How To Choose a Pest Control Company
The first step is hiring the right pest control professional for the job. Along with a company's qualifications and treatment methods, you may also look into how long it has been in business and what the reviews are 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?
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), all pesticide applicators and their supervisors must be licensed at the state level. The EPA maintains minimum competency standards, and the Florida regulatory agencies take care of the granting, maintaining, and revoking of licenses.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
A pest control company can receive optional certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro to verify its methods and standards. One particular certification is the GreenPro Service Certification, which is given when a company can demonstrate that its methods are more environmentally friendly. These companies also need to maintain certain training standards for employees.
There are certain professional organizations that a pest control company can belong to. Membership in an organization such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or a state-level organization gives companies access to resources and education, and a professional network to compare best practices with. Belonging to organizations like these is not required, but it can help indicate that a company follows industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
You can get some insight into a company's level of pest management experience by finding out how many years it has been in business. Local reviews and the company's own website can also let you know whether the company has experience dealing with the specific species of pests that are afflicting your home. You can contact the company directly to learn this information if you can't find it online.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can read reviews and recommendations on social media or local review sites, view a company's Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, or check the status of its license through the Florida licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is important when choosing a pest control company. Cost may be determined by the size of your house, the type of pest being treated, your location, and other factors.
Certain pest control companies offer a free on-site estimate to help you determine if it fits into your budget. You can also see if it offers a guarantee of satisfaction.
Safety and Treatment Methods
When choosing a pest control provider, you want to choose a company that will keep you, your family, and your pets safe. You might also prefer a provider that is environmentally-conscious.
You want to ensure that you understand the precautions for the pesticides being used around your home, for the sake of your family, your pets, and yourself. Your pest control technician should be able to provide information about the pesticides they plan on using, whether they are low toxicity or non-toxic, and (if not) what safety measures they plan to take. All pesticides (except minimum-risk ones) need to be registered with the EPA.
Many companies are now trialing options for more environmentally friendly methods of pest control before employing 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 determine if 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 with other solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and provide additional pest control as needed.