How To Choose a Pest Control Company
There are several factors you can consider when choosing the best pest control company for you. You might take into consideration a company's qualifications, treatment methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and cost of services.
Below, we discuss each factor 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, should be licensed via the appropriate Iowa regulatory agencies. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established minimum standards of competency, but issuing, maintaining, and revoking licensure is handled at the state level.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
There are additional optional certifications that can help prove that a pest control company is reputable. One example is the GreenPro Service Certification. To earn this certification, a company must prove that its methods are more environmentally friendly and that its employees receive up-to-date training. Other certifications can be obtained through trade organizations like QualityPro.
There are various professional organizations that pest control companies can be members of. While not required, membership in organizations like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations help demonstrate a company's reputability. Organizations like the NPMA provide access to education, resources, and a network of other professionals with whom to discuss best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
You can get some insight into a company's level of experience by looking at how many years it has been in operation. Local reviews and the company's own website can also tell you whether a certain company has experience dealing with the specific species of pests that are afflicting your home. You can contact the company directly to learn this information if you can't find it online.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can verify a company's legitimacy using the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and local review sites or social media. You can also check with Iowa's licensing board to see the status of a company's license.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
It's important to think about cost 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.
Companies will often offer free on-site estimates before starting work, to help you determine whether it fits into your budget. You can also ask whether a company offers a satisfaction guarantees, 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.
Your pest technician should use low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides whenever possible. If they plan to use pesticides that don't fit into one of these categories, your technician should explain what safety precautions will be used to protect you, your family, and your pets. Pesticides that pose more than a minimum risk should be registered with the EPA.
It is now common for companies to start with more environmentally friendly options before using harsh pesticides, following a technique called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). When using IPM, the following steps are taken:
- Identify problem pests and determine if immediate action is needed.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of mechanical, cultural, biological, and physical controls.
- Use chemical controls only if needed, and always along with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and continue with additional pest control as needed.