How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When hiring a pest control company, you want to be sure to find the right one for you. Some things you may consider include licensing and qualifications, 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?
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets minimum standards of competency for pesticide applicators, but licensure is taken care of at the state level. All pesticide applicators and their supervisors in Colorado need to be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies can obtain optional certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations. While not required, they can help you evaluate the quality of a company's products. For example, the GreenPro Service Certification recognizes comprehensive and effective pest control methods that are safer for people and the environment.
Pest control companies can also belong to certain professional organizations. When a company becomes a member of an organization such as the National Pest Management Association(NPMA) (or a state-level organization), it gains access to resources, education, and a network of other pest professionals with whom to compare methods. This can offer extra peace of mind that a company follows industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
You can look at a company's years in business to help determine how much experience it has handling various pests. You can also look at its website or peruse customer reviews to determine whether it has adequate experience with the species of pests you are dealing with. If this information can't be found online, speaking with a company representative is a good way to learn more.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can check a company's reputation using local review sites or social media as well as the Better Business Bureau (BBB). You can also check with Colorado's licensing board to see the status of a company's license.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Pest control costs can vary based on things like the type of pest being treated, your location, the size of your house, and other factors.
When thinking about the cost of services, you should first look into whether a company offers free on-site estimates as part of its services. This can help determine whether the company fits into your budget. Also consider a company's guarantees: If the problem is not fixed, or if it returns, does the company promise to offer additional treatments until the problem is resolved satisfactorily?
Safety and Treatment Methods
It's important to consider safety when choosing a pest control provider, and you might prefer a provider who uses more natural, environmentally friendly methods.
Be sure to ask your pest control provider if they plan on using low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides—if not, ask about what precautionary measures will be in place. Any pesticide that poses greater than minimum risk needs to be registered with the EPA. Your pest control company should provide information about all of the pesticides used, and how safe they are around people and pets.
Many companies are now exploring greener and cleaner pest management that can be implemented before (or instead 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 if immediate action is required.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of biological, cultural, physical, and mechanical controls.
- Use chemical controls only when required, and always with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and provide additional pest control as needed.