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. Factors you may consider include qualifications and licensing, 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?
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), all pesticide applicators and their supervisors must be licensed at the state level. The EPA sets minimum standards of competency, and the Kansas regulatory agencies handle the issuing, maintaining, and revoking of licenses.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies can earn the GreenPro Service Certification, which requires a company to show that its practices are environmentally friendly and that its employees receive up-to-date training. QualityPro and similar trade organizations also offer other certifications. These are not required, but can help show that a company is reputable.
Pest control companies can also hold membership in professional organizations. A pest control company can obtain membership in state-level organizations in addition to 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 resources, education, and a network of other professionals to compare best practices with.
Professional Experience and Specialties
You can gain some insight into a company's level of pest management experience by seeing how long it has been in business. Local reviews and the company's own website can also let you know whether the company has experience dealing with the specific species of pests invading your home. You can always reach out to a representative directly to learn this information if it is not available online.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look at a company's reviews and rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), check out social media and local review sites to find out what homeowners near you think, or verify its license standing via the Kansas 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, the type of pest being treated, your location, and other factors.
Companies will often 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 a company offers a satisfaction guarantees, meaning that it will continue to treat your pest problem until it is solved.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Keeping yourself, your family and your pets safe is an important concern when selecting a pest control provider. You may also prefer one that employs environmentally friendly practices.
Your pest control technician should be able to discuss the safety of all pesticides that will be used in your home. They should be able to clarify whether the pesticides are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not what safety precautions will be used to protect you, your family, and your pets. Any pesticides that pose above a minimum risk should be registered with the EPA.
Many companies have started making the switch to using more natural treatment methods before (or in place of) harsh chemical pesticides. Some use a program called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify problem pests and assess whether immediate action is required.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Use a combination of biological, cultural, mechanical, and physical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Employ chemical controls only when required, and always with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and continue with additional pest control as needed.