How To Choose a Pest Control Company
Choosing the best pest control company for you is important. Important decision-making factors include the company's qualifications, its treatment methods, experience and reviews, and of course the cost of services.
Below, we discuss each of these factors in more detail.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
Per the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), all pesticide applicators and their supervisors need to be certified at the state level. The EPA does set minimum standards of competency, but all Florida pesticide applicators need to be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies can also obtain optional certifications such as the GreenPro Service Certification. This certification is awarded once a company has shown that its treatment methods are more environmentally friendly and demonstrated that it also holds itself up to certain other standards, such as up-to-date training for employees. A pest control company can also earn other certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations to further verify its methods and practices.
Pest control companies can also belong to various professional organizations. Pest control companies can join both state-level organizations and national organizations such as 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 with whom to compare best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
A company's website can tell you how many years it has been in operation and what type of pests it specializes in exterminating. Local reviews can also give you some insight into a company's experience dealing with a certain type of pest. If you're unable to find this information online, you can try calling the company directly.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can read reviews and recommendations on local review sites or social media, verify 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
Pest control costs can vary based on things like your location, the size of your house, the type of pest being treated, and other factors.
When considering the cost of services, you should try to determine whether a company provides free on-site estimates as part of its services. This can help determine whether the company fits into your budget. Also take into account what guarantees a company offers: If the problem is not fixed, or if it returns, will the company provide additional treatments until the issue is handled satisfactorily?
Safety and Treatment Methods
When it comes to choosing a pest control provider, you want to select one that will help keep you, your family, and your pets safe. You might also prefer a provider that is environmentally-conscious.
Your pest control provider should use low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides when possible. If any pesticides they intend to use don't fit into one of these categories, your technician should explain what safety precautions they plan to use to protect you, your family, and your pets. All pesticides that pose more than a minimum risk must be registered with the EPA.
You can ask if your technician will start with more natural and lower-toxicity options before moving on to harsher chemicals.
Many companies now use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to eliminate pests while reducing personal and environmental risks. The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify problem pests and determine if immediate action is needed.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of physical, cultural, biological, and mechanical controls.
- Use chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always along with other solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and implement additional pest control as needed.