How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When picking a pest control company, you want to be sure to find the right one for you. Some things you may consider include licensing and qualifications, treatment methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and cost.
Below, we discuss each of these factors in more detail.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
All pesticide applicators, as well as those that supervise them, must be licensed via the appropriate Iowa regulatory agencies. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets minimum standards of competency, but issuing, maintaining, and revoking licensing is handled at the state level.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
One optional certification that could be worth looking for is the GreenPro Service Certification. In order to earn this certification, a pest control company must both show that its practices are more environmentally friendly and uphold certain technician training standards. Companies can also obtain other certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations to further support their work.
Pest control companies can also become members of professional organizations. A pest control company can obtain membership in both state-level organizations and national organizations such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). By being a member of these optional organizations, a company helps support its reputability and gains access to education, resources, and a network of professionals to compare best practices with.
Professional Experience and Specialties
You can get some insight into a company's level of experience by finding out how many years it has been in operation. The company's website and local reviews can also inform you whether a company has experience dealing with the specific species of pests that are afflicting your home. You can always reach out to a representative directly to learn this information if you can't find it online.
Reviews and Recommendations
Resources you can use to check a company's reputation include social media, local review sites, and the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Additionally, you can check the status of a company's license via the Iowa licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is probably high on your list of priorities when hiring a pest control company. Cost can be affected influenced by the size of your house, your location, the type of pest being treated, and other factors.
Often, companies will offer free on-site estimates at the beginning of their process, to help you decide whether it fits into your budget. You can also ask whether if your company has a satisfaction guarantee, meaning that if your pest problem is not solved by the initial treatment, it will continue returning until it is.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your preferences regarding safety for yourself, your children, your pets, and the environment might influence the provider and the treatment methods you choose.
All pesticides (except those that are determined to be of minimal risk) need to be registered with the EPA. Your pest control technician should provide you with information on each pesticide they plan to use. They should be able to tell you whether the pesticides are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not, what safety precautions will be in place.
Pest professionals looking to reduce their reliance on chemical pesticides often follow practices such as Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Using IPM involves a series of steps:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and determine whether immediate action is needed.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Use a combination of physical, biological, mechanical, and cultural controls to manage the pest problem.
- Employ chemical controls only if needed, and always with other solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and implement additional pest control as needed.