How To Choose a Pest Control Company
There are several things you can consider when choosing the right pest control company for you. Important factors include a company's qualifications, its treatment methods, experience and reviews, and of course the cost of services.
Below, we discuss each of these factors in more detail.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
While the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets the minimum competency standards for pesticide applicators, licensure is taken care of at the state level. All pesticide applicators (and their supervisors) in Iowa should be licensed by all the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies can optionally obtain certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro. While not required, they can help you assess the quality of a company's products. For example, the GreenPro Service Certification indicates comprehensive and effective pest control treatment that is safer for humans and the environment.
A pest control company can also belong to various professional organizations. While not required, membership in organizations such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations help show a company's reputability. Organizations like the NPMA provide access to resources, education, and a network of other professionals with whom to share best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
How long a company has been in business can give you some insight into its experience dealing with various pests. Online reviews or the company's own website can also help you figure out whether it has the skills and experience necessary to handle your specific pest problem. If you cannot find the answers to your questions online, reaching out to the company directly is an excellent way to learn more.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look for reviews and recommendations on local review sites or social media, verify a company's Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, or check the status of its license through the Iowa licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Pest control costs can vary based on things like your location, the size of your house, the type of pest being treated, and other factors.
When considering the cost of services, you should confirm whether a company includes free on-site estimates as part of its services. This can help determine whether the company fits into your budget. Also consider a company's guarantees: If the problem is not resolved, or if it returns, will the company provide additional treatments until the problem is resolved satisfactorily?
Safety and Treatment Methods
Keeping yourself, your family and your pets safe is an important concern when picking a pest control provider. You might also prefer a provider that uses environmentally friendly methods.
Your pest control provider should use low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides whenever possible. If any pesticides used don't fall into one of these categories, your technician should explain what safety precautions will be in place to protect you, your family, and your pets. All pesticides that pose more than a minimum risk must be registered with the EPA.
Many companies are making the switch to using more natural treatment methods before (or in place of) harsh chemical pesticides. Some utilize a program called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify problem pests and assess whether 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 when required, and always with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and continue with additional pest control as needed.