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How to find a trusted pest control company

Not satisfied with the comforts of home, bedbugs are migrating to public places like movie theaters and retail stores and then hitching rides home on unsuspecting consumers.

Not only are bedbugs a growing problem, they are also a hard problem to get rid of. The Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota recommends doing your research to find a pest control company you can trust to get the job done efficiently.

According to a recent survey by the Pest Management Association, 95 percent of exterminators had encountered a bed bug infestation in the previous year -- compared to only 25 percent of respondents 10 years prior. While homes are the most common place for infestations, bedbugs also invade hotels, movie theaters, clothing stores and offices.

When hiring a pest control company, the BBB recommends that home and business owners consider the following:

• Always research a business with your Better Business Bureau first. The BBB maintains reports on good and bad exterminators across North America. You can use the BBB's Accredited Business Locator to quickly find local companies that uphold the BBB's standards .

• Make sure the exterminator has sufficient training and certifications. Ideally, the company will also be a member of a national or local trade association.

• Ask about liability insurance. Find out how the company is covered, and how you will be reimbursed, if they happen to break any of your belongings or damage your home or office.

• Make sure that you completely understand the extent of the infestation as well as the possible remedies and side effects of any chemicals used. Do your own research online into the problem and possible solutions.

• Always read the fine print carefully and don't just take a technician's word for it. Pay close attention to any warrantees or termination fees if you're entering into an extended contract for monitoring or future services.