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Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Pest Control Service in San Antonio

According to the United States Census Bureau, in 2019, over 14 million households reported roaches and rats infestation. Pests like these are associated with asthma and other health problems, and damage to your property. While you may attempt to exterminate these pests on your own to save some money, it is best to leave the hazards of handling pest control chemicals to trained professionals. However, before you settle for any pest control firm in San Antonio, always ask the following questions to ensure that you pick a qualified exterminator for the job:

Are You Licensed to Practice as an Exterminator in San Antonio?

To become a licensed exterminator in San Antonio, the State of Texas requires a license. Exterminators can obtain licenses as private applicators or commercial/non-commercial applicators from the Texas Department of Agriculture's Structural Pest Control Service. Businesses and individuals who do structural pest control for hire must be licensed under the Structural Pest Control Act. Persons performing pest control at apartment buildings, day-care centers, hospitals, nursing homes, hotels, motels, lodges, warehouses, schools, and food-processing establishments - other than a restaurant, retail food, or food-service establishment require a license to operate. Also, employees of state government units who apply pesticides as part of their job duties must be licensed.

Pest control professionals in San Antonio might choose from a variety of categories. Pest control is one of them, and it involves inspecting and/or controlling pests in and around homes, companies, and enterprises. This includes exterminating roaches, silverfish, ants, flies, mosquitoes, rats, mice, and other insect pests and pest animals that may infest homes, restaurants, stores, and other buildings, attacking their contents or furnishings or causing a general nuisance, but do not normally attack the building itself. Other categories include termite control, lawn and ornamental, structural fumigation, commodity fumigation, weed control and wood preservation.

To check if a pest control service is licensed in San Antonio, use the Texas Department of Agriculture's Pest Control Business Licensee Web Search. Operating without a license is considered a maximum hazard potential that can result in fines of up to $2000 for first-time offenders, $3000 for second-time offenders, and $5000 for third-time offenders. To apply for a Structural Pest Control License in San Antonio, use the Texas Department of Agriculture eApply platform. For more information about obtaining a pest control license in San Antonio, contact the Department at:

Texas Department of Agriculture
1700 N. Congress, 11th Floor
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 463-7476

To be eligible for license renewal as a Private Applicator, the pest control professional must complete 15 CEUs - Continuing Education Units. An online course can provide up to ten of these credits. The remaining 5 hours of instruction must be completed in a live training session. In addition, as part of their minimum 15 CEUs of training, Private Applicators must receive at least 2 credits in rules and regulations and at least 2 credits in integrated pest management. Prior to renewal, the commercial or noncommercial applicator must receive at least 5 CEUs, according to Texas laws. The applicator must get one credit each in at least two of the following three categories: drift minimization, laws and regulations, and integrated pest management.

Everyone in the structural pest treatment business in San Antonio must obtain a business license from SPCS for each business location, including branch offices, according to the Structural Pest Control Act. Each business license holder must choose a qualified commercial applicator who is not employed by another business licensee or business license site. A business or individual cannot advertise for services or solicit business without first obtaining a business license and having an applicator certified in each license category in which business is done.

According to federal law and regulations, anyone who applies or supervises the use of restricted-use pesticides must be certified as a private or commercial applicator by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) based on laid-down Federal Certification Standards. Private applicators must meet some requirements like demonstrating a practical understanding of agricultural pest problems and control strategies, as well as proper pesticide storage, use, handling, and disposal before they can be certified. In the same vein, commercial applicators must also show that they have a working knowledge of basic pesticide use and safety, as well as at least one specialty application category. Please contact the EPA via email or fill out this online form for more information about Federal Certification Standards.

Are You Registered with the Texas State Pest Control Association?

In addition to checking that your prospective San Antonio exterminator has a valid state-issued pest control license or has been state-certified, check that they are members of the Texas Pest Control Association (TPCA). Exterminators that join this organization gain access to a range of networking opportunities, low-cost courses and training across the state, industry updates, as well as state and national representation in public policy and legislation. All of these translate to greater service for homeowners who hire them, as well as a new option for dispute resolution if they are unhappy with the exterminator's work.

