How To Choose a Pest Control Company
There are several things you can weigh when selecting the best pest control company for you. You might consider a company's qualifications, methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and price of services.
Below, we dive into detail on each factor.
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 Kansas regulatory agencies. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established minimum standards of competency, but issuing, maintaining, and revoking licensing is handled at the state level.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
A pest control company can optionally apply for certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations to back up its methods and standards. One particular certification is the GreenPro Service Certification, which is given to any company that can demonstrate that its methods are more environmentally friendly. A company that receives this certification also needs to maintain certain training standards for employees.
Pest control companies can also be members of various professional organizations. While not required, membership in organizations like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations help verify a company's reputability. After joining an organization like the NPMA, a company receives access to education, resources, and a network of professionals with whom to compare best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
How long a company has been in business can tell you something about its experience dealing with pests in your area. Customer reviews or the company's own website can also inform you whether it has the experience needed to deal with your particular pests. If you cannot find the answers to your questions online, calling a representative is an easy way to learn about the company's areas of expertise.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look up a company's reviews and rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), read local review sites and social media to learn what others in your area have to say, or verify its license standing via the Kansas 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 first look into 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 look into a company's guarantees: If the problem is not fixed, or if it returns, does the company promise to offer additional treatments until the issue is satisfactorily resolved?
Safety and Treatment Methods
When picking a pest control provider, you want to choose a company that will help keep you, your family, and your pets safe. You might also prefer an environmentally-conscious provider.
All pesticides that will be used (except those that pose only a minimum risk) need to be registered with the EPA. Your pest control technician should be able to provide information on each pesticide they are using. They should inform you whether the pesticides are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not, what safety precautions will be taken.
It is now common for companies to begin with more environmentally friendly options before using harsh pesticides, following a framework called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). When using IPM, the following steps are taken:
- Identify problem pests and assess whether immediate action is required.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Use a combination of biological, cultural, physical, and mechanical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Employ chemical controls only when required, and always in combination with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and implement additional pest control as needed.