How To Choose a Pest Control Company
Hiring the right company for you is the most important step in the pest control process. You might consider a company's qualifications and treatment methods, in addition to its customer reviews and years of experience. And of course, there's 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?
While the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established minimum competency standards for pesticide application, licensing is handled at the state level. All pesticide applicators (and those who supervise them) in Kansas must be licensed by all the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
A pest control company can receive optional certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro to back up its standards and methods. One particular certification is the GreenPro Service Certification, which is given when a company can demonstrate that its methods are more environmentally friendly. Companies that receive this certification also need to maintain certain training standards for employees.
A pest control company can also belong to professional organizations. Becoming a member of an organization such as 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. Joining organizations like these is not mandatory, but it can help show that a company follows industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
The amount of time that a company has been in business can give you some insight into its experience dealing with pests in your area. Customer reviews or the company's website itself can also enlighten you as to whether it has the experience needed to deal with your particular pests. If you can't find the information you need online, contacting the company directly is an easy way to learn about its areas of expertise.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can view a company's rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), read reviews on local review sites or social media, or check the standing of its license via the Kansas licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
The cost of pest control 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 offers 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 resolved, or returns, does the company promise to offer additional treatments until the problem is resolved satisfactorily?
Safety and Treatment Methods
When it comes to choosing a pest control provider, you want to select one that will keep you, your family, and your pets safe. You'll likely also prefer a provider that is environmentally-conscious.
Make sure to ask your pest control provider if they plan to use low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides, and if not, what kind of precautionary measures they are going to use. Any pesticides that are not minimum-risk chemicals should be registered with the EPA. Your pest technician will be able to provide you with information about all chemicals that they are going to use.
Organizations looking to reduce their reliance on chemical pesticides often implement procedures such as Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Using IPM involves a series of steps:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and assess whether immediate action is required.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Use a combination of physical, biological, mechanical, and cultural controls to manage the pest problem.
- Use chemical controls only if needed, and always with other techniques for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and implement additional pest control as needed.