$21.35
Los Angeles Pest Control Workers Average Hourly Wage
$20.91
Philadelphia Pest Control Workers Average Hourly Wage
$19.66

Do You Comply with the Indianapolis Regulations for Pesticide Application?

Hiring an exterminator or pest control company with the proper training and experience in the use of pesticides in Indianapolis is very important to ensure that you get the best possible service. The Pesticide Use and Application Law and the Compliance Priorities for Pest Management Professionals guide the activities of various pest control companies and exterminators in the city. Violating this law and regulation can result in civil fines of up to $1,000. Some key regulations exterminators must comply with include:

  • The apparatus used for mixing and dispensing pesticides must be cleaned to prevent residues. Also, it must be appropriately secured and stored out of reach.
  • The exterminator must ensure the area is well inspected to enable them to remove items that can be easily contaminated with the pesticide.
  • Exterminators and pest control companies must first obtain the licenses and certifications from the Indiana Office of State Chemists before providing effective and efficient pest control services in Indianapolis.
  • Unused portions of pesticides should be properly disposed of.
  • The pesticides used in Indianapolis must be labeled and registered with the Indiana Office of State Chemists.
  • Notify the OISC of a termite pre-treatment a minimum of three hours before application.

For more information regarding rules and regulations that will apply to your planned pesticide control service in Indianapolis, you can contact the Indiana Office of State Chemist at (765) 494-1492.

What Type of Pest Control Method Are You Using?

Before finalizing the work contract with your exterminator, ensure you inquire about the pest control method that the exterminator will employ for your specific pest problem. Confirming this ensures that the treatment they provide is appropriate to get an effective result. There are different types of pest control methods used by exterminators in Indianapolis. These include:

  • Chemical control: This process involves using various chemicals designed to kill pests. Some of the common chemical pesticides used by exterminators contain active ingredients like carbaryl, permethrin, and boric acid. Other products used for this type of control include the Malathion spray, CimeXa Insecticide Dust, and Natria 706230A Organic Miticide. Although chemical control methods are effective, it is still considered hazardous and must be handled properly and applied incorrectly.
  • Physical control: It refers to using various devices and methods such as traps, bait, and rodent catchers to control pests and prevent them from wreaking their effects on your home. Although this method is generally considered safe, it can only be very effective when integrated with other pest control methods.
  • Cultural control: This method involves using various physical and lifestyle changes to make areas where pests live more uncomfortable and inhabitable. The household must maintain good hygiene and clean their general environment to achieve this.
  • Biological control: This involves using natural enemies of the pest such as parasites, pathogens, and parasitoids to control a pest's population and spread in an area. For example, the use of predatory beetles to control pest infestation like spider mites, aphids, and other likewise insects. This method can be beneficial for controlling various pests, but it can also lead to the developing of new pests.

Many professional pest control companies in the city combine multiple methods to provide their customers with effective and efficient service. This is referred to as an integrated pest management strategy. This strategy helps identify the cause of the issue, control pests, and eliminate and prevent it from happening in the future. For effective IPM services in Indianapolis, you can find exterminators via the Pest Management/Supplier Company Information platform of the Indiana Pest Management Association. You can also use online directories of the Better Bureau Business and the National Pest Management Association to find Indianapolis local firms that specialize in providing similar services.

What Household Pests Do You Control?

It is advisable that you confirm your intended exterminator's area of specialization and the types of services they provide. Typically, exterminators in Indianapolis provide services like pest extermination, removal, and prevention.

Pest removal and extermination services are usually carried out to eliminate pests already established in an area. In contrast, pest prevention focuses on preventing pests from infiltrating and spreading in your home.

In addition to confirming the service an exterminator provides and the specific species of pests they are dealing with, you should verify the pest control methods that will be utilized. Verifying will prepare you for the pest control process and also guarantee you that you will be provided with the best possible service in the end. You must also know how much you will be charged for the services before work commences. This list compiles the cost estimates of various pest control services provided by companies and professional exterminators in Indianapolis.

Ant control
$67 - $338
Bat removal
$150 - $218
Bed bug treatment
$232 - $611
Beehive removal
$83 - $332
Bird nest removal
$92 - $141
Bug and insect treatment
$115 - $139 (for initial treatment for standard four-bedroom home)
Cricket control
$78 - $342
Flea control
$67 - $292
Mosquito control
$101 - $146 (for one-time treatment)
Mouse/rat extermination
$62 - $231
Pantry pests control
$63 - $412
Roach extermination
$72 - $326
Rodent inspection and trap setting
$131 - $145
Silverfish extermination
$93 - $242
Small animal removal
$279 - $346
Spider removal
$91 - $190
Termite extermination
$390 - $2,390
Termite treatment
$5.67 - $7.76 per linear foot (for chemical treatment)
Tick control
$141 - $440
Wasp control
$92 - $790

Note that an exterminator will typically give you an estimate based on the type of service they provide and the nature of the problem.

