We just received this notice from the Professional Pest Management Alliance of the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). We are saddened to hear of the tragic event that occurred in Philadelphia. This article provides good advice on how to hire professionals for home service needs. You may be interested to know that in Tennessee all pest control technicians must successfully pass a written exam before they are certified and qualified to apply pest control materials. Every certified technician must work under direct supervision of a state licensed pest control operator who has years of experience and has taken a more extensive exam. At All-American we have a strenuous hiring process consisting of the following:
Applicants are required to come to our office to fill out an application
The application requests 15+ years of history
Short Interviews with each and every applicant
Extensive full interviews (we ask applicants to expect a minimum of 2 hours)
Background Checks (Local, State and National-wide)
15+ year Reference Checks
Problem Solving Test
While this process isn’t perfect, we have found it to be extremely helpful to us in finding good people. There are good people in this world. We just hope they continue to find us! Currently our employees have been with us an average of 9 years!
“Hiring Professional Contractors”
Consumer Safety Advice
Prepared for the National Pest Management Association
By the Professional Pest Management Alliance
January 24, 2013
On Monday, January 21, Melissa Ketunuti, a doctor and researcher at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, was found brutally murdered inside her home in the Graduate Hospital neighborhood of Philadelphia. After a three-day investigation, the Philadelphia Police Department arrested a suspect, Jason Smith, 35, of Levittown, PA. The police and national media are reporting that the suspect met the victim while working as a pest control subcontractor on a rodent call. During a scheduled service call at her home, the two got into an argument that escalated to murder.
We do not know at this time which company contracted the work to him, but there have been reports that he is not licensed in the state of Pennsylvania.
This case has garnered national media attention and may prompt many consumers to question the safety of having contractors, not just PMPs, inside their homes (especially women who may be alone at the time of a service call). If you get calls from customers expressing concern or even the local media, consider using this list to bolster your own advice on how to hire a professional service with safety in mind. Companies are free to adapt this list to reflect their own company policies.
Hiring a Professional Contractor
Ask friends and neighbors to recommend companies they have used successfully. And, ask for and check recent references from the provider.
Look for qualified and licensed companies that are members of national, state or local associations.
Ask to see proper licensing and insurance information to ensure the contractor is permitted to do business in your state.
Check the Better Business Bureau for complaints or accolades to help form your decision. Consumers can also consult online databases such as Service Magic, Angie’s List, Yelp!, etc. to get a broader picture of consumer sentiment.
Ask if the company conducts employee background checks. Many companies do and it can be an added layer of assurance.
Buy value. Do not make a purchasing decision based solely on the lowest cost.