Make us your home page

Daily Q&A: Do you have any tips for choosing a pest control company?

What tips do you have for finding a good pest control contractor?

Finding contractors can be a challenge.

Pete Cardillo, a Tampa lawyer and expert in pest control cases, says realize that some small companies don't often have enough experience, or may be fly-by-nighters (here today, gone tomorrow).

"All the guarantees and warranties in the world won't matter if your pest control company goes out of business," Cardillo says. He adds that many large, national pest control firms are focused more on sales than on servicing existing clients.

So he suggests the following:

• A good, medium-size, regional company that's been around some years and is well established in the community is your best bet.

• Read your contract. This includes looking at the back of the contract. Here's often where you'll find disclaimers of liability and arbitration clauses, which can make it difficult or impossible to sue the company for incompetence or fraud.

• Make sure you get a repair guarantee. This is critical. For example, even seemingly minor termite damage can cost thousands to repair. Extensive termite damage can even require a house to be torn down and rebuilt.

• Make sure the contract spells out a mandatory routine inspection of your property — inside and out. Don't agree to anything less frequent than an annual inspection.

• Make sure the contract stipulates that your property will be treated with the liquid chemical pesticide Termidor, which is far superior to traditional "bait station" approaches.

Question for the Consumer's Edge? Send it to or Questions are answered only in this daily feature.

Daily Q&A: Do you have any tips for choosing a pest control company? 03/11/10 [Last modified: Thursday, March 11, 2010 4:09pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Legalized medical marijuana signed into law by Rick Scott

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed into law a broader medical marijuana system for the state, following through on a promise he made earlier this month.

    Gov. Rick Scott signed legislation on Friday that legalizes medical marijuana in Florida.
  2. Line of moms welcome Once Upon A Child to Carrollwood


    CARROLLWOOD — Strollers of all shapes and sizes are lined up in front of the store, and inside, there are racks of children's clothing in every color of the rainbow.

    At Once Upon A Child, you often as many baby strollers outside as you find baby furniture and accessories. It recently opened this location in Carrollwood. Photo by Danielle Hauser
  3. Pastries N Chaat brings North India cuisine to North Tampa


    TAMPA — Pastries N Chaat, a new restaurant offering Indian street food, opened this week near the University of South Florida.

    The menu at Pastries N Chaat includes a large variety of Biriyani, an entree owners say is beloved by millions. Photo courtesy of Pastries N Chaat.
  4. 'Garbage juice' seen as threat to drinking water in Florida Panhandle county


    To Waste Management, the nation's largest handler of garbage, the liquid that winds up at the bottom of a landfill is called "leachate," and it can safely be disposed of in a well that's 4,200 feet deep.

    Three samples that were displayed by Jackson County NAACP President Ronstance Pittman at a public meeting on Waste Management's deep well injection proposal. The sample on the left is full of leachate from the Jackson County landfill, the stuff that would be injected into the well. The sample on the right shows leachate after it's been treated at a wastewater treatment plant. The one in the middle is tap water.
  5. Honda denies covering up dangers of Takata air bags


    With just a third of the defective Takata air bag inflators replaced nationwide, the corporate blame game of who will take responsibility — and pay — for the issue has shifted into another gear.

    Honda is denying covering up dangers of Takata air bags. | [Scott McIntyre, New York Times]