Members of the Texas Pest Control Association are also automatically members of the National Pest Management Association, which gives them access to a broader range of educational and business resources, as well as commercial prospects. Any San Antonio exterminator who claims to be a member of one of these organizations must always show proof of membership.

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

Before any work begins, find out exactly how much you will be required to pay for your desired pest control treatment. This will help to avoid any misunderstandings that may arise once the work has started. According to figures from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, pest control workers in the San Antonio area earn an average hourly wage of $18.28. However, some factors, such as the type of pests involved, the size of the area where the work must be done, the level of infestation, and the number of visits required, may have an impact on the amount of money that these professionals charge for their services.

To ensure that you get a reasonable bill for your pest control service, contact at least three different exterminators in the city and acquire cost estimates from these professionals. Compare these estimates and choose the one that fits your budget the best. It is important to note that you shouldn't blindly pick the exterminator who offers the lowest quote, since some unscrupulous persons purposefully offer low prices in order to defraud naïve homeowners.

Pest control workers in San Antonio earn an average annual wage of $38,030. 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 Texas and other locations across the United States:

San Antonio Pest Control Workers Average Hourly Wage
$18.21
Houston Pest Control Workers Average Hourly Wage
$19.30
Austin Pest Control Workers Average Hourly Wage
$19.95
Dallas Pest Control Workers Average Hourly Wage
$19.76
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 San Antonio Regulations for Pesticide Application?

Before hiring any pest control professional, it is important to verify that they comply with the city's regulations for pesticide application. The Texas Department of Agriculture has the ability to seek administrative, civil, or criminal penalties against anyone who misuses pesticides. This power also applies to pesticides for general use or those that can be purchased by the general population. Applicators are responsible for good stewardship and compliance with all applicable laws. Pesticides can be withdrawn from the list of tools accessible for agricultural production if they are used illegally or irresponsibly. The following are regulations for pesticide application:

  • Pesticides should be securely stored and disposed of to avoid theft or inadvertent exposure,
  • If there is a potential that people or animals will come into contact with pesticides, pesticide applicators should exercise the appropriate level of caution.
  • Instructions on labels should be read carefully, and warnings should always be obeyed.

Using pesticides in violation of the Department's standards can result in administrative penalties of up to $4,000 per incident, civil penalties of up to $25,000, Class A, B, and C misdemeanors, and a third-degree felony punishable by 2 to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. For more information on pesticide regulations and the appropriate use of pesticides in San Antonio, contact the Texas Department of Agriculture via email or visit their regional office at:

South Central Regional Office (Region 4)
8918 Tesoro Drive, Suite 120
San Antonio, TX 78217
Phone: (210) 820-0288

What Type of Pest Control Method Are You Using?

Before hiring any exterminators in San Antonio, find out what type of pest control approach they will use and make sure that it is appropriate for removing the pest infestation from your home. The following are the most popular pest control procedures employed by exterminators in the city:

