How To Choose a Pest Control Company
The most important step is selecting the right pest control professional for the job. Important decision-making factors can include a company's qualifications, its treatment methods, experience and reviews, and of course the cost of services.
Below, we dive into detail on each of these factors.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), all pesticide applicators and those that supervise them are required to be certified at the state level. The EPA sets minimum standards of competency, but all Massachusetts pesticide applicators should be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies also have the option to obtain additional certifications such as the GreenPro Service Certification. This certification is granted once a company has proven that its treatment methods are more environmentally friendly and demonstrated that it also holds itself up to certain other standards, such as up-to-date employee training. A company can also earn other certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro to further support its methods and practices.
There are various professional organizations that pest control companies can be members of. A pest control company can obtain membership in state-level organizations as well as national organizations such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). By being a member of these optional organizations, a company helps support its reputability and gains access to resources, education, and a network of professionals with whom to compare best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
In general, a company displays information like its specialities and years of experience on its website. Online reviews can also help you determine if 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 contact a company representative directly to get your questions answered.
Reviews and Recommendations
Resources that can be used to verify a company's legitimacy include the Better Business Bureau (BBB), local review sites, and social media. You can also confirm the status of a company's license via the Massachusetts licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is important when hiring someone for pest control. Cost can be affected influenced by your location, the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, and other factors.
Often, companies will offer free on-site estimates at the beginning of their process, 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
It's important to consider safety when selecting a pest control provider. You might also prefer a provider who employs more natural, environmentally friendly methods.
All pesticides that will be used (except those that pose only a minimum risk) must be registered with the EPA. Your pest control technician should be able to supply information on every 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.
Many companies are now exploring cleaner and greener pest management that can be implemented before (or instead of) chemical pesticides. Many are following the practice of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which goes as follows:
- Identify problem pests and assess whether immediate action is required.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of biological, cultural, physical, and mechanical controls.
- Employ chemical controls only if needed, and always in combination with other techniques for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and provide additional pest control as needed.