How To Choose a Pest Control Company
The most important step is choosing the right pest control company for the job. A company's qualifications and treatment methods are important to consider, as are its years of experience and customer reviews. Of course, you also want to consider cost.
Below, we dive into detail on each of these factors.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established minimum standards of competency for pesticide applicators, but licensure is handled at the state level. All pesticide applicators and supervisors in Florida need to be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
A pest control company can obtain optional certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro in order to support 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. A company that receives this certification also needs to maintain certain employee training standards.
Pest control companies can also belong to various professional organizations. 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. The NPMA gives companies access to resources, education, and a network of professionals with whom to discuss methods and practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
The number of years that a company has been in business can tell you something about its experience dealing with pests in your area. Online reviews or the company's website itself can also help you figure out whether it has the skills and experience needed to deal with your particular pests. If you can't find the information you need online, calling a representative is an excellent way to learn about the company's areas of expertise.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can check a company's Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, read reviews on local review sites or social media, or check the standing of its license via the Florida licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Things like the size of your house, the type of pest being treated, your location, and other factors can all affect the cost of pest control.
You can look into whether a company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget) and what sort of guarantees it has. Often, a company will provide a guarantee that if it does not take care of your pest problem, it will continue treatment until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
When it comes to choosing a pest control provider, you want to choose a company that will help keep you, your family, and your pets safe. You'll likely also prefer a provider that is environmentally-conscious.
Your pest technician should use low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides any time they can. If they plan to use pesticides that don't fall into one of these categories, your technician should explain what safety precautions will be used to protect you, your family, and your pets. All pesticides that pose more than a minimum risk must be registered with the EPA.
Many companies are now exploring greener and cleaner pest management that can be implemented before (or in place of) chemical pesticides. Many are following the practice of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which goes as follows:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and determine whether immediate action is required.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Use a combination of biological, cultural, physical, and mechanical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Use chemical controls only when required, and always with other techniques for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and continue with additional pest control as needed.