How To Choose a Pest Control Company
There are a number of things you can weigh when selecting the best pest control company for you. You may take into consideration a company's qualifications, methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and service prices.
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, need to be licensed via the appropriate Massachusetts regulatory agencies. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established minimum standards of competency, but providing, maintaining, and revoking licensing is handled at the state level.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies can optionally obtain additional certifications such as the GreenPro Service Certification. This certification is given once a company has proven that its treatment methods are more environmentally friendly and demonstrated that it also maintains certain other standards, such as up-to-date training for employees. A company can also earn other certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro to further back up its methods and practices.
Pest control companies can also belong to certain professional organizations. Being a member of organizations like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations is not required, but helps confirm that a company follows industry best practices. Membership in the NPMA gives companies access to education, resources, and a network of professionals with whom to discuss practices and methods.
Professional Experience and Specialties
A company's years in business can indicate how much experience it has dealing with various pests. You can also browse its website or look through customer reviews to decide whether it has the right kind of experience handling the type of pests you are struggling with. If this information is not available online, getting in touch with a company representative is a great way to learn more.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can verify a company's legitimacy using local review sites or social media as well as the Better Business Bureau (BBB). You can also check with Massachusetts' licensing board to verify the status of a company's license.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is often a deciding factor when choosing a pest control company. Cost may be determined by your location, the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, and other factors.
A pest control company may offer a free on-site estimate to help you match services to your budget. You can also look at whether it offers a satisfaction guarantee.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Keeping yourself, your family and your pets safe is an important consideration when choosing a pest control provider. You might also prefer one that employs environmentally friendly practices.
Be sure to ask your pest control provider if they plan on using low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides, and if not, ask about what precautionary measures they will take. Any pesticide that poses greater than minimum risk must be registered with the EPA. Your pest technician should be able to supply information about all pesticides that will be used in your home, in addition to how safe they are around people and pets.
Many companies are making the switch to using more natural treatment methods before, or in place of, harsh chemical pesticides. Some utilize a program called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify problem pests and determine whether immediate action is needed.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Use a combination of biological, cultural, mechanical, and physical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Employ chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always in combination with other techniques for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and implement additional pest control as needed.