What You Need to Know: Selecting a Pest Control Provider
Vetting a pest control vendor offers some unique challenges.
These providers are required to carry certain licensing, and the categories and terminology may differ from state to state. As a result, you’ll need some basic knowledge of the requirements of your state to ensure your provider is meeting the requisite standards.
Your state’s department of agriculture is a good place to start looking for this information, and they should be able to direct you to the appropriate regulatory agency.
These agencies can also let you know if the vendor is in good standing with the state and has a clean operating record (i.e. no violations or pending investigations).
Once you’ve established that the vendor holds a valid and active license, you should verify that they are licensed in all the appropriate categories to meet the needs of your written scope of work.
For example, let’s say your provider is currently licensed in only “General Pest,” and you have termite and fumigation as optional treatments in your scope of work.
If your provider is not currently licensed in these categories, how are they going to be able to meet your expectations?
Review state regulations
State pest control licenses are broken down into phases.
States can name the phases of their licenses and certifications as they wish. This can make things difficult to decipher if you’re operating in multiple states.
Some states require a responsible certified applicator, while others require licensees, certified applicators (CAs), or agents of record.
Some states break down their licenses even further with terms like registered technician, agent, applicator, and apprentice. Each of these categories tells you the level at which vendors can operate.
In order to properly vet your vendors, you should know the licensing requirements for each state in which you operate.
Next, you’ll need to verify that their licenses and certifications are current. Each state has different guidelines for license renewal. Some licenses are valid for three years, while others must be renewed annually.
You’ll need to ensure any and all individuals that are performing services at your location are currently licensed according to your state’s standards.
Time to move forward
Once you establish that your vendor is licensed, you should ensure they have the experience needed to perform your scope of work.
Ask them how much of their business is commercial, as opposed to residential. Also, ask where the provider’s service centers are located and where the technician assigned to your site lives. This information will help you gauge response time for when you need immediate support.
Knowledge and expertise go beyond the minimum requirements of the state in which they operate.
You want a provider that is investing in their trade and your industry. For example, what seminars are they attending? What publications are they reading? What other licensing and certifications do they have that would be an added value to you and your company? Do they have a Board Certified Entomologist (BCE) on staff or available when needed? All of these questions will help you better understand the level of commitment that this provider has in supporting an industry like yours.
Seek out other value-added benefits that your supplier can provide beyond the basic scope of work.
Can they provide training events for your staff members? Can they provide insect identification and/or specific site inspections when needed?
All of these are great examples of adding value and may make the difference when you’re selecting your next provider.
If you’ve got the in-house resources to get all of this done, that’s great. If not, Fine Tune can do the homework for you. We stay current on the latest industry trends and developments, and we know what it takes to verify that your pest control supplier can meet the needs of your facility. Best of all, the only payments you’ll make to us will be a percentage of the money we save you. Contact us today to learn how we can help you choose the right pest control supplier while driving down your costs at the same time.