How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When choosing a pest control company, there are several factors that you can consider to make sure that you're choosing the right one for you. The qualifications of and treatment methods used by a company are important to consider, as well as 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?
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), all pesticide applicators and those that supervise them need to be licensed at the state level. The EPA has established minimum standards of competency, and the Iowa regulatory agencies take care of the issuing, maintaining, and revoking of licenses.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
A pest control company can obtain optional certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations in order to back up its methods and standards. One particular certification is the GreenPro Service Certification, which is awarded when a company can demonstrate that its methods are more environmentally friendly. These companies also need to maintain certain employee training standards.
Pest control companies can also belong to certain professional organizations. When a company joins 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 methods. This can offer extra peace of mind that a company follows industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
For the most part, a company provides information like years of experience and specialities on its website. Local reviews can also tell you whether a company has experience dealing with a specific pest. If you can't get the information you need online, you can speak with a company representative directly to get your questions answered.
Reviews and Recommendations
Resources you can use to check a company's reputation include the Better Business Bureau (BBB), local review sites, and social media. You can also check the status of a company's license via the Iowa licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Pest control costs can vary based on things like the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, your location, and other factors.
When considering the cost of services, you should first look into whether a company provides free on-site estimates as part of its services. This can inform you whether the company fits into your budget. Also look into what guarantees a company offers: If the problem is not resolved, or if it returns, does the company promise to offer additional treatment until the issue is resolved satisfactorily?
Safety and Treatment Methods
When choosing a pest control provider, you want to choose one that will help keep you, your family, and your pets safe. You might also prefer a provider that is environmentally-conscious.
You want to ensure that you understand the precautions around pesticides used in your house, for the sake of your family, your pets, and yourself. Your pest control provider should supply information about the pesticides they plan on using, whether they are low toxicity or non-toxic, and (if not) what safety measures they plan to take. All pesticides (except minimum-risk ones) must be registered with the EPA.
Many companies have begun using more natural treatment methods before, or in place of, harsh chemical pesticides. Some employ a program called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). 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.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of biological, cultural, mechanical, and physical controls.
- Use chemical controls only if needed, and always along with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and continue with additional pest control as needed.