How To Choose a Pest Control Company
The most important step is picking the best pest control company for the job. Things you may consider include licensing and qualifications, treatment methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and cost.
Below, we explore the details of each of these factors.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), all pesticide applicators and those that supervise them must be licensed at the state level. The EPA has established minimum standards of competency, and the Florida regulatory agencies handle the granting, maintaining, and revoking of licenses.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Obtaining additional optional certifications can help demonstrate that a pest control company is reputable. One of these is the GreenPro Service Certification. To obtain this certification, a company must prove that its methods are more environmentally friendly and that its employee training is up to date. Other various certifications can be obtained through trade organizations like QualityPro.
There are various professional organizations that a pest control company can belong to. A pest control company can join state-level organizations as well as national organizations such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). By being a member of these optional organizations, a company helps support its reputability and gains access to resources, education, and a network of professionals with whom to compare best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
You can look at a company's years in business to help determine how much experience it has dealing with various pests. 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 struggling with. If this information can't be found online, contacting a representative directly is a great way to learn more.
Reviews and Recommendations
Resources you can use to check a company's reputation include local review sites, social media, and the Better Business Bureau (BBB). You can also verify the status of a company's license via the Florida licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
It's important to think about cost when hiring someone for pest control. Cost can be affected influenced by your location, the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, and other factors.
Often, companies will offer free on-site estimates as part of their process, to help you determine whether it fits into your budget. You can also ask whether if your company has a satisfaction guarantee, 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 choosing a pest control provider, you want to select one that will help keep you, your family, and your pets safe. You might also prefer a provider that is environmentally-conscious.
Ask your pest control technician if they plan on using low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides—if not, ask about what precautionary measures they will take. Any pesticide that poses greater than minimum risk must be registered with the EPA. Your pest control company should supply information about all pesticides to be used, and how safe they are around people and pets.
Many companies have started making the switch to using more natural treatment methods before, or instead of, harsh chemical pesticides. Some utilize a program called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are 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 mechanical, cultural, biological, and physical controls.
- Employ chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always in combination with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and continue with additional pest control as needed.