How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When picking a pest control company, you want to be sure to find the best one to meet your needs. Things you may consider include qualifications and licensing, treatment methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and cost.
Below, we dive into detail on each of these factors.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
All pesticide applicators, as well as those that supervise them, should be licensed via the appropriate Arkansas regulatory agencies. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets minimum standards of competency, while providing, maintaining, and revoking licensing is handled at the state level.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
A pest control company can optionally apply for additional certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations to support its methods and standards. One particular certification is the GreenPro Service Certification, which is given to any company that can demonstrate that its methods are more environmentally friendly. These companies also need to maintain certain employee training standards.
A pest control company can also be a member of various professional organizations. Becoming a member of an organization like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or a state-level organization gives companies access to education and resources, in addition to a professional network to compare best practices with. Belonging to organizations like these is not mandatory, but it can help show that a company follows industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Looking at a company's website can tell you how long it has been in business and what type of pests it specializes in eliminating. Online reviews can also give you some insight into a company's experience dealing with specific pests. If this information isn't available online, you can try calling the company directly.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look up a company's Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, explore reviews on local review sites or social media, or check the standing of its license via the Arkansas licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
For many people, cost is one of the most important factors when hiring for pest control. Cost can be influenced by factors like the size of your house, your location, and the type of pest being treated.
You can look into whether a specific company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget), and what sort of guarantees are provided. Often, a company will guarantee that if your pest problem isn't fixed by its treatment, it will continue to treat until it is.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your preferences regarding safety for yourself, your children, your pets, and the environment can influence the provider and the treatment methods you choose.
You should ask your pest control technician if they plan to use low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides, and if not, what sort of precautionary measures they are going to use. All pesticides that are not considered minimum-risk chemicals must be registered with the EPA. Your pest control provider will be able to provide you with information about all pesticides that they plan on using.
You can ask if your technician will start with lower-toxicity, more natural options before using harsher chemicals.
Many companies have begun to use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to eliminate pests while reducing personal and environmental risks. The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and determine whether immediate action is required.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Use a combination of biological, cultural, mechanical, and physical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Use chemical controls only when required, and always along with other solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and provide additional pest control as needed.