How To Choose a Pest Control Company
There are a number of factors that you can weigh when selecting the right pest control company for you. In addition to a company's qualifications and treatment methods, you may also consider how long it has been in business and what the reviews are like. Last but not least, you'll likely want to consider the cost of services.
Below, we discuss each of these factors in more detail.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
Per the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), all pesticide applicators and those that supervise them must be certified at the state level. The EPA does set minimum standards of competency, but all pesticide applicators in Connecticut should 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 trade organizations like QualityPro. While not required, they can help you evaluate the quality of a company's products. For example, the GreenPro Service Certification indicates comprehensive and effective pest control treatment that is safer for humans and the environment.
Pest control companies can also hold membership in various professional organizations. Becoming a member of an organization such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or a state-level organization gives companies access to education and resources, plus a network of professionals with whom to compare best practices. Joining organizations like these is not mandatory, but it can help show that a company follows industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Browsing a company's website can tell you how long it has been in operation and what type of pests it specializes in exterminating. Local reviews can also offer some insight into a company's experience dealing with specific pests. If you're unable to 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 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
Cost is often a deciding factor when picking a pest control company. Cost may be determined by your location, the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, and other factors.
Certain pest control companies offer a free on-site estimate to help you match services to your budget. You can also see if it offers a satisfaction guarantee.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Keeping yourself, your family and your pets safe is an important consideration when choosing a pest control provider. You might also prefer a provider that uses environmentally friendly methods.
Your pest control provider should be able to discuss the safety of all pesticides they plan to use. They should be able to answer questions about 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. Pesticides that pose greater than a minimum risk are required to be registered with the EPA.
Organizations looking to reduce their reliance on chemical pesticides often follow practices such as Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Using IPM involves a series of steps:
- Identify problem pests and determine whether immediate action is required.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of physical, cultural, biological, and mechanical controls.
- Use chemical controls only if needed, and always in combination with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and provide additional pest control as needed.