How To Choose a Pest Control Company
The first step is choosing the right pest control company for the job. You might take into consideration a company's qualifications, methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and cost of services.
Below, we dive into detail on each factor.
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 those that supervise them are required to be certified at the state level. The EPA sets minimum standards of competency, but all Indiana pesticide applicators must be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
One optional certification that might be worth looking for is the GreenPro Service Certification. To earn this certification, a pest control company needs to both demonstrate that its practices are more environmentally friendly and uphold certain technician training standards. Companies can earn other certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations to further support their work.
A pest control company can also be a member of various professional organizations. Companies can be members of the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), or state-level organizations. NPMA membership provides companies with access to resources, education, and a network of other pest control companies. While not required, 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 dealing with pests in your area. You can also explore its website or peruse customer reviews to figure out whether it has experience eliminating the species of pests you are dealing with. If you cannot find this information online, calling the company directly is a good way to learn more.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can check a company's reputation using local review sites or social media as well as the Better Business Bureau (BBB). You can also check with Indiana's licensing board to see the status of a company's license.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is probably high on your list of priorities when hiring someone for pest control. Cost can be affected influenced by the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, your location, and other factors.
Often, companies will offer free on-site estimates as part of their process, to help you determine whether it fits into your budget. You can also ask whether a provider offers a satisfaction guarantee, meaning that it will continue to treat your pest problem until it is solved.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Safety is an important consideration when choosing a pest control provider. You might also prefer a provider who uses more natural, environmentally friendly methods.
Your pest control provider should be able to discuss the safety of any and all pesticides that will be used in your home. They should be able to explain whether the pesticides are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not what safety precautions will be in place to protect you, your family, and your pets. All pesticides that pose above a minimum risk are required to be registered with the EPA.
Organizations looking to reduce their reliance on chemical pesticides often implement procedures such as Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Using IPM involves a series of steps:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and determine if immediate action is required.
- Decide on the 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 methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and provide additional pest control as needed.