How To Choose a Pest Control Company
The first step is picking the best pest control company for the job. Factors you might consider include licensing and qualifications, treatment methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and cost.
Below, we explore the details of each of these factors.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
All pesticide applicators (and those that supervise them) are required to be certified at the state level. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established minimum standards of competency, but all pesticide applicators working in Florida should be licensed via the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
One certification that pest control companies can earn is the GreenPro Service Certification, which requires that a company show that its practices are more environmentally friendly and that its employee training is up to date. Trade organizations such as QualityPro offer other certifications. While not required, these can help demonstrate that a pest control company is reputable.
There are certain professional organizations that a pest control company can be a member of. A pest control company can obtain membership in state-level organizations as well as national organizations such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). While not mandatory, membership in these organizations helps prove a company's reputability and gives it access to education, resources, and a network of other professionals to compare best practices with.
Professional Experience and Specialties
You can get some insight into a company's experience level by finding out how many years it has been in business. The company's website and local reviews can also inform you whether a company has the experience needed to deal with the specific species of pests invading your home. You can always reach out to a representative directly to learn this information if it is not available online.
Reviews and Recommendations
Resources you can use to check a company's reputation include social media, local review sites, and the Better Business Bureau (BBB). You can also check the status of a company's license via the Florida licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Things like your location, the size of your house, the type of pest being treated, and other factors can all affect the cost of pest control.
You can learn whether a company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget) and what kind of guarantees it has. Often, a company will guarantee that if it does not solve your pest problem, it will continue treatment until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your preferences regarding safety for yourself, any children or pets, and the environment might affect which provider and treatment methods you choose.
Ask your pest control technician if the chemicals they're using are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not, what precautionary measures they will have in place. All pesticides that are not considered minimum-risk chemicals should be registered with the EPA. Your pest control provider should be able to provide you with information about all of the pesticides that they plan on using.
Nowadays, many companies are exploring greener and cleaner pest management that can be implemented before (or in place of) chemical pesticides. Many follow the practice of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which goes as follows:
- Identify problem pests and assess 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.
- Use chemical controls only when required, and always along with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and implement additional pest control as needed.