How To Choose a Pest Control Company
There are a number of factors you can take into consideration when selecting the right pest control company for you. A company's qualifications and treatment methods are important to consider, as are its years of experience and customer reviews. Of course, you will 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?
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 any pesticide applicators working in the state of Iowa must be licensed via the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
One optional certification that may be worth looking for is the GreenPro Service Certification. To get this certification, a pest control company must both demonstrate 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 support their work.
Pest control companies can also become members of professional organizations. When a company joins an organization like the National Pest Management Association(NPMA) (or a state-level organization), it gains access to education, resources, and a network of other pest professionals with whom to compare methods. This can offer added peace of mind that a company follows industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
You can gain some insight into a company's experience level by finding out how many years it has been in operation. Local reviews and the company's own website can also let you know whether the company has the experience needed to deal with the specific species of pests invading your home. You can always contact a representative directly to learn this information if you can't find it online.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look for reviews and recommendations on local review sites or social media, verify a company's Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, or check its licensure status through the Iowa licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is an important consideration when choosing a pest control company. Cost may be determined by your location, the size of your house, the type of pest being treated, and other factors.
Certain pest control companies offer a free on-site estimate to help you match services to your budget. You can also see if it offers a guarantee of satisfaction.
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 employs environmentally friendly practices.
Be sure to ask your pest control provider if they plan to use low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides, and if not, ask what precautionary measures they plan to use. Any pesticide that poses greater than minimum risk needs to be registered with the EPA. Your pest control company should provide information about all pesticides used, and how safe they are around people and pets.
You can ask if your technician will begin with lower-toxicity, more natural options before moving on to harsher chemicals.
Many companies have started to use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to reduce personal or environmental risk when treating pest infestations. The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and assess whether immediate action is needed.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Use a combination of mechanical, physical, biological, and cultural controls to manage the pest problem.
- Use chemical controls only if needed, and always in combination with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and continue with additional pest control as needed.