How To Choose a Pest Control Company
There are a number of factors that you can weigh when selecting the best pest control company for you. Factors you might consider include licensing and qualifications, treatment methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and cost.
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) sets the minimum standards of competency for pesticide applicators, licensing is handled at the state level. All pesticide applicators (and their supervisors) in Massachusetts should be licensed by all the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
One optional certification that could be worth looking for is the GreenPro Service Certification. In order to receive this certification, a pest control company needs to both demonstrate that its practices are more environmentally friendly and uphold certain technician training standards. Companies can obtain other certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro to further back up their work.
Pest control companies can also be members of various professional organizations. Holding membership in organizations such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations is not required, but helps show that a company is reputable. The NPMA gives companies access to resources, education, and a network of other professionals with whom to discuss methods and practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
A company's website can tell you how many years it has been in operation and what kind of pests it specializes in exterminating. Local reviews can also give you some insight into a company's experience dealing with specific pests. If you can't find this information online, you can try calling the company directly.
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. Additionally, you can verify the status of a company's license through the Massachusetts licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Pest control costs can vary based on things like your location, the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, and other factors.
When considering the cost of services, you should first look into whether a company includes free on-site estimates as part of its process. This can help determine whether the company fits into your budget. Also take into account a company's guarantees: If the problem is not fixed, or if it returns, does the company promise to offer additional treatments until the issue is satisfactorily resolved?
Safety and Treatment Methods
When 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 an environmentally-conscious provider.
All pesticides used by your company (except those that pose only a minimum risk) are required to be registered with the EPA. Your pest control technician should provide information on each pesticide they plan to use. They should inform you whether these chemicals are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not, what safety precautions will be in place.
Nowadays, many companies are exploring greener and cleaner pest management that can be implemented before (or instead of) chemical pesticides. Many follow the practice of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which goes as follows:
- Identify problem pests and determine if immediate action is required.
- 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 if needed, and always along with other techniques for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and implement additional pest control as needed.