How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When choosing a pest control company, there are several things that you can consider to make sure that you're choosing the best one for you. You might consider a company's qualifications and treatment methods in addition to its customer reviews and years of experience. And of course, there's the cost of services to consider.
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 (and those who supervise them) must be certified at the state level. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established minimum standards of competency, but all pesticide applicators working in the state of Florida should be licensed via the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
One certification that pest control companies can earn is the GreenPro Service Certification, which requires a company to show that its practices are more environmentally friendly and that its employee training is up to date. QualityPro and similar trade organizations also offer additional certifications. These are not required, but can help show that a pest control company is reputable.
There are various professional organizations that a pest control company can belong to. While not required, membership in organizations such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations help demonstrate a company's reputability. Organizations like the NPMA provide access to resources, education, and a network of other professionals with whom to compare best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
The number of years that a company has been in business can tell you something about its experience dealing with pests in your area. Customer reviews or the company's website itself can also inform you whether it has the skills and experience needed to handle your specific pest problem. If you can't find the information you need online, contacting the company directly is a great way to learn about its areas of expertise.
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 Florida's licensing board to verify the status of a company's license.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Things like the size of your house, the type of pest being treated, your location, and other factors can all influence the price of pest control.
You can look into whether a company provides free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget) and what kind of guarantees it provides. Often, a company will provide a guarantee that if it does not solve your pest problem, it will continue treatment until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your choice of pest control provider might be affected by how environmentally friendly a provider's practices are, as well as how safe its methods are around your family and pets.
You will want to understand the precautions around pesticides being used in your home, for the sake of your family, your pets, and yourself. Your pest control provider should be capable of providing information about all pesticides they plan to use, whether they are low toxicity or non-toxic, and (if not) what safety measures they plan to take. All pesticides (except minimum-risk ones) need to be registered with the EPA.
Many companies are now exploring cleaner and greener pest solutions that can be used before (or in place of) chemical pesticides. Many follow the practice of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which goes as follows:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and determine if immediate action is required.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of biological, cultural, mechanical, and physical controls.
- Employ chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always along with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and implement additional pest control as needed.