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Selecting Pest Control Services                    


For most consumers our families and homes are our most valued possessions and we try to keep our loved ones and property safe by purchasing locks and alarm systems, however no matter how hard we try we sometimes end up with insects and pests which eat away at our possessions. Some pests can be dealt with individually, but often times we must rely on a licensed pest control company to tackle the major projects. Companies and individuals who use chemicals and pesticides to control rodents, pests and insects must be licensed, and the chemicals must be regulated in order to protect us and the environment. Should you encounter a dispute with a pest control company you may file a complaint with the Office of Consumer Protection in order to initiate an investigation. An investigation of a pest control complaint may often involve contacting the Pesticide Regulation Office, this is the state agency which license and regulates the applicators. Should the investigation conclude that a violation of Chapter 11 has occurred, the perpetrator may be subject to a $500 civil class A violation.

When selecting a pest control service it is important to select a licensed professional service. We suggest the following guidelines for selecting a pest control service.

  • Start by asking someone you know who has used a pest control service for a reference.
  • Select a company who is a member in the National, State or Local Pest Control Association.
  • Reach a complete understanding with the company before work starts, and have it written in the contract.
  • Find out what the pest problem is, how the problem will be treated, how long the period of treatment will be, and what results can be expected.


A qualified representative from the company, should perform the inspection, to inspect all visible areas of the structure which are readily accessible. If he finds evidence of an infestation he should report it to you immediately. An inspection may include sounding or probing areas where infestations are suspected. The inspection process may involve a fee.

The inspector cannot see behind walls, paneling, into voids of cinder block walls or under carpeting; infestations here may remain undetected.


No! The report gives the findings of the inspector who searched for visual evidence of pests in the readily accessible areas. It indicates that wood destroying pests were or were not found during the inspection of these areas. However it is possible that an infestation may have gone undetected.


Federal Law requires that each pest control company must have supervisory personnel certified by the state in which you reside. In Maryland the Department of Agriculture Pesticide Regulation Section tests and licenses pest control companies and individuals, and you may also seek assistance from the University of Maryland Cooperative Extension Service.  For more on managing lawn and outdoor pests, see Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection.