These are complex questions. The company should be licensed by the Department of Agriculture or agency responsible for regulating termite control in the state. Membership in their state pest control association and/or National Pest Management Association suggest the company is an established firm with access to technical and training information needed to do the job correctly. As with any service company, references are invaluable. Consider calling at least 2-3 companies. Requesting inspections and estimates from more than one will help verify the existence of a termite problem and allow you to compare services.
Companies offer different types of treatment methods and warranties. Liquid treatments can be a little more upfront but the annual renewals or cheaper than bait systems in the long run. So if you plan on being in your home for any length of time take that into consideration. If termites happen to return, contracts require a company to retreat the affected area(s) at no additional charge. Most companies can issue a damage repair warranty. It will cover repair of damage occurring subsequent to their treatment, although dating onset of damage is a hard thing to determine. If someone says your home doesn’t qualify get a second opinion ASAP. Be sure to check for deductibles and out clauses in the fine print. In some cases, no damage repair warranty will be offered if wells, cisterns, sub slab heating ducts, drainage systems, or inaccessible crawl spaces make it impossible to treat in accordance with industry standards.
Take your time when selecting a company. Termites damage wood slowly; the amount of damage caused by taking an additional day, week, or month to make an informed decision generally is insignificant. Avoid firms that try to pressure you into signing a contract immediately with “specials” or scare tactics. The overall quality of the job depends less on the sales person than on the individual who does the work. A safe and effective treatment requires an experienced technician, not someone who was hired a few weeks ago.