How To Choose a Pest Control Company
It's important to choose the right pest control company for you. You may take into consideration a company's qualifications, methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and service prices.
Below, we discuss each factor in more detail.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
Per 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 maintains 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?
Pest control companies can obtain optional certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro. These certifications can help you assess the quality of a company's products. For example, the GreenPro Service Certification is given to companies that use comprehensive and effective pest control treatment that is safer for people and the environment.
There are several professional organizations that a pest control company can belong to. Pest control companies can obtain membership in both state-level organizations and national organizations like 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 other professionals to compare best practices with.
Professional Experience and Specialties
In general, a company displays information like its specialities and years of experience on its website. Online reviews can also inform you as to whether a company has experience dealing with a particular pest in your area. If you can't get the information you need online, you can contact a company representative directly to get the answers to your questions.
Reviews and Recommendations
Resources that can be used to verify a company's legitimacy include social media, local review sites, and the Better Business Bureau (BBB). You can also verify the status of a company's license through the Iowa licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is often a deciding factor when picking a pest control company. Cost may be determined by the type of pest being treated, your location, the size of your house, and other factors.
Certain pest control companies offer a free on-site estimate to help you match services to your budget. You can also look at whether it offers a satisfaction guarantee.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Safety is an important consideration when deciding on a pest control provider, and you might prefer a provider who employs more natural, environmentally friendly methods.
You can 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 control company 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 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 required.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of physical, cultural, biological, and mechanical controls.
- Use chemical controls only if needed, and always along with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and implement additional pest control as needed.