How To Choose a Pest Control Company
The most important step in the pest control process is hiring the right company for you. 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?
While the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established minimum competency standards for pesticide application, licensure is handled at the state level. All pesticide applicators (and those who supervise them) in Colorado need to be licensed by all the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies can earn the GreenPro Service Certification, which requires a company to show that its practices are environmentally friendly and that its employees receive up-to-date training. Trade organizations such as QualityPro offer other certifications. These are not required, but can help demonstrate that a pest control company is reputable.
There are certain professional organizations that pest control companies can be members of. Becoming a member of an organization like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or a state-level organization gives companies access to resources and education, as well as a professional network to compare best practices with. Membership in organizations like these is not required, 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 operation and what type of pests it specializes in eliminating. Online reviews can also offer some insight into a company's experience dealing with a specific pest. If you can't find this information online, you can try contacting the company directly.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can check a company's reputation using the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and social media or local review sites. You can also check with Colorado's licensing board to verify the status of a company's license.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Pest control costs can vary based on things like the size of your house, the type of pest being treated, your location, and other factors.
When considering the cost of services, you should try to determine whether a company includes free on-site estimates as part of its process. This can help determine whether the company fits into your budget. Also consider what guarantees a company offers: If the problem is not resolved, or returns, does the company promise to offer additional treatment until the problem is satisfactorily handled?
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your choice of pest control provider might be influenced by how environmentally friendly a provider's practices are, as well as how safe its methods are around your family and pets.
Be sure to ask your pest control technician if they plan to use low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides—if not, ask about what precautionary measures will be in place. Any pesticide that has been deemed above minimum risk must be registered with the EPA. Your pest control company should supply information about all pesticides used, as well as how safe they are around people and pets.
Many companies are now exploring cleaner and greener pest management that can be implemented before (or in place of) chemical pesticides. Many follow the practice of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which goes as follows:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and determine whether immediate action is required.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of biological, cultural, mechanical, and physical controls.
- Use chemical controls only if needed, and always in combination with other techniques for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and continue with additional pest control as needed.