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Hiring a pest control professional

Pest control professionals are licensed by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. Mold remediation service companies should be certified or accredited.

Before selecting a company, you will want to make sure that the person you hire holds a current pesticide applicator license with the correct classification for the pest problem you want to control or certification if you need antimicrobial services.

In Minnesota, you can search for a licensed pesticide applicator by license type and county: Pesticide Applicator Search.

General questions for hiring a pest control company

  1. Does the applicator have a valid pesticide applicator license or accreditation for the classification of pest you want to control?
  2. How much experience does the company or applicator have?
  3. Does the company carry insurance for you, your property, and their employees?
  4. Does the company practice Integrated Pest Management techniques utilizing the least toxic products to accomplish their task and be willing to discuss the products they use?
  5. What are the risks to people, pets, or other living things from the product to be applied?
  6. Discuss your expectations. Does the company guarantee their work and if so, what are their terms?
  7. Does the company provide flexibility in application treatments? For example, some companies may require a package-only offer with multiple applications. And some may offer a hybrid approach with fewer applications.
  8. Will they offer an estimate of services in writing? Consider comparing companies and rates.
  9. Will the company provide references?
  10. Upon completion of services, will they provide a statement that lists their company name, address, contact, date of service, type of product used with its EPA registration number, and precautionary information?

Questions to ask based on the type of service

Lawn and tree service

  1. Depending on the pest, can someone in the company properly identify it? For example, does the company have staff with other qualifications such as an education in entomology, certified arborist, plant pathology, or other related professional affiliations?
  2. Ask them if they have a safety plan in the event of exposure or spill.
  3. Do they provide signage or other cautionary information that will alert neighbors about any risk or exposure?
  4. Ask about any follow-up care such as when to add water or when a site can be re-entered.

Insect control in your home or other building

  1. How many treatments will be necessary to eliminate a problem?
  2. Are there any preparations that need to be made before they arrive such as cleaning counter tops, putting away items such as toys, ensuring children and pets are not in the area, etc.?

Wildlife control indoors and outdoors

  1. How do they control the pest you want to get rid of? For example, do they use live traps, kill them, or use repellents?
  2. If live or kill traps are used, how often are they serviced?
  3. Do they provide removal of dead animals or their feces?
  4. When the pest infests a structure, do they repair wildlife damage or replace contaminated insulation?
  5. Do they clean, or disinfect contaminated areas?
  6. Do they provide preventative solutions such as caulking, screening, sealing, or creating other barriers?
  7. Are there any preparations that need to be made before they arrive?

Aquatic weed services

  1. Are there any permits or regulations that a homeowner would need to know about?
  2. What do they do with vegetation after it is removed?
  3. Do they treat for swimmer’s itch?
  4. How long is the treatment effective?

Mold remediation or removal companies

  1. What extra ventilation will be needed?
  2. How long before a space can be reoccupied after treatment?
  3. Does the company provide Safety Data Sheets along with health effect data on the chemicals used?
  4. Does the company provide before and after photos of the work?
  5. Does the company do the build-back or do they recommend a different company to do that work?
  6. Does the company coordinate activity with local building officials if there will be structural changes?
  7. Does the company assess for additional environmental hazards including asbestos and lead paint?
  8. If mold is found in schools or commercial buildings, what guidance protocols do they follow?

Guidelines for selecting an indoor air quality (IAQ) consultant - MDH

Reviewed in 2022

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