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Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Pest Control Service in Columbus

When you suffer pest infestion, hiring a professional to arrest the invasion is the better option than taking the DIY approach. Given the dangers associated with pesticide application, not to mention the possibility of exacerbating the infestation problem, the benefits of hiring a professional to do a safe and proper job in compliance with all federal and local standards far outweigh that of doing it yourself. Ask the following questions to ensure you pick the best pest control agency in Columbus to solve your infestation problem:

Are You Licensed to Practice as an Exterminator in Columbus?

It is extremely important to ensure the exterminator you select to get rid of pests in your home is duly licensed to practice in Columbus. A commercial pesticide applicator license is required by any person who owns or operates a pesticide business, or who applies either general or restricted use pesticides to the property of another without direct supervision; applies restricted use pesticides to the property of an employer; or applies either general or restricted use pesticides to federal, state, or local public property, either directly or through agents. The license must be renewed every year for $35.00. Applicants must also complete commercial license applications and pay fees and pass the core and related category tests to qualify.

Similarly, any place utilized for the purpose of applying pesticides to another's property for hire must have a valid Pesticide Business & Business Location License. This license is good for one year, after which the applicant must renew it for $35.00, an additional $35.00 for each site. Completed business license applications and annual payments must be submitted to qualify, as well as proof of general liability insurance for pesticide use.

To search for currently licensed pesticide applicators in Columbus, use the Ohio Department of Agriculture's Pesticide Applicators Search. According to Section 921.16 (B) of the Ohio Revised Codes, first-time violators can expect to pay up to $5,000 in fines, with each subsequent violation carrying a civil penalty of up to $10,000.

Any person who applies or oversees the use of restricted-use pesticides must be certified as a private or commercial applicator by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) based on Federal Certification Standards for Pesticide Applicators. Commercial applicators must have a practical understanding of core pesticide use and safety, as well as at least one specific application category. For further information about Federal Certification Standards, please contact the EPA through email or fill out an online form.

For more information on licenses necessary for pest control services in Columbus, contact the Ohio Department of Agriculture at (614) 728-6987 or visit their office at:

Pesticide & Fertilizer Section
8995 East Main Street
Building 23
Reynoldsburg OH 43068

Are You Registered with the Ohio State Pest Control Association?

Check that your prospective Columbus pest control specialist is a member of the Ohio Pest Management Association (OPMA) in addition to having a valid state-issued pest control license or being state-certified. For those in the pest management community in Ohio, OPMA provides education, industry leadership, public policy initiatives, and market development resources. They provide essential information, important news, expert assistance, unique advantages, and innovative ideas from the pest management sector to its members who work to safeguard public health, food, and property from the diseases and dangers of pests.

It is also a bonus if the exterminator you hire also belongs to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). Due to the collaborative efforts of the OPMA and the NPMA, members of the former can benefit from the membership perks and privileges of both organizations, which helps them get the help and information they need more efficiently and at a reduced cost.

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

It is critical that you find out how much money you will be needed to pay before the process begins in order to avoid any unnecessary misunderstandings that may emerge once the work has begun. Pest control employees in the Columbus area earn an average hourly income of $21.40, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, some factors, such as the type of pests involved, the size of the area where the work needs to be done, the level of infestation, and the number of visits required, may have an impact on how much these professionals charge for their services.

Consult at least three different exterminators in the city and obtain pricing quotes from these pros to guarantee that you get a reasonable fee for your pest control project. Compare these figures and pick the one that best matches your budget. It's crucial to remember that you shouldn't choose the exterminator with the lowest quote on the basis of pricing alone, as some unscrupulous individuals purposely provide low costs in order to scam unsuspecting homes.

Pest control workers in Columbus earn an average annual wage of $44,520. 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 Ohio and other locations across the United States:

Columbus Pest Control Workers Average Hourly Wage
$21.40
Cincinnati Pest Control Workers Average Hourly Wage
$27.88
Cleveland Pest Control Workers Average Hourly Wage
$21.23
Toledo Pest Control Workers Average Hourly Wage
$20.53
Akron Pest Control Workers Average Hourly Wage
$21.93
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 Columbus Regulations for Pesticide Application?

