How To Choose a Pest Control Company
It's important to choose the right pest control company for you. In addition to a company's qualifications and treatment methods, you might also consider how long it has been in business and what the reviews are like. Finally, you'll likely want to consider the cost of services.
Below, we explore the details of each of these factors.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), all pesticide applicators and their supervisors must be licensed at the state level. The EPA maintains minimum standards of competency, and the Connecticut regulatory agencies take care of the granting, maintaining, and revoking of licenses.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
An optional certification that could be worth looking for is the GreenPro Service Certification. To receive this certification, a pest control company must both demonstrate that its practices are more environmentally friendly and uphold certain technician training standards. Companies can also earn other certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro to further back up their work.
Pest control companies can also obtain membership in professional organizations. While not mandatory, membership in organizations like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations help demonstrate a company's reputability. Organizations like the NPMA provide access to resources, education, and a network of other professionals with whom to discuss 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 look at its website or read customer reviews to figure out whether it has experience eliminating the species of pests you are struggling with. If this information can't be found online, getting in touch with a company representative is a great way to learn more.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can view a company's rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), explore reviews on local review sites or social media, or check the standing of its license via the Connecticut licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is probably high on your list of priorities when hiring someone for pest control. Cost can be affected influenced by the size of your house, the type of pest being treated, your location, and other factors.
Companies will often offer free on-site estimates as part of their process, to help you determine whether it fits into your budget. You can also ask whether a provider offers a satisfaction guarantee, meaning that if your pest problem is not solved by the initial treatment, it will continue returning until it is.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your choice of pest control company might be influenced by how environmentally friendly a provider's practices are, in addition to how safe its methods are around your family and pets.
Your pest control provider should be able to discuss the safety of all pesticides that will be used in your home. They should be able to clarify whether the pesticides are low toxicity or non-toxic; if they are not, they should explain what safety precautions they will put in place to protect you, your family, and your pets. All pesticides that pose above a minimum risk are required to be registered with the EPA.
It is now common for companies to start with more environmentally friendly options before employing pesticides, using a framework called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). When using IPM, the following steps are taken:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and determine if 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.
- Use chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always in combination with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and provide additional pest control as needed.