How To Choose a Pest Control Company
Hiring the best company for you is the most important step in the pest control process. Along with a company's qualifications and treatment methods, you might also look into how long it has been in business and what the reviews look like. Last but not least, 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) has established minimum standards of competency, but providing, maintaining, and revoking licensing is handled at the state level.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
There are additional optional certifications that can help demonstrate that a pest control company is reputable. One example is the GreenPro Service Certification. For this certification, a company must show that its methods are more environmentally friendly and that its employee training is up to date. Other certifications can be earned through trade organizations like QualityPro.
Pest control companies can also become members of various professional organizations. A pest control company can obtain membership in both state-level organizations and national organizations like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). By being a member of these optional organizations, a company helps support its reputability and gains access to education, resources, and a network of professionals to compare best practices with.
Professional Experience and Specialties
You can get some insight into a company's level of experience by finding out how long it has been in operation. Local reviews and the company's own website can also tell you whether a company has the experience needed to deal with the specific species of pests that are afflicting your home. You can call the company directly to learn this information if you can't find it online.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can view a company's Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, explore 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
The cost of pest control can vary based on things like the size of your house, your location, the type of pest being treated, and other factors.
When thinking about the cost of services, you should first look into whether a company provides free on-site estimates as part of its process. This can help determine whether the company fits into your budget. Also look into a company's guarantees: If the problem is not fixed, or if it returns, does the company provide additional treatment until the issue is resolved satisfactorily?
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your choice of pest control company might be influenced by how environmentally friendly a company's practices are, in addition to how safe its methods are around your family and pets.
You should ask your pest control provider if the chemicals they're using are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not, what kind of precautionary measures they will have in place. Any pesticides that are not minimum-risk chemicals should be registered with the EPA. Your pest technician will be able to supply you with information about all chemicals that they plan on using.
Many companies are making the switch to using more natural treatment methods before, or instead of, harsh chemical pesticides. Some use a program called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and determine whether immediate action is required.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of biological, cultural, mechanical, and physical controls.
- Employ chemical controls only when required, and always with other solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and provide additional pest control as needed.