Do You Carry the Necessary Right Insurance Policy for Exterminators in Indianapolis?

It is important to ensure that your preferred pest control company has proper insurance coverage. This will protect you from the financial and legal consequences of having an exterminator injured while they are working on your home. Aside from carrying out their duties safely, these professionals are also exposed to various chemicals that can be hazardous to their health and exposure to pest disease transmission.

In Indianapolis, pest control businesses are required to maintain a general liability insurance policy of $300,000 for bodily injury and property damage. In addition, pest control businesses must carry worker's compensation insurance for their employees.

Before you hire a pest control company, make sure that you request a copy of their insurance certificate to confirm their insurance status. You should take further steps to authenticate the certificate by contacting the issuing insurance carrier.

For more information regarding the exterminator's insurance requirements, contact the Office of Indiana State Chemist at (765) 494-1492. You can contact the Workers Compensation Board of Indiana at (317) 232-3811 to get the details of the state's workers' compensation requirements.

How to File a Complaint Against a Bad Exterminator in Indianapolis

In Indianapolis, if you suspect that a particular exterminator might be operating illegally or you have been a victim of any scam, you can file a complaint with the Office of Indiana State Chemist or the Office of the Indiana Attorney General.

Deceptive exterminators and pest control businesses in Indianapolis are always looking for ways to trick unsuspecting customers into giving them money by using various scam methods. In June 2021, the Office of Indiana State Chemist cited Expert Home Inspections for violating section 65(9) of the state's Pesticide Use and Application Law for performing inspections without having the proper licenses and certifications. Apart from offering services without licenses, these businesses and individuals typically use other tactics to get their customers' money, such as

  • Door-to-door solicitation and offering pest control services at very low prices. In most cases, they may plant evidence of an unseen infestation in your home to further convince you.
  • Demand full payment before they start their work and then fail to deliver on their promise of providing satisfactory results.
  • Downplay the importance of a contract. Otherwise, they rush you into signing a contract you do not understand and not enough time to review it.
  • Offering pest control services without a state-issued license.

You can protect yourself against a deceptive exterminator in Indianapolis by using the following tips:

  • Get and compare multiple prices of different pest control companies.
  • Avoid door-to-door solicitation pest control services. Instead, you can get referrals of exterminators near you from friends, family, and other reputable exterminators. Also, you can use platforms like Indiana Pest Management Association, National Pest Management Association, and the Better Business Bureau to find exterminators near you.
  • Make sure that they are licensed and certified. You can use the Pesticide Business/Applicator Search platform provided by the OISC to verify your intended exterminator's licensing status.
  • Avoid exterminators trying to trick you into hiring them because they have leftover chemicals and pesticides from a previous job and will be offering them to you at a discounted rate.
  • Make sure you have a written and signed contract between you and the exterminator. This contract should clearly explain the terms of the deal and how it will be handled.
  • Ensure that your exterminator is insured.
  • Ask for references from your preferred exterminator for past clients. These individuals should be able to provide you with verifiable information about the exterminator's professionalism and services.
  • Be wary of pest control companies and exterminators that will ask you for complete payment upfront.

If you are dissatisfied with the services provided by a pest control company or an exterminator, or these individuals have scammed you, you can file a complaint with the Office of Indiana State Chemist. You will be required to fill out a complaint form and submit it via OISC's email.

You can also file a complaint online with the Consumer Protection Division of the Indiana Attorney General's Office. Alternatively, you can fill out and submit a complaint form via mail to:

Office of the Indiana Attorney General
Consumer Protection Division
Government Center South,
5th Floor
302 West Washington Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Phone: (317) 232-6330

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

After reviewing the various criteria that apply to a licensed and certified pest control company or exterminator in Indianapolis, it can be hard to choose the right professional that is suitable for your intended pest control services. Typically, you may be faced with the hard decision of choosing either a local pest control company or one of the national pest control companies such as Orkin, Terminix, Bulwark, Aptive, Arrow Exterminators, and Ehrlich. To choose the right company for your pest control needs, you can consider their pros and cons:

Pros

Local Pest Control Firms
Routine maintenance and treatment of pests are relatively cheap.
Offers affordable and customizable pest control plans.
Has a good understanding of the local climate conditions and seasonal pest infestation
The proximity of the company's facilities can contribute to a faster service turnaround.
The personalized approach of the company's service representatives
Nationwide Pest Control Brands
Ideal for large residential and commercial establishments.
The prices and plans are standardized.
Ideal for specialized pests treatment that uses sophisticated equipment.
Access to a wide range of pest control professionals
Broad service offerings

Cons

Local Pest Control Firms
Inadequate equipment to provide the specialized services
Limited manpower to clean large areas effectively.
Nationwide Pest Control Brands
Charges high prices for their pest control plans
The same-treatment approach to customers