How To Choose a Pest Control Company
There are several things that you can weigh when selecting the best pest control company for you. Important decision-making factors include the company's qualifications, its treatment methods, experience and reviews, and of course 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 has established minimum competency standards, and the Connecticut regulatory agencies handle the granting, maintaining, and revoking of licenses.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
There are additional optional certifications that can help demonstrate that a pest control company is reputable. One of these is the GreenPro Service Certification. To obtain this certification, a company must prove that its methods are more environmentally friendly and that its employee training is up to date. Additional certifications can be obtained through QualityPro and similar trade organizations.
Pest control companies can also belong to certain professional organizations. Membership in an organization such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or a state-level organization grants a pest control company access to education and resources, in addition to a network of professionals with whom to compare best practices. Membership in organizations like these is not mandatory, but it can help indicate 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 species of pests it specializes in exterminating. Local reviews can also give you some insight into a company's experience dealing with a certain type of pest. If you're unable to find this information online, you can try contacting the company directly.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can verify a company's legitimacy using the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and local review sites or social media. You can also check with Connecticut's licensing board to see the status of a company's license.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Things like the size of your house, your location, the type of pest being treated, and other factors can all influence the cost of pest control.
You can look into whether a company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget) and what type of guarantees it has. Often, a company will provide a guarantee that if it does not take care of your pest problem, it will continue treatment until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
When choosing a pest control provider, you want to choose a company that will keep you, your family, and your pets safe. You'll likely also prefer a provider that is environmentally-conscious.
Be sure to ask your pest control technician if they are going to use low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides, and if not, ask what precautionary measures they will take. Any pesticide that poses greater than minimum risk must be registered with the EPA. Your pest technician should be able to provide information about all of the pesticides to be used, in addition to how safe they are around people and pets.
You can ask if your technician will start with more natural and lower-toxicity options before trying harsher chemicals.
Many companies are now using Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to treat pest infestations with minimal personal or environmental risk. The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and determine if immediate action is required.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Use a combination of mechanical, physical, biological, and cultural controls to manage the pest problem.
- Employ chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always along with other solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and provide additional pest control as needed.