As a pest control professional, you have the certification, knowledge and experience to deal with infestations such as bed bugs. Unfortunately, you and others in your industry are dealing with many factors that make your job more difficult. For example, laypeople seem to have a distorted view of how dangerous bed bugs are. While someone with a severe allergy may need to see a doctor for a bed bug bite, in most cases, the tiny insects are mostly a nuisance.
Nevertheless, it is understandable that an Alabama hotel manager, business owner or homeowner would want to be rid of the pests. However, if you fail to communicate the goals of your treatment plan, your clients may have unreasonable expectations. This could lead to lawsuits that can be financially devastating as well as damaging to the reputation of your company.
After treating properties for bed bugs, many pest control professionals are facing lawsuits for breach of contract when property owners or managers claim the treatment did not eradicate the infestation. In addition to breach of contract or negligence claims, you may face a personal injury lawsuit if a customer claims to have suffered physically or emotionally from bed bug bites. Documentation is key to protecting your business, and you may find it helpful to take the following steps:
- Review the terms of the contract with your customer, making sure you do not make unattainable promises, such as eradicating bed bugs.
- Carefully document the locations of infestation on the property.
- Note any problems or safety concerns you have during the treatment.
- Make a detailed report of the actions you or your employees took to treat the infestation.
- List the chemicals you used, how much you used and where you applied them.
- Discuss the treatments with your customer and determine if you should return for any follow-up actions.
- Make a note in your records of any actions or instructions you leave with the customer to prevent further infestation.
- Obtain a signature from the customer confirming that you completed the job as outlined in the contract and that your customer was satisfied with your work.
Your records should also indicate whether your customer was cooperative during the treatment. Your professionalism and adherence to the terms of the contract will likely be factors in any lawsuit. Additionally, the quality of legal support you have throughout the process can make a difference in the outcome of your case and the future of your pest control business.