How To Choose a Pest Control Company
It's important to choose the right pest control company for you. You might take into consideration a company's qualifications, methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and service prices.
Below, we explore the details of each factor.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
While the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established minimum standards of competency for pesticide application, licensure is handled at the state level. All pesticide applicators (and those who supervise them) in Louisiana must be licensed by all the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies have the option to obtain certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro. While not required, they can help you evaluate the quality of a company's products. For example, the GreenPro Service Certification is given to companies that use comprehensive and effective pest control treatment that is safer for humans and the environment.
Pest control companies can also join certain professional organizations. Holding membership in organizations such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations is not mandatory, but helps verify a company's reputability. When a pest control company joins the NPMA, it gains access to resources, education, and a network of pest professionals with whom to discuss methods and practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Generally, a company displays information like specialities and years of experience on its website. Local reviews can also tell you whether a company has experience dealing with a particular pest in your area. If you're unable to locate the information you need online, you can call the company directly to get the answers to your questions.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can browse reviews and recommendations on social media or local review sites, look up a company's Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, or check the status of its license through the Louisiana 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 type of pest being treated, the size of your house, your location, and other factors.
Often, companies will offer free on-site estimates before starting work, to help you determine whether it fits into your budget. You can also ask whether a provider offers a satisfaction guarantee, meaning that it will continue to treat your pest problem until it is solved.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your choice of pest control company might be affected by how environmentally friendly a provider's practices are, in addition to how safe its methods are around your family and pets.
Be sure to ask your pest control technician if the chemicals they're using are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not, what precautionary measures they will have in place. Any pesticides that are not minimum-risk chemicals should be registered with the EPA. Your pest technician will be able to supply information about all chemicals that they are going to use.
Many companies are now trialing options for more environmentally friendly methods of pest control before moving to harsh pesticides.
One common way of making pest control safer and greener is Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and determine whether immediate action is required.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of biological, cultural, mechanical, and physical controls.
- Use chemical controls only if needed, and always along with other techniques for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and continue with additional pest control as needed.