How To Choose a Pest Control Company
It's important to choose the best pest control company for you. Along with a company's qualifications and treatment methods, you might also consider how long it has been in business and what the reviews are like. Finally, you'll likely want to look at the cost of services.
Below, we explore the details of each of these factors.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), all pesticide applicators and those that supervise them must be licensed at the state level. The EPA maintains minimum competency standards, and the Iowa regulatory agencies take care of the granting, maintaining, and revoking of licenses.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies can obtain optional certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations. These certifications can help you evaluate the quality of a company's products. For example, the GreenPro Service Certification indicates comprehensive and effective pest control methods that are safer for humans and the environment.
There are various professional organizations that pest control companies can be members of. Companies can belong to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), or state-level organizations. NPMA membership gives companies access to resources, education, and a network of other pest professionals. While not required, membership in professional organizations helps demonstrate a company's reputability.
Professional Experience and Specialties
A company's years in business can indicate how much experience it has dealing with pests in your area. You can also explore its website or peruse customer reviews to determine whether it has adequate experience with the species of pests you are dealing with. If this information is not available online, speaking with a company representative is a great way to learn more.
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 Iowa licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
For many people, cost is one of the main deciding factors when looking for pest control. Cost can be affected by factors like the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, and your location.
You can look into whether a specific company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits your budget), and what sort 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
When picking a pest control provider, you want to select one that will keep you, your family, and your pets safe. You'll likely also prefer an environmentally-conscious provider.
Your pest control provider should be able to explain the safety precautions 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; if they are not, they should explain what safety precautions will be in place to protect your family, your pets, and you. Any pesticides that pose greater than a minimum risk are required to be registered with the EPA.
Pest professionals looking to reduce their use of 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 assess whether immediate action is needed.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Use a combination of biological, cultural, physical, and mechanical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Use chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and continue with additional pest control as needed.