How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When hiring a pest control company, you want to make sure that you find the right one to meet your needs. You may consider a company's qualifications and treatment methods in addition to its years of experience and customer reviews. 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?
Per the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), all pesticide applicators and their supervisors must be certified at the state level. The EPA sets minimum standards of competency, but all Kentucky 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 earn this certification, a pest control company must both demonstrate that its practices are more environmentally friendly and uphold certain training standards for its technicians. Companies can also obtain other certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro to further support their work.
Pest control companies can also become members of professional organizations. A pest control company can obtain membership in state-level organizations as well as national organizations like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). While not mandatory, membership in these organizations helps prove a company's reputability and gives it access to resources, education, and a network of other professionals with whom to compare best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Generally, a company provides information like years of experience and specialities on its website. Local reviews can also help you figure out if a company has experience dealing with a specific pest. If you can't get the information you need online, you can call the company directly to get your questions answered.
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). You can also confirm the status of a company's license via the Kentucky licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
For many people, cost is one of the most important factors when hiring for pest control services. Cost can be affected by factors like the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, and your location.
You can take into consideration whether a certain company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits your budget), and what sort of guarantees it provides. Often, a company will guarantee that if its treatment doesn't resolve your pest problem, it will continue to come back until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
When it comes to picking a pest control provider, you want to choose one that will help keep you, your family, and your pets safe. You'll likely also prefer a provider that is environmentally-conscious.
All pesticides that will be used (except those that pose only a minimum risk) are required to be registered with the EPA. Your pest control provider should supply information on all the pesticides that they will be using. They should be able to tell you whether the pesticides are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not, what safety precautions they plan to take.
Companies often start with more environmentally friendly options before employing pesticides, using a framework called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). When using IPM, the following steps are taken:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and determine whether immediate action is needed.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Use a combination of mechanical, cultural, biological, and physical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Employ chemical controls only when required, and always in combination with other solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and continue with additional pest control as needed.