The laws guiding the use and application of pesticides in Columbus are stipulated in the Ohio 2020 Pesticide Laws and Rules, which are extracted from the Ohio Revised Codes Chapter 921. It is critical to ensure that your chosen exterminator is familiar with these regulations in order to ensure that your pest control work is done correctly and to avoid the penalties that are commonly linked with infractions of these laws. Some of the stipulations in these regulations include:

  • Anyone who applies a pesticide carelessly or in a way that contradicts the pesticide's label instructions is breaking the law. If you break this law, you could be charged with a criminal misdemeanor and face fines or jail time.
  • Before applying a pesticide to your lawn or garden, make sure you read and understand the label to avoid accidentally applying harmful chemicals that could hurt you or the environment.
  • Pesticides with the designation "restricted-use" can only be applied by a licensed professional.
  • A pest control company or exterminator must have a pesticide business license and at least one commercial applicator.

To make enquiries about city regulations for pesticide application in Columbus, contact the Ohio Department of Agriculture at:

8995 East Main Street
Building 23
Reynoldsburg OH 43068
Phone: (614) 728-6987, (614) 728-6201

What Type of Pest Control Method Are You Using?

Make sure you understand what type of pest control strategy any pest control service in Columbus will use and that it is appropriate for removing the pest infestation from your property before employing them. The most common pest management methods used by exterminators in the city are as follows:

  • Organic Pest Control: Those who want to reduce the damage caused by tiny animals and insects while also protecting their children, neighbours, pets, plants, and the environment choose an organic or natural pest control approach. When it comes to preventing the damage caused by insects and tiny animals, the organic option is usually your best bet. In this case, you could utilize bait and traps. While it is the most cost-effective method of keeping pests at bay in difficult terrains, it does not ensure pest eradication. Organic pest management includes the use of oil sprays, parasitic nematodes, floating row covers, insecticidal soap, and other products. Professionals in Columbus utilize organic or natural pest control solutions such as:
    • Wondercide All-Purpose Organic Home & Garden Insect Control
    • Eco Defense Organic Home Pest Control Spray
    • EcoRaider Ant & Crawling Insect Killer
    • EcoSmart Ant & Roach Killer
    • Verdana Cold-Pressed Organic Neem Oil
    • Essentria IC3
  • Biological Pest Control: Biological pest control is the use of live organisms for the sole goal of reducing vermin populations. Natural enemies of the pest, such as predators, parasites, and pathogens, are introduced to manage pests biologically by interfering with their capacity to procreate and infecting them with a lethal bacterial disease. When compared to the potential threats of pesticides, this method is safer for your plants, your family, and natural animals. The success of this procedure, however, is contingent on the effective usage of appropriate species in the right conditions. The fact that biological pest control is chemical-free and incredibly useful is what makes it so popular. It can safely control insect populations. An example of biological pest control is the introduction of an egg parasitoid from Europe for biological control of the southern green stink bug.
  • Chemical Pest Control: Some organic pest control solutions are ineffective, which is why some people choose chemical pest management. Chemicals are available in thousands of varieties for usage in both household and business settings. These can be solid, liquid, or aerosol in nature. Keep in mind, however, that some pesticides are dangerous and can pollute land, air, food, and water. Chemical pesticides are utilized in today's homes, offices, stores, farms, and other locations. They can sometimes be too dangerous for the individuals who use them, as well as other living beings in the area. Insecticides, for example, are used to kill insects, bactericides are used to kill bacteria, and herbicides are used to harm plants. It's best not to spray pesticides on your own, but if you do, make sure to read the label and prevent contaminating exposed food, drinks, utensils, and other usable items laying around. If you're having trouble handling pesticides on your own, get pest control professionals to assist you. Professionals use the following products for chemical pest control in the home::
    • Bifen IT Concentrate
    • Suspend SC Concentrate
    • Termidor SC Concentrate
    • CimeXa Insecticide Dust
    • BioAdvanced 3-in-1 Insect Disease & Mite Control
    • Bonide (BND952) Insect Control Systemic Granules
    • Natria 706230A Insecticidal Soap Organic Miticide
    • Trifecta Crop Control Super Concentrate All-in-One
    • Bonide (BND253) - Captain Jack's Dead Bug Brew
  • Electric Pest Control: Thanks to technical breakthroughs of the recent years, getting rid of pests in the home is now possible. Electronic pest management employs an electromagnetic approach that affects the brain systems of a variety of species, including mice, but solely repels insects and rodents. and the ultrasonic method, which works by using high-frequency, short-length sound waves. Electronic pest control devices from Avantaway, Rostermark, Pest Soldier, WahooArt, Diaotec, Loraffe, Aigoo, Abilly, Zovenhci, MaxMoxie, Cleanrth CR008, Neatmaster, and Victor M756K are used by pest control professionals.

