How To Choose a Pest Control Company
The most important step in the pest control process is hiring the right company for you. Important decision-making factors can include a company's qualifications, its treatment methods, experience and reviews, and of course 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?
All pesticide applicators, as well as those that supervise them, need to be licensed via the appropriate Florida regulatory agencies. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets minimum standards of competency, but issuing, maintaining, and revoking licensing is handled at the state level.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
One optional certification that may be worth looking for is the GreenPro Service Certification. To get this certification, a pest control company needs to both demonstrate that its practices are more environmentally friendly and maintain certain technician training standards. Companies can earn other certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations to further back up their work.
There are various professional organizations that pest control companies can be members of. Membership in organizations like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations is not mandatory, but helps verify a company's reputability. Membership in the NPMA gives companies access to resources, education, and a network of professionals with whom to discuss methods and practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
In general, a company provides information like years of experience and specialities on its website. Local reviews can also inform you as to whether a company has experience dealing with a particular pest in your area. If you're unable to find the information you need online, you can contact a company representative directly to get your questions answered.
Reviews and Recommendations
Resources you can use to check a company's reputation include the Better Business Bureau (BBB), local review sites, and social media. You can also verify the status of a company's license through the Florida licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
It's important to think about cost when hiring a pest control company. Cost can be affected influenced by your location, the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, and other factors.
Companies will often offer free on-site estimates before starting work, to help you decide whether it fits into your budget. You can also ask whether a company offers a satisfaction guarantees, meaning that if your pest problem is not solved by the initial treatment, it will continue returning until it is.
Safety and Treatment Methods
When it comes to choosing a pest control provider, you want to select one that will help keep you, your family, and your pets safe. You'll likely also prefer an environmentally-conscious provider.
All pesticides (except those that pose only a minimum risk) must be registered with the EPA. Your pest control provider should supply information on all the pesticides that they plan to use. They should be able to tell you whether the pesticides are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not, what safety precautions will be taken.
Nowadays, many companies are exploring greener and cleaner pest solutions that can be used before (or instead of) chemical pesticides. Many are following the practice of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which goes as follows:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and determine if immediate action is required.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of biological, cultural, mechanical, and physical controls.
- Use chemical controls only when required, and always with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and provide additional pest control as needed.