Special to the News Messenger

April is National Pest Management Month, and if you’re like many people, the sight of a creepy crawly creature will have you on pins and needles. When your pest problem gets too big for a flyswatter, consider reaching out to a professional service. In 2018, more than 450,000 people turned to Better Business Bureau for information on pest control services.

“It’s important to make sure you’re doing business with someone you trust”, said Mechele Agbayani Mills, President and CEO of BBB Serving Central East Texas. “Taking the time to select a reputable business will prevent headache, heartache and perhaps an empty wallet in the long run.”

BBB recommends the following tips to find a qualified pest management professional:

Check them out. Evaluate pest control professionals and companies that are members of national, state or local associations. Always check out the business’ BBB Business Profile at bbb.org first to find a local professional as well as to check out the company’s track record. Ask friends and neighbors to recommend pest control companies they have used successfully and ask how satisfied they were with the service. BBB’s Request a Quote feature makes finding a trustworthy business quick and simple.

Always deal with a qualified and licensed pest management company. Ask to see the license or other credentials of the pest control professional that comes to solve your pest problem.

Understand before you sign. Before signing a contract, be sure to fully understand the nature of the household pest to be exterminated, the extent of the infestation and the work necessary to solve the problem. Find out if the pest control company has liability insurance to cover any damages to your house or furnishings during treatment. If a guarantee is given, know what it covers, how long it lasts, what you must do to keep it in force and what kind of continuing control, prevention and management are necessary.

Don’t fall for high-pressure sales tactics. Purchase value, not price. Beware of companies that offer bargains that sound too good to be true. Be wary of companies that come to your home uninvited and offer to give your house a free inspection for pests or press you for immediate and/or costly treatments.

A good exterminator will make every effort to successfully eliminate your pest problem, but it’s important for you to do your part as well. Remember to keep moisture sources in the home under control, refrain from leaving open containers of food and dirty dishes out, and remember that even good hygiene won’t keep all bugs away.

To report fraudulent activity or unscrupulous business practices, call BBB at (903) 581-5704 or report it via BBB ScamTracker.