How To Choose a Pest Control Company
It's important to choose the right pest control company for you. You may consider a company's qualifications and treatment methods, in addition to its years of experience and customer reviews. Of course, there is also the cost of services to consider.
Below, we discuss each of these factors in more detail.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) maintains minimum standards of competency for pesticide applicators, but licensing is taken care of at the state level. All pesticide applicators and supervisors in Florida must be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
A pest control company can receive optional certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro in order to back up its methods and standards. One particular certification is the GreenPro Service Certification, which is awarded to any company that can demonstrate that its methods are more environmentally friendly. These companies also need to maintain certain training standards for employees.
Pest control companies can also belong to certain professional organizations. Holding membership in organizations such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations is not required, but helps confirm that a company follows industry best practices. Membership in the NPMA gives companies access to resources, education, and a network of pest professionals with whom to discuss methods and practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
For the most part, a company displays information like years of experience and specialities on its website. Local reviews can also help you figure out if a company has experience dealing with a particular pest in your area. If you can't get the information you need online, you can reach out to the company directly to get the answers to your questions.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look at a company's rating and reviews on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), explore local review sites and social media to see what other people are saying, or verify its license standing via the Florida licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
It's important to think about cost when hiring someone for pest control. Cost can be affected influenced by the size of your house, the type of pest being treated, your location, and other factors.
Often, companies will offer free on-site estimates as part of their process, to help you decide whether it fits into your budget. You can also ask whether if your company has a satisfaction guarantee, meaning that it will continue to treat your pest problem until it is solved.
Safety and Treatment Methods
When picking a pest control provider, you want to select one that will help keep you, your family, and your pets safe. You'll likely also prefer an environmentally-conscious provider.
Your pest control technician should be able to explain the safety precautions of any pesticides that they're going to use. They should be able to explain whether the pesticides are low toxicity or non-toxic; if they are not, they should explain what safety precautions they plan to use to protect you, your family, and your pets. Any pesticides that pose more than a minimum risk should be registered with the EPA.
Organizations looking to reduce their use of chemical pesticides often follow practices such as Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Using IPM involves a series of steps:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and assess whether immediate action is needed.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Use a combination of mechanical, physical, biological, 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.
- Assess the outcome and implement additional pest control as needed.