Be careful who you let into your home

Who do you let into your home? Friends and family obviously, but when you think about it there are also electricians, plumbers, council workers, carers, estate agents and gas fitters. The list is long.

We let these people into our sanctuary, the place where we keep our most treasured possessions and, often, once they are through the door we leave them alone to get on with their work in peace.

Add to that list, pest control technicians.

When you report a pest infestation, it’s our job to not only eradicate the problem but also, and any good pest control company will do this as a matter of course, find the source of the infestation. What surprises many people is that, while they may have noticed the problem is in the kitchen, the actual problem may stem from a hole next to the patio doors or in the attic. Therefore, a pest control technician might legitimately need to access all parts of your home to properly do their job.

But how can you be sure you can trust the pest control technician in your home?

In 2021, West Midlands Police warned elderly residents after four properties were burgled by perpetrators pretending to be pest controllers.

Sometimes the intention might not be to actually burgle your home. Instead, they might just be trying to trick you into paying for treatments you don’t need or want. This was recently the case in France, where criminals used the panic around bed bugs to falsely charge people between EUR 300 and EUR2,100 for treatments they didn’t need. The police eventually caught the criminals and charged them with fraud.

What can you do to protect yourself? 

Our first piece of advice is the same as you would receive from the police. Before you let anyone into your home, check their ID card. If you have any doubts, don’t let them in.

Any true pest control technician will have authentic ID that they will be happy to share with you.

But there is more you can do.

The safest thing to do is always say no to anyone who comes to your door unannounced. Do it quickly, and make sure you properly close the door. It is possible that the person at your front door is just trying to distract you while their colleague enters your home from the rear.

So, if you’ve not called a pest controller, 99 times out of a 100 there shouldn’t be one at your door.

Secondly, if you do need a pest controller, don’t just call any company. Our advice would be to firstly ask friends and family or check online review sites such as Google.

Another good piece of advice is to go on to the British Pest Control Association website and find one of their listed companies. To be on that list, the company must subscribe to defined standards for training, be regularly independently assessed, have the necessary insurance and are committed to the BPCA’s code of best practice.

Also, when a pest control technician from one of these companies comes to your door, they will have an ID card which they will be more than happy to show you.

Take these steps and you will greatly reduce the chances of a criminal entering your home under the guise of a pest control technician.

Training matters

However, there is more to this than just protecting yourself from burglars. If a pest control company isn’t properly registered, then it may mean the person at your door is untrained and uninsured. This may mean they will use incorrect or illegal treatments which will put you, your family, your pets and your property at risk.

Perhaps its easiest to think of it this way: you wouldn’t allow a non-Corgi registered gas fitter into your home, so you also shouldn’t let an untrained pest controller into your home.

Image by Schluesseldienst from Pixabay