WHITELAND, Ind. — The Whiteland Police Department is urging residents to shut the door on solicitors from a pair of pest control companies that have failed to follow the town’s rules for door-to-door sales.
“Attention residents, both Greenix and Mint pest control companies have been warned numerous times of our door to door solicitation ordinance and have failed to comply,” a tweet from WPD said. “You are urged to call us ASAP and to shut the door on them. We need to ensure the safety of our residents.”
“They’ve been warned numerous times, these specific companies,” said Whiteland Police Corporal Tyler Croy. “We’re not saying don’t solicit, just do the proper channels that we ask.”
Croy says solicitors from Greenix and Mint have prompted a number of complaints in the last couple weeks after residents asked to see a town-issued solicitation permit but the door-to-door salesperson couldn’t produce one.
Whiteland resident Randy O’Neill says solicitors from Mint pest control have been to his door twice in the last couple weeks.
“My wife said, ‘You got a permit to go door to door?’” O’Neill recalled. “And he didn’t want to show it, and he left, and we called Whiteland police.”
Like many communities, the town of Whiteland requires companies to obtain a $150 town-issued permit before doing door-to-door sales. The vendor license, copy of the application and valid photo I.D. must be carried at all times while performing solicitation activities, according to the permit application.
“Whenever you apply for an application through us, you’re given a copy of the application that you can also hand to the homeowner and say, ‘Hey, I’ve been vetted by the town and Whiteland Police Department, and I am who I say I am,’” Croy said.
A company must also provide a $500 cash or surety bond with the town as a way to protect homeowners against any possible fraud perpetrated by the company.
Many central Indiana communities have similar requirements, and some take it a step further. The cities of Indianapolis and Greenwood for example offer “no knock” registries that homeowners can sign up for. Solicitors are given a copy of the registry and are prohibited from visiting addresses on the list.
Croy says a handful of complaint calls have already resulted in warnings for Mint and Greenix solicitors. One call last week ended with a $100 citation for the young man who was going door to door.
“With pest control, these could be people that they’re allowing into their homes” Croy said, “and so we need to make sure these people are who they say they are.”
Since rules are different in various communities, Croy recommends calling your local police department or city or town hall to see what your local ordinance says about your neighborhood.