  • Organic Pest Control: Those who want to limit the harm caused by small animals and insects while also ensuring the safety of children, pets, and plants usually select an organic or natural solution. Biodegradable poisons, such as Sodium fluoroacetate, can be incorporated into baits to eliminate a variety of pests in this manner. It is the most cost-effective means of controlling pests in challenging areas. Using traps, sprays, insecticidal soap, oil, sprays, parasitic nematodes, and floating row covers, are all part of the strategy. Organic pest control solutions used by professionals in San Antonio include:
    • 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: In this method, 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. The application of Pseudacteon species decapitating flies against red imported fire ants is one example. This method is most commonly employed in greenhouses, but it can also be utilized outside. 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.
  • Chemical Pest Control: Chemical pesticides are utilized in thousands of homes, workplaces, stores, farms, and other locations today. Pesticides are dangerous and pollute land, air, food, and water. They can sometimes be too dangerous for the individuals who use them, as well as other living beings in the area. Insecticides, bactericides, and herbicides are among the pesticides available in solid, liquid, and aerosol form, and are classified according to the type of pest they kill. Pesticides should only be handled by certified personnel who are familiar with the chemicals and can avoid contaminating exposed food, drinks, utensils, and other useable goods. 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
  • Electronic Pest Control: Picking up house bugs and permanently removing them has become much easier thanks to technological breakthroughs. Electromagnetic pest management is a type of electronic pest control that affects the neural systems of numerous animals, including mice. Its only flaw is that it only repels insects and rodents. The ultrasonic approach, on the other hand, produces high-frequency, short-length sound waves. Avantaway, Rostermark, Pest Soldier, WahooArt, Diaotec, Loraffe, Aigoo, Abilly, Zovenhci, MaxMoxie, Cleanrth CR008, Neatmaster, and Victor M756K are some of the most used electronic pest control devices by pest control professionals.

The best approach to ensure that the most efficient pest control strategy is applied to your individual circumstance is to hire a professionally qualified exterminator. The Better Business Bureau has an online directory where you may identify licensed exterminators in San Antonio. Your exterminator may prescribe a mix of two or more of these approaches, depending on the type of pest problem you're dealing with.

What Household Pests Do You Control?

Pest extermination, pest removal, and pest prevention are the three primary kinds of pest management services. Pest extermination and removal, as their names suggest, involve eliminating current pest infestations, whereas pest prevention is taking proactive measures to ensure that pests do not enter your house in the first place. Furthermore, while many exterminators in the city are qualified to handle a wide range of bugs, some of these professionals may specialize in one or two types of pests.

As a result, before concluding any employment arrangements with an exterminator, you should always confirm the types of household pests that they specialize in eradicating, as well as the types of pest control services that they provide. Based on the type of pests involved, the following are cost estimates for pest control services per one-time visit of exterminators in San Antonio:

Ant exterminator
$80 - $500
Bats and bird exterminator
$161.24 - $233.94
Bed bug exterminator
$123.49 - $149.11
Bee exterminator
$75.00 - $734.00
Carpenter ant exterminator
$275 - $300 (one-time treatment)
Cockroach exterminator
$75.00 - $732.00
Flea exterminator
$78.00 - $762.00
Exterminator for Mice, rats, and other similar rodents and small animals
$298.24 - $370.01
Mosquito exterminator
$108.11 - $156.58 (for one-time treatment)
Spider exterminator
$145 - $200
Termite treatment
$1,000 - $3,000
Wasp exterminator
$74.00 - $722.00

It is important to keep in mind that, depending on the severity of the infestation, you may need numerous treatments and exterminator visits.

Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Exterminators in San Antonio?

Pest control workers across the country had four fatal and 2,820 nonfatal on-the-job injuries in 2020, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Hiring an exterminator with enough general liability insurance and, where necessary, workers' compensation insurance ensures that you are financially and legally protected in the event that your essential pest control treatment causes property damage or bodily injury.

All business license applicants must file a policy or contract of insurance with the Texas Department of Agriculture's Structural Pest Control Service for at least $200,000 in personal injury and property damage coverage, with a minimum total aggregate of $300,000 for all incidents. Liability insurance should also cover damage to people or property under the pest treatment professional's care, custody, or control.

Always ask for proof of insurance and bonding from your prospective exterminator, and then contact the issuing institutions to confirm that the documentation is valid and that the coverage levels are sufficient for the extent of your job. For more information on insurance requirements for pest control specialists in San Antonio, call (866) 918-4481, send an email or stop by the Texas Department of Agriculture's SPCS office at:

Texas Department of Agriculture
1700 N. Congress, 11th Floor
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 463-7476

How to File a Complaint Against a Bad Exterminator in San Antonio

Cases against exterminators who fail to complete your job satisfactorily in San Antonio are handled at the state level by the Office of the Attorney General of Texas and the Structural Pest Control Service.

