How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When hiring a pest control company, you want to find the right one to meet your needs. A company's qualifications and treatment methods are important to consider, as well as its years of experience and reputation in customer reviews. Of course, you also want to think about 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) has established minimum standards of competency, while issuing, maintaining, and revoking licensure is handled at the state level.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
A pest control company can receive optional certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations to support its standards and methods. One particular certification is the GreenPro Service Certification, which is awarded when a company can demonstrate that its methods are more environmentally friendly. Companies that receive this certification also need to maintain certain training standards for employees.
A pest control company can also obtain membership in professional organizations. When a company becomes a member of an organization such as the National Pest Management Association(NPMA) (or a state-level organization), it gets access to resources, education, and a network of other pest experts with whom to compare treatment methods. This can give you added peace of mind that a company is following industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
In general, a company displays information like specialities and years of experience on its website. Local reviews can also tell you whether a company has experience dealing with a particular pest in your area. If you're unable to find the information you need online, you can call the company directly to get the answers to your questions.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can read reviews and recommendations on local review sites or social media, view 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 important when hiring a pest control company. Cost can be affected influenced by the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, your location, 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 it will continue to treat your pest problem until it is solved.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Safety is an important consideration when selecting a pest control provider. You might also prefer a provider who uses more natural, environmentally friendly methods.
You should ask your pest control technician if the chemicals they're using are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not, what precautionary measures they are going to use. All pesticides that are not considered minimum-risk chemicals must be registered with the EPA. Your pest control provider will be able to supply you with information about all pesticides they plan to use.
Nowadays, many companies are exploring cleaner and greener pest solutions that can be used before (or instead of) chemical pesticides. Many are following the practice of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which goes as follows:
- Identify problem pests and assess whether immediate action is needed.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of physical, biological, mechanical, and cultural controls.
- Use chemical controls only if needed, and always in combination with other techniques for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and implement additional pest control as needed.