How To Choose a Pest Control Company
Choosing the best pest control company for you is important. You may consider a company's qualifications, methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and cost of services.
Below, we dive into detail on 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, licensing is taken care of at the state level. All pesticide applicators (and those who supervise them) in Connecticut must be licensed by all the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies can obtain optional certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro. These are not required, but can help you assess the quality of a company's products. For example, the GreenPro Service Certification indicates comprehensive and effective pest control methods that are safer for people and the environment.
There are certain professional organizations that a pest control company can be a member of. Becoming a member of an organization like 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 required, but it can help indicate that a company follows industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
The amount of time that a company has been in business can give you some insight into its experience dealing with pests in your area. Online reviews or the company's own website can also enlighten you about whether it has the experience necessary to eliminate the particular pests that are plaguing you. If the answers to your questions aren't available online, calling a representative is an easy way to learn about the company's areas of expertise.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can view a company's Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, browse 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
For many people, cost is one of the main deciding factors when hiring for pest control services. Cost can be influenced by factors like your location, the size of your house, and the type of pest being treated.
You can take into consideration whether a particular company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget), and what kind of guarantees it provides. Often, a company will guarantee that if your pest problem isn't fixed by its treatment, it will continue to treat until it is.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your preferences regarding safety for yourself, any children or pets, and the environment might influence which provider and treatment methods you choose.
Your pest control provider should be using low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides whenever possible. If they plan to use pesticides that don't fit into one of these categories, your technician should explain what safety precautions they will put in place to protect your family, your pets, and you. Any pesticides that pose more than a minimum risk need to be registered with the EPA.
Many companies are now exploring cleaner and greener pest management that can be implemented before (or in place of) chemical pesticides. Many are following the practice of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which goes as follows:
- Identify problem pests and determine if immediate action is needed.
- 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 absolutely necessary, and always with other techniques for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and continue with additional pest control as needed.