The best route to ensuring that the most efficient pest control method is applied to your specific circumstance is to hire a professionally skilled exterminator. The Better Business Bureau's web directory can help you identify licensed exterminators in Columbus. An exterminator may prescribe a mix of two or more of these approaches, depending on the type of pest problem you have.

What Household Pests Do You Control?

Pest extermination, pest removal, and pest prevention are the three basic forms of pest management solutions. Pest extermination and removal, as their names suggest, entail eradicating existing pest infestations, with the former employing a lethal method and the latter concentrating on getting pests out of afflicted regions. Pest prevention, on the other hand, entails adopting preventative measures to keep pests out of your home in the first place.

Additionally, while many exterminators in the Columbus area are trained to deal with a wide range of pests, some may specialize in one or two kinds. You should therefore always confirm the types of household pests that an exterminator specializes in eradicating, as well as the types of pest control services that they give, before closing any employment agreements with them. Also note that, depending on the nature of the pest infestation, you may require multiple treatments and exterminator visits. The following are cost estimates for pest control services per one-time visit of exterminators in Columbus, based on the type of pests involved:

Ant exterminator
$88 - $376
Bats and bird exterminator
$159.16 - $230.92
Bed bug exterminator
$121.90 - $147.19 per room
Beehive removal
$92 - $399
Carpenter ant exterminator
$88 - $376
Cockroach exterminator
$78.00 - $770.00
Flea exterminator
$200 - $400
Exterminator for small animals
$294.40 - $365.24
Mosquito exterminator
$106.72 - $154.56 (for one-time treatment)
Pest inspection and initial trap setting
$138.92 - $153.64
Spider exterminator
$122 - $212
Termite exterminator
$5.98 - $8.19 (per linear foot for chemical treatment)
Tick exterminator
$175 - $452
Wasp exterminator
$115 - $801

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

Hiring an exterminator with adequate general liability and, where applicable, workers' compensation insurance protects you financially and legally in the event that your pest control treatment causes property damage or personal injury. Pest control specialists were involved in four fatal and 2,820 nonfatal on-the-job incidents in a single year, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Additionally, hiring properly insured exterminators gives you much-needed peace of mind and takes one more worry off your plate.

Businesses that simply sell pesticides or execute seed treatments are exempt from having to show proof of financial responsibility. All other pesticide enterprises that are not exempted are required to show proof of insurance.

Pesticide businesses must have commercial general liability insurance coverage as well as a separate professional liability insurance policy under the care, custody, and control of the pesticide application business. They must provide coverage for each registered location associated with their company, as well as coverage for bodily injury, property damage, and products, arising from pesticide application at the application site, and coverage for third-party claims. The policy must have the minimum insurance limits of $300,000 in total policy coverage, $300,000 per occurrence limit, and $300,000 in total products and completed operations.

Note that aerial pesticide applicators and enterprises that deal with wood-destroying insects have special insurance requirements. To make inquiries concerning insurance policies for pest control businesses in Columbus, contact the Ohio Department of Agriculture at:

8995 East Main Street
Building 23
Reynoldsburg OH 43068
Phone: (614) 728-6987

How to File a Complaint Against a Bad Exterminator in Columbus

The Office of the Attorney General of Ohio handles cases against exterminators who fail to complete your pest control project successfully in Columbus.

Due to the specialized nature of pest treatment, being deceived by a pest control service could put you at risk if chemicals are sprayed carelessly or a bad job is done that increases your bug infestation problem. Despite the fact that there are many trustworthy pest control organizations in Columbus when looking for effective pest management services, you may come across a dishonest exterminator. Dishonest exterminators and pest control companies in the city frequently use the following techniques to mislead naïve residents:

