How To Choose a Pest Control Company
The most important step is choosing the right pest control professional for the job. You might consider a company's qualifications, treatment methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and service prices.
Below, we explore the details of each factor.
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?
Pest control companies can earn 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. While not required, these can help demonstrate that a company is reputable.
Pest control companies can also become members of professional organizations. Companies can obtain membership in the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), or state-level organizations. Membership in the NPMA provides companies with access to resources, education, 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
You can gain some insight into a company's level of experience by finding out how long it has been in business. Local reviews and the company's own website can also tell you whether the company has the experience needed to deal with the specific species of pests that are afflicting your home. You can always contact a representative directly to learn this information if you can't find it online.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look up a company's rating and reviews on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), check out social media and local review sites to see 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 the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, your location, and other factors can all affect the cost of pest control.
You can find out whether a company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget), as well as what sort of guarantees it offers. 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
Your choice of pest control company might be influenced by how environmentally friendly a provider's practices are, as well as how safe its methods are around your family and pets.
All pesticides that will be used (except those that are classified as minimum-risk) must be registered with the EPA. Your pest control technician should supply information on every pesticide they will be using. They should be able to tell you whether these chemicals are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not, what safety precautions will be in place.
Companies looking to reduce their reliance on chemical pesticides often follow practices such as Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Using IPM involves a series of steps:
- Identify problem pests and determine 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 required, and always with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and implement additional pest control as needed.