How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When picking a pest control company, you want to find the right one for you. Some things you may 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, as well as those that supervise them, should be licensed via the appropriate Illinois regulatory agencies. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets minimum standards of competency, while providing, maintaining, and revoking licensure is handled at the state level.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
One optional certification that could be worth looking for is the GreenPro Service Certification. To receive this certification, a pest control company needs to both show that its practices are more environmentally friendly and maintain certain training standards for its technicians. Companies can also earn other certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro to further back up their work.
Pest control companies can also join certain professional organizations. Companies can be members of the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), or state-level organizations. Membership in the NPMA provides companies with access to resources, education, and a network of other pest professionals. While not mandatory, membership in professional organizations helps demonstrate a company's reputability.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Looking at how long a company has been in business can help determine how much experience it has handling pests in your area. You can also browse its website or peruse customer reviews to determine whether it has adequate experience with the species of pests you are struggling with. If this information is not available online, contacting a representative directly is a good way to learn more.
Reviews and Recommendations
Resources that can help you verify a company's reputation include the Better Business Bureau (BBB), local review sites, and social media. Additionally, you can check the status of a company's license through the Illinois licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
For many people, cost is one of the most important factors when hiring for pest control services. Cost can be affected by factors like the size of your house, the type of pest being treated, and your location.
You can consider whether a certain company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits your budget), and what kind of guarantees it provides. Often, a company will guarantee that if your pest problem isn't fixed by its treatment, it will continue to treat until it is.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Keeping yourself, your family and your pets safe is an important concern when picking a pest control provider. You might also prefer a provider that uses environmentally friendly methods.
All pesticides (except those that are determined to be of minimal risk) must be registered with the EPA. Your pest control technician should provide information on all the pesticides that they will be using. They should inform you whether these chemicals are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not, what safety precautions will be in place.
You can ask if your technician will start with lower-toxicity, more natural options before employing harsher chemicals.
Many companies are using Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to treat pest infestations with minimal personal or environmental risk. The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem 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 if needed, and always in combination with other solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and implement additional pest control as needed.