How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When choosing a pest control company, you want to be sure to find the right one to meet your needs. You may take into consideration a company's qualifications, treatment methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and price of services.
Below, we explore the details of each factor.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
Per the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), all pesticide applicators and those that supervise them are required to be certified at the state level. The EPA sets minimum standards of competency, but all pesticide applicators in Alabama need to be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
There are additional optional certifications that can help prove that a pest control company is reputable. One of these is the GreenPro Service Certification. For this certification, a company must prove that its methods are more environmentally friendly and that its employee training is up to date. Other certifications can be obtained through trade organizations like QualityPro.
Pest control companies can also hold membership in various professional organizations. While not mandatory, membership in organizations such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations help show a company's reputability. After joining an organization like the NPMA, a company receives access to education, resources, and a network of professionals with whom to share best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Looking at how long a company has been in business can help determine how much experience it has handling pests in your area. You can also browse its website or read customer reviews to figure out whether it has experience eliminating the type of pests you are looking to get rid of. If you cannot find this information online, calling the company directly is a good way to learn more.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look up a company's rating and reviews on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), check out local review sites and social media to hear what others in your area have to say, or verify its license standing via the Alabama licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
The cost of pest control can vary based on things like the size of your house, the type of pest being treated, your location, and other factors.
When thinking about the cost of services, you should confirm whether a company includes free on-site estimates as part of its process. This can inform you whether the company fits into your budget. Also consider a company's guarantees: If the problem is not resolved, or if it returns, does the company provide additional treatments until the issue is satisfactorily handled?
Safety and Treatment Methods
When it comes to choosing a pest control provider, you want to select one that will help keep you, your family, and your pets safe. You may also prefer an environmentally-conscious provider.
Your pest control provider should use pesticides that are low toxicity or non-toxic whenever possible. If they plan to use pesticides that don't fit into one of these categories, your technician should explain what safety precautions they will put in place to protect you, your family, and your pets. Pesticides that pose more than a minimum risk are required to be registered with the EPA.
Companies often begin with more environmentally friendly options before employing harsh pesticides, using a framework called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). When using IPM, the following steps are taken:
- Identify problem pests and assess whether immediate action is needed.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Use a combination of mechanical, cultural, biological, and physical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Employ chemical controls only when required, and always with other solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and provide additional pest control as needed.