Whether you searched for “pest control near me” or “exterminator near me” your search engine likely gave you an overwhelming number of options. Hiring a local pest control company can be particularly difficult because it often becomes an ongoing relationship. In my 11 years in pest control, I’ve been exposed to numerous companies of varying sizes and ownership structures.
From serving at a locally owned company, to being acquired by a global conglomerate intent on buying up as many of the small, local-owned companies as they can. I’ve experienced and seen how my industry has changed over the last decade and continues to change. Much of what I’ve learned is and will be applied to how I operate the business we now own. Today, I’d like to explain why opting for a locally owned business may be the best choice for your pest control needs.
How do you tell the difference between a local firm and a big box shop? Check the “about us” section of the company’s website if one exists. A local company is proudly going to tell you they’re owned & operated in the market they serve. The big guys? It’ll be a lot of vague information without substance. They’re gonna dance around it. Maybe throw in something like “our connection to Lexington, KY” with some recommendations on what to do in the city that you, the consumer, already lives in… Makes a lot of sense right?
Things to Consider When Choosing a Not-So Local Pest Control Company
Does Your Money Stay in Your Community?
The big national chains are the most likely to pop up in the top half of your “Local Pest Control Company” search. They have the largest marketing budgets and can afford to spend huge amounts per month to ensure they rank higher. Their website may even say, “local” pest control, and in a literal sense, they do perform services locally. However, your hard-earned money spent on services with these folks is often going to shareholders, and often across state lines.
Go down your “pest control near me” search list, and you can find 4-5 of those providers on Pest Control Technology’s annual “Top 100 Companies” (based on revenue figures). If you’d rather keep your money in the local community, as opposed to supporting communities in Utah, Indiana, or lining the pockets of super-wealthy shareholders, think twice and verify who you’re doing business with.
What’s in a Review?
A lesser-known advantage that huge marketing budgets provide the big chains with is a significantly larger margin of error with client reputation. A bad review here or there will not affect them nearly as much as a small, local business.
Additionally, some companies even use software to funnel their customer’s good reviews to public review sites, while funneling the negative reviews internally – a great business tool, but often only affordable for large companies.
Having local ownership that is involved in the day-to-day often provides a company with a culture that is more customer oriented – because it’s required for the small business to survive. There is simply a smaller margin of error for the small local pest control companies.
Speaking of Customer Oriented…
The bottom line when choosing a pest control company typically boils down to the person performing the work. As a service business (aka people business), the people are always the value differentiator. The training instilled in the individual, the applicable knowledge possessed, the ethics, and integrity of that individual are the most important aspects. You want to find a company that is going to provide clear expectations, and deliver on them.
For larger organizations, it can be far more difficult to ensure quality across the company’s field staff. Middle management teams are often spread thin and constantly putting out fires, leaving quality assurance on the back-burner at times. When profit becomes the only focus, people (the customer and often the employees) can be forgotten about.
If any of this sounds familiar to you as a consumer, we’re sorry that has been your experience with our industry. If you’re ready for a change, we’d encourage you to contact a local pest control company. If you’re in the Lexington, KY area, we’d be happy to help you with your pest problems.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Local Pest Control Company
Professionalism & Modern Practices
As someone who has worked on the acquiring side of mom & pop pest control companies, professionalism can vary greatly in my industry. When choosing a local pest control company, you can usually start with the outward presentation of a company, which can often be a sign of their internal protocols and systems.
The Website: A company’s website is a crucial reflection of their perception of new technology, including customer relationship software and modern pest control methods. A professional, up-to-date, relevant, and organized website can indicate a company that is dedicated to staying on top of the latest innovations.
Customer Relationship Management: In 2023, some companies still manage customer information using handwritten index cards and service agreements stored in an office desk. If your pest control provider is using outdated methods like this, it’s likely they’re performing pest control like it’s 1993, which could be unsafe for your family and pets.
Their Equipment: If a pest control company is showing videos on their website of technicians spraying baseboards inside a home, that is likely what you can expect to receive with your service. While the pest control industry has evolved away from this old “spray and pray” mentality, many of my colleagues out there cling to a “that’s how we’ve always done it!” mentality. I would encourage you to look for a company that practices Integrated Pest Management (IPM) principles.
The Little Things
Wearing shoe covers inside customer homes, not placing pesticide equipment on kitchen countertops, ensuring gates are securely closed, knowing when, where, and how to apply certain products. These all may seem like small things, but they can add up. In my experience in the industry, they can often be forgotten about by the small local pest control companies, but should always be instilled and reiterated with our teams.
The Bottom Line on Local Pest Control Companies: If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s likely a duck. The same applies to pest control companies; if they’re not keeping up with modern practices and technology, then they’re probably not providing the safest or most effective service. In a rapidly evolving industry, your pest control provider should be adapting alongside the pests they’re tasked with controlling.
For a pest control company that has the resources, training, up-to-date industry knowledge, and a strong commitment to exceptional customer service and community engagement, consider choosing a company led by an Associate Certified Entomologist like Berner Pest Solutions.
Considerations for Both & Final Thoughts
Below I’ve included some of the deliverables that all pest control companies should be focusing on. If you’re a pest control customer and you see anything you think is worth adding, I’d love to hear your feedback, feel free to contact me with any suggestions!
Response Time: In the highly competitive pest control industry, most companies strive to respond to new customers quickly and provide service as soon as possible. If a company doesn’t prioritize response time, it could be a red flag right from the start. However, it’s even more critical for existing clients to receive timely attention. If your pest control provider cannot attend to a pressing issue such as a rodent problem for several days or up to a week, it’s concerning.
Communication: One of the biggest pain points for customers in the pest control industry is poor communication. Many services are performed while customers are away, making it crucial for providers to maintain effective communication with them. Your pest control provider should regularly check in with you to identify any pest issues, notify you of any conditions that require your attention, such as entry points found during service, and follow up with you to ensure that any problems have been resolved.
Pricing: When searching for a pest control company, pricing is an important consideration. It is recommended to compare quotes from multiple companies to ensure you are getting a fair price for the services you require. However, it is crucial to look at the whole picture, as the lowest price doesn’t always mean the best value. Some companies may offer a better value than others, which means that the services they provide may be more comprehensive and effective, despite a slightly higher cost.
At Berner Pest Solutions, we understand that balancing quality with affordability is important for our customers. We conducted extensive market research when we started our business, which allows us to offer competitive pricing while providing top-notch pest control services. We believe in transparency and will provide you with a detailed breakdown of our pricing, so you can make an informed decision when choosing a pest control provider.
Conclusion: While this list likely doesn’t include everything to consider when choosing a pest control company, hopefully I have provided some insight to help in the decision making process. Berner Pest Solutions was founded on the idea of combining modern pest solutions with old-school customer service. In other words, we want our customers to have the best of both worlds. We truly hope to continue to build and grow a company that never loses sight of it’s core focus – to provide exceptional pest control, termite control, and mosquito control services with empathy, kindness, and integrity at the heart of everything we do here. If you’re in the Lexington, KY area – we hope you choose to shop small for your pest, mosquito & termite company.