How To Choose a Pest Control Company
There are a number of things that you can weigh when choosing the best pest control company for you. Important decision-making factors include the company's qualifications, its treatment methods, experience and reviews, and of course 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?
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), all pesticide applicators and their supervisors need to be certified at the state level. The EPA sets minimum standards of competency, but all Florida pesticide applicators must be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies can earn the GreenPro Service Certification, which requires that a company show that its practices are more environmentally friendly and that its employee training is up to date. QualityPro and similar trade organizations also offer other certifications. While not required, these can help demonstrate that a company is reputable.
A pest control company can also hold membership in professional organizations. Companies can belong to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), or state-level organizations. Membership in the NPMA provides companies with access to education, resources, and a network of other pest control companies. While not mandatory, membership in professional organizations helps back up a company's reputability.
Professional Experience and Specialties
How long a company has been in business can tell you something about its experience dealing with pests in your area. Online reviews or the company's own website can also enlighten you about whether it has the skills and experience needed to deal with your particular pests. If the answers to your questions aren't available online, contacting the company directly is an easy way to learn about its areas of expertise.
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). Additionally, you can verify the status of a company's license through the Florida licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
The cost of pest control can vary based on things like the size of your house, the type of pest being treated, your location, and other factors.
When considering the cost of services, you should confirm whether a company offers free on-site estimates as part of its process. This can inform you whether the company fits into your budget. Also consider what guarantees a company offers: If the problem is not fixed, or returns, will the company provide additional treatments until the issue is resolved satisfactorily?
Safety and Treatment Methods
When it comes to picking a pest control provider, you want to choose one that will keep you, your family, and your pets safe. You'll likely also prefer an environmentally-conscious provider.
Your pest control provider should be using low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides any time they can. If any pesticides they intend to use don't fit into one of these categories, your technician should explain what safety precautions they will put in place to protect you, your family, and your pets. Any pesticides that pose more than a minimum risk need to be registered with the EPA.
Many companies are using options for more environmentally friendly methods of pest control before moving to harsh pesticides.
One common method for making pest control safer and greener is Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and assess whether immediate action is needed.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of biological, cultural, mechanical, and physical controls.
- Use chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always with other solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and continue with additional pest control as needed.