How To Choose a Pest Control Company
There are several things that you can take into consideration when choosing the best pest control company for you. You may consider a company's qualifications and treatment methods as well as its customer reviews and years of experience. Of course, there is also the cost of services to consider.
Below, we discuss each of these factors 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 certified at the state level. The EPA does set minimum standards of competency, but all Kansas pesticide applicators must be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
An optional certification that could be worth looking for is the GreenPro Service Certification. In order to get this certification, a pest control company must both show that its practices are more environmentally friendly and maintain certain training standards for its technicians. Companies can obtain other certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro to further back up their work.
Pest control companies can also hold membership in various professional organizations. Membership in an organization like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or a state-level organization gives companies access to resources and education, plus a professional network to compare best practices with. Membership in one of these organizations is not mandatory, but it can help indicate that a company follows industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
You can gain some insight into a company's experience level by looking into how many years it has been in business. The company's website and local reviews can also clue you in as to whether a certain company has the experience needed to deal 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
Resources that can be used to verify a company's legitimacy include social media, local review sites, and the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Additionally, you can verify the status of a company's license via the Kansas licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Pest control costs can vary based on things like the size of your house, your location, the type of pest being treated, and other factors.
When considering the cost of services, you should verify whether a company provides free on-site estimates as part of its services. This can help determine whether the company fits into your budget. Also look into what guarantees a company offers: If the problem is not fixed, or if it returns, will the company provide additional treatments until the issue is satisfactorily handled?
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your preferences regarding safety for yourself, your children, your pets, and the environment may affect which provider and treatment methods you choose.
Your pest control provider should be able to explain the safety precautions of any pesticides that will be used in your home. They should be able to clarify whether the pesticides are low toxicity or non-toxic; if they are not, they should explain what safety precautions will be in place to protect your family, your pets, and you. All pesticides that pose greater than a minimum risk must be registered with the EPA.
Many companies are using options for more environmentally friendly methods of pest control before jumping into using harsh pesticides.
One common way of making pest control safer and greener is Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify problem pests and determine whether immediate action is needed.
- Decide on the 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 in combination with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and implement additional pest control as needed.