How To Choose a Pest Control Company
The most important step is choosing the best pest control company for the job. Along with a company's qualifications and treatment methods, you may also consider how long it has been in business and what the reviews look like. Finally, you'll likely want to consider the cost of services.
Below, we dive into detail on each of these factors.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
All pesticide applicators, as well as those that supervise them, should be licensed via the appropriate Florida regulatory agencies. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets minimum standards of competency, while providing, maintaining, and revoking licensing is handled at the state level.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
An optional certification that might be worth looking for is the GreenPro Service Certification. To receive this certification, a pest control company needs to both demonstrate that its practices are more environmentally friendly and maintain certain training standards for its technicians. Companies can also earn other certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations to further back up their work.
There are certain professional organizations in which pest control companies can hold membership. While not mandatory, membership in organizations such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations help to prove a company's reputability. In the NPMA and other organizations, pest control companies have access to resources, education, and a network of other professionals with whom to share best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Typically, a company will list 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 specific pest. If you can't get the information you need online, you can speak with a company representative directly to get the answers to your questions.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can view a company's rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), read reviews on local review sites or social media, or check the standing of its license via the Florida licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Things like your location, the size of your house, the type of pest being treated, and other factors can all affect the price of pest control.
You can learn whether a company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget), as well as what kind of guarantees it has. Often, a company will guarantee that if it does not resolve your pest problem, it will keep coming back until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
It's important to consider safety when selecting a pest control provider, and you might prefer a provider who uses more natural, environmentally friendly methods.
Be sure to ask your pest control provider if the chemicals they're using are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not, what sort of precautionary measures they plan to take. Any pesticides that are not minimum-risk chemicals must be registered with the EPA. Your pest technician should be able to provide you with information about all pesticides they are going to use.
Companies looking to reduce their use of chemical pesticides often follow practices such as Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Using IPM involves a series of steps:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and determine whether immediate action is needed.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Use a combination of biological, cultural, mechanical, and physical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Use chemical controls only if needed, and always in combination with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and provide additional pest control as needed.