  • The Door-To-Door Pest Expert: In this operation, a salesperson dressed as a technician and armed with a name badge knocks on the door of an unsuspecting homeowner. This person may arrive with props, such as dead roaches, claiming to have discovered them on the premises. This scam may be more dangerous than others because the phony technician may be a prospective thief looking for items to steal.
  • Deliberately Unclear Pricing: This is a dishonest practice in which a service is provided but at a significantly greater price than is reasonable. This can happen when a company agrees on a price and then bills for a considerably higher amount, or when they inform the homeowner that they won't know the exact price of the job until after it's completed. To avoid this, always obtain a written estimate.
  • An Infinite Contract: Some shady organizations may say that even after treatment, there are still bugs and that the homeowner must continue to pay for their services. They will also do a lousy job, ensuring that there will always be bugs surviving. It is advisable to read the contract thoroughly in order to avoid this
  • The Green Pest Control Company: There are firms that will say their products are green, natural, or pesticide-free, but the problem is that they do not work and are not what they claim to be. Because there is no government oversight for green or natural pest control products, scammers can take advantage of the fact that they do not have to back up their claims.

Having learnt about some of the common ways pest control scammers operate, consider the following measures when choosing an exterminator in Columbus to avoid falling victim to the city's dishonest exterminators:

  • Do Some Research: Take the time to research and read reviews on any pest control specialist you are considering employing. Reputable exterminators should have an active web presence and, in some cases, social media profiles that you may browse. Read evaluations from online reviewers such as the Better Business Bureau, and do not hesitate to ask for and contact references to get a sense of the company's professionalism.
  • Read Your Contract Thoroughly: This can help you avoid insidious contracts such as the self-renewing contract, in which fraudulent pest control services either make pest control a continuous activity in your home while doing a poor job so that the infestation is never completely eradicated, or they charge you even after the job has been completed. To avoid this scam, refuse to sign any contract that goes beyond the service appointment. Most infestations can be resolved with a single pesticide treatment by a competent professional. Reputable companies should be able to explain why further rounds of treatment are required, and they should never put you under any pressure to sign anything.
  • Check Your Pest Control Professional's Insurance: Pest control companies in Columbus are required to carry general and professional liability insurance. Reputable pest control companies will go even further by expanding their insurance coverage. This additional coverage may encompass criminal liability, property damage, and personal injury. Before allowing a professional to spray chemicals in your home, request that they present you with the necessary documentation.
  • Pay Close Attention to Licensing: Ask about a pest control company's professional license. To check the status of a professional license, utilize the Ohio Department of Agriculture's pesticide applicator search. Some companies may hire a single licensed professional to train other personnel. Scammers have a single qualified staff sit in the shop, ready to assist workers in the field who may not know how to properly handle chemicals. Check to see if the technician that is working in your home is licensed. If not, seek a reschedule with the company's licensed operator.
  • Get More Than One Opinion: Many pest control businesses will provide free consultations in which a professional will come to your home. This is not necessarily a good thing because it allows pest control fraudsters to plant a few dead bugs on your property while checking and then claim to have discovered them. When it comes to bugs in your home, always obtain more than one opinion. Once additional professionals have confirmed the problem, you are free to select a pest control specialist or exterminator in your area.

If you have been a victim of a pest control or pesticide application scam in Columbus, contact the Office of the Attorney General of Ohio at (800) 282-0515 or visit their physical office at:

Rhodes State Office Tower
30 East Broad Street,
14th Floor,
Columbus, OH 43215

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

Having succeeded in getting pest control companies that match what you are looking for in terms of reputation, licenses, certifications, specialties, methodologies, and coverage, does not mean that deciding on an exterminator may not still be a tough decision. Most consumers are torn between hiring a local exterminator or a large company like Orkin, Terminix, Arrow Exterminators, Hawx, Ehrlich, Bulwark, Aptive, Mosquito Joe, Truly Nolen, and Viking to control pests in their home or office at this stage. However, assessing the benefits and drawbacks of adopting a local or national brand in light of the following aspects will help you make an informed decision:

Pros

Local Pest Control Firms
Regular pest treatment and upkeep are inexpensive.
Pest Control Plans that are both affordable and highly customizable
Deep knowledge of the climatic conditions and seasonal pest outbreaks in the area
Due to closeness, service turnaround times are faster.
More tailored customer service
Nationwide Pest Control Brands
Great for routine pest treatment in large households, businesses, and other commercial establishments.
Pricing and Plan Standardization
Excellent for pest treatments that require the use of specialized instruments.
Retain the services of a variety of pest control experts.
Service offers that are more diverse

Cons

Local Pest Control Firms
For pest control, there is a scarcity of specialist equipment.
Scours a large area with few work and resources
Nationwide Pest Control Brands
Pest control plans that are prohibitively expensive
All consumers are treated the same.