How To Choose a Pest Control Company
The most important step is picking the best pest control professional for the job. The qualifications of and treatment methods used by a company are important to consider, as are its years of experience and reputation in customer reviews. Of course, you will also want to think about cost.
Below, we discuss each of these factors in more detail.
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 applicators, licensing is handled at the state level. All pesticide applicators (and those who supervise them) in Connecticut need to be licensed by all the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
A pest control company can receive optional certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro to verify its methods and standards. One particular certification is the GreenPro Service Certification, which is awarded to any company that can demonstrate that its methods are more environmentally friendly. These companies also need to maintain certain employee training standards.
A pest control company can also hold membership in various professional organizations. When a company joins an organization such as the National Pest Management Association(NPMA) (or a state-level organization), it receives access to education, resources, and a network of other pest professionals with whom to compare treatment methods. This can give you extra peace of mind that a company is following industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Looking at how long a company has been in business can help determine how much experience it has taking care of pests in your area. You can also look at its website or peruse customer reviews to determine whether it has adequate experience with the type of pests you are looking to get rid of. If you cannot find this information online, contacting a representative directly is a good way to learn more.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can verify a company's legitimacy using the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and social media or local review sites. 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 important when choosing a pest control company. Cost may be determined by the size of your house, your location, the type of pest being treated, and other factors.
A pest control company may 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
It's important to consider safety when selecting a pest control provider, and you might prefer a provider who employs more natural, environmentally friendly methods.
Your pest control provider should use low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides whenever possible. If any pesticides used don't fall 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. Pesticides that pose more than a minimum risk must be registered with the EPA.
Many companies are making the switch to using more natural treatment methods before, or instead of, harsh chemical pesticides. Some use a program called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and determine whether immediate action is required.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Use a combination of physical, biological, mechanical, and cultural controls to manage the pest problem.
- Employ chemical controls only if needed, and always along with other solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and continue with additional pest control as needed.