Better Business Bureau: Research pest control companies in advance

Oct. 30, 2010 at 5:30 a.m.

By Alan Bligh

In light of the fact that bedbugs are making headlines and creating urgent requests for pest control, BBB warns all consumers and business owners to research exterminators in advance to find a pest control company they trust before an infestation is discovered. According to a recent survey by the Pest Management Association, 95 percent of exterminators have encountered a bed bug infestation in the past year, compared to only 25 percent just 10 years ago.

While homes are the most common place for infestations, bedbugs also invade hotels, movie theaters, clothing stores and offices. Disputes to BBB commonly allege that the treatments were not effective or that there were significant problems with the final cost or payment process. Make sure you check out pest control companies with BBB at Also, make sure they are licensed by the state. Hiring an unlicensed exterminator could be dangerous.

During the next few weeks, many Victoria area businesses will start advertising seasonal specials and sales to attract holiday shoppers. Most ads are straightforward and provide helpful information to customers; however, BBB often receives complaints about misleading ads this time of year. Remember, the following advertising buzz words have specific meanings:

"On Sale" or "Sale"

"Save Up To"

"Free" (this one is often really abused)

"Lowest Price" (now using that phrase can really get one into trouble)

BBB reminds business owners that the primary responsibility for truthful advertising rests with them. Advertisers must be prepared to prove any claims. BBB staff is here to help if an advertiser has a concern related to holiday ads. A check before hand could mean a better, higher quality, more believable ad.

Alan Bligh is the executive director of the Better Business Bureau in Corpus Christi. Contact him by e-mail at



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