How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When picking a pest control company, there are several factors that you can consider to be sure that you're choosing the right one for you. You might consider a company's qualifications and treatment methods in addition to its years of experience and customer reviews. And of course, there's 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?
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, but issuing, maintaining, and revoking licensure is handled at the state level.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies also have the option to obtain additional certifications such as the GreenPro Service Certification. This certification is awarded once a company has proven its methods to be more environmentally friendly and demonstrated that it also holds itself up to certain other standards, such as up-to-date employee training. A pest control company can also earn other certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro to further verify its practices and methods.
Pest control companies can also become members of professional organizations. Holding membership in organizations such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations is not mandatory, but helps verify a company's reputability. When a pest control company joins the NPMA, it gains access to education, resources, and a network of other professionals with whom to discuss practices and methods.
Professional Experience and Specialties
A company's years in business can indicate how much experience it has taking care of pests in your area. You can also browse its website or peruse customer reviews to determine whether it has adequate experience with the type of pests you are dealing with. If this information can't be found online, speaking with a company representative is a good way to learn more.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look up a company's rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), browse reviews on social media or local review sites, or check the standing of its license via the Florida licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is an important consideration 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 match services to your budget. You can also see if it offers a guarantee of satisfaction.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Safety is an important consideration when selecting a pest control provider. You might also prefer a provider who employs more natural, environmentally friendly methods.
Be sure to ask your pest control technician if they are going to use low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides, and if not, ask what precautionary measures they will take. Any pesticide that poses greater than minimum risk needs to be registered with the EPA. Your pest technician should be able to supply information about all of the pesticides that will be used in your home, in addition to how safe they are around people and pets.
Many companies are making the switch to using more natural treatment methods before (or instead of) harsh chemical pesticides. Some follow a program called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and determine whether immediate action is required.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of physical, biological, mechanical, and cultural controls.
- Employ chemical controls only if needed, and always in combination with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and implement additional pest control as needed.