How To Choose a Pest Control Company
The first step is picking the right pest control professional for the job. A company's qualifications and treatment methods are important to consider, as are its years of experience and what other customers have said. Of course, you also want to think about 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 the state of Iowa 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. QualityPro and similar trade organizations also offer additional certifications. These are not required, but can help demonstrate that a pest control company is reputable.
A pest control company can also obtain membership in professional organizations. When a company obtains membership in an organization like the National Pest Management Association(NPMA) (or a state-level organization), it receives access to resources, education, and a network of other pest control professionals with whom to compare treatment methods. This can offer added peace of mind that a company follows industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
You can look at a company's years in business to help determine how much experience it has taking care of pests in your area. You can also look at its website or look through customer reviews to determine whether it has adequate experience with the species of pests you are struggling with. If you cannot find this information online, calling the company directly is a great way to learn more.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can verify a company's legitimacy using the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and social media or local review sites. You can also check with Iowa's licensing board to see the status of a company's license.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Things like the type of pest being treated, your location, the size of your house, and other factors can all influence the price of pest control.
You can look into whether a company provides free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget), as well as what sort of guarantees it provides. Often, a company will guarantee that if it does not take care of your pest problem, it will continue treatment until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your choice of pest control company might be affected by how environmentally friendly a provider's practices are, as well as how safe its methods are around your family and pets.
Be sure to ask your pest control provider if they are going to use low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides, and if not, ask what precautionary measures they will take. Any pesticide that poses greater than minimum risk needs to be registered with the EPA. Your pest technician should be able to supply information about all of the pesticides used, and how safe they are around people and pets.
Many companies have started making the switch to using more natural treatment methods before (or instead of) harsh chemical pesticides. Some follow a program called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and determine whether immediate action is required.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of mechanical, cultural, biological, and physical controls.
- Employ chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and implement additional pest control as needed.