How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When selecting a pest control company, there are a number of things you can consider to make sure that you're choosing the best one for you. Some things you might 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?
While the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established minimum competency standards for pesticide applicators, licensure is handled at the state level. All pesticide applicators (and those who supervise them) in Florida must be licensed by all 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 that a company show that its practices are environmentally friendly and that its employees receive up-to-date training. Trade organizations such as QualityPro offer additional certifications. These are not required, but can help show that a pest control company is reputable.
There are certain professional organizations that a pest control company can belong to. Companies can belong to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), or state-level organizations. NPMA membership gives companies access to education, resources, and a network of other pest professionals. While not mandatory, membership in professional organizations helps back up a company's reputability.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Looking at how long a company has been in business can help determine how much experience it has taking care of various pests. You can also browse its website or read customer reviews to figure out whether it has experience eliminating the type of pests you are looking to get rid of. If this information can't be found online, getting in touch with a company representative is a good way to learn more.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look up a company's reviews and rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), check out local review sites and social media to hear what others in your area have to say, or verify its license standing via the Florida licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Things like your location, the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, 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 sort of guarantees it has. Often, a company will guarantee that if it does not resolve your pest problem, it will continue treatment until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your choice of pest control provider might be influenced by how environmentally friendly a company'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 around your home, for the sake of you, your family, and your pets. Your pest control technician should be able to supply 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) should be registered with the EPA.
Many companies have started making the switch to using more natural treatment methods before (or in place of) harsh chemical pesticides. Some employ a program called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify problem pests and assess whether immediate action is required.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Use a combination of physical, biological, mechanical, and cultural controls to manage the pest problem.
- Employ chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always in combination with other solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and provide additional pest control as needed.