Due to the specialist nature of pest treatment, it is perilous to be duped by a pest control company. For example, a fraudster posing as an exterminator may exacerbate your pest control worries; even worse, such scammers may use chemicals in a way that puts you and others at risk. Despite the fact that there are many reputable pest control companies in San Antonio, you may come across a dishonest exterminator when looking for appropriate pest management services. Dishonest exterminators and pest treatment services in the city regularly use the following strategies to defraud gullible residents:

  • They go door to door, advertising their services and possibly planting evidence to terrify you into signing up for them.
  • They make it appear as if they are trained and licensed, but they are not.
  • They try to persuade you to sign a long-term contract with them in which they continue to do a substandard job in order to be contacted again.
  • They claim to be able to eliminate pests in a green or natural manner, whereas their methods are simply ineffective
  • They charge you an exorbitant fee for the service.

When hiring an exterminator in San Antonio, take the following precautions to prevent falling victim to the city's dishonest exterminators:

  • Know How to Cancel Correctly: You have 72 hours to cancel a door to door transaction and receive a full refund, according to the Federal Trade Commission.
  • Door-to-door Salespeople Should Be Avoided: Door to Door salespeople are rarely licensed exterminators, and when they are, it is usually through the company for which they are door-knocking, with little or no training. To meet their sales target, they would say and do everything to secure your signature on a contract. They will make false promises and use deceptive tactics.
  • Ensure Exterminator Has Insurance: Make certain that the exterminator you choose is fully insured and bonded by requesting their insurance certificate and verifying this with the insurance company.
  • Do Some Research: Find out what pesticides will be used and how they will be sprayed by your selected exterminator, and make sure they are appropriate for your project.
  • Don't Pay All Upfront: Never pay the full price of your purchase or for any service upfront. It is advisable to pay no less than 10 percent of the total cost.
  • Don't Get Locked Into a Perpetual Contract: The truth is even if you cancel, they will renew and charge you without your permission! Never, ever sign a contract without first having all of the prices and warranties in writing.
  • Read the Contract Thoroughly: Make sure the contract includes the exterminator's contact information, the nature and duration of the pest control service, the cost of the service, and a guarantee of its efficiency. Before you sign this contract, make sure you read it well and that the exterminator adheres to its terms and conditions.
  • Get Referrals from Trusted Places: Obtain referrals for reputable exterminators from friends and relatives who have already hired them. The Better Business Bureau can also help you get reliable exterminators in San Antonio. Also, obtain references from the exterminator's previous clients and contact them to obtain feedback on the effectiveness of their services.
  • Get Several Cost Estimates: Obtain price quotes from a number of exterminators. Before they provide these figures, make sure they inspect the impacted region.

If you've been the victim of a pest control scam, please contact the Texas Attorney General's Office at (800) 621-0508 or (210) 225-4191, make an online complaint or visit its office at:

San Antonio Consumer Protection
112 E Pecan Street
Suite 735,
San Antonio, TX 78205

If the scam is involving pesticide exposure or misuse, please make a complaint to the TDA's Structural Pest Control Service at (866) 918-4481 or by email

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

Even if you manage to get pest control companies that match what you are looking for in terms of reputation, licenses, certifications, specialties, methodologies, and coverage, hiring an exterminator might be a difficult 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
Routine 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.
Customer service that is more personalized
Nationwide Pest Control Brands
Ideal for pest control in large houses, businesses, and other commercial establishments on a regular basis.
Pricing and Plan Standardization
Ideal for specific pest treatments that necessitate the use of advanced 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.
Cleaning a wide region with limited labor and resources
Nationwide Pest Control Brands
Pest control plans that are prohibitively expensive
All consumers are treated the same.