How To Choose a Pest Control Company
There are several factors you can weigh when choosing the right pest control company for you. Factors you might consider include qualifications and licensing, treatment methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and cost.
Below, we dive into detail on each of these factors.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
All pesticide applicators, as well as those that supervise them, must be licensed via the appropriate Massachusetts regulatory agencies. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets minimum standards of competency, while issuing, maintaining, and revoking licensing is handled at the state level.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
There are additional optional certifications that can help demonstrate that a pest control company is reputable. One of these is the GreenPro Service Certification. To obtain this certification, a company must show that its methods are more environmentally friendly and that its employee training is up to date. Other certifications can be earned through trade organizations like QualityPro.
A pest control company can also obtain membership in professional organizations. A pest control company can join both state-level organizations and 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 other professionals with whom to compare best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
You can get some insight into a company's experience level by looking at how long it has been in operation. The company's website and local reviews can also tell you whether a company has experience dealing with the specific species of pests that are afflicting your home. You can always call the company directly to learn this information if it is not available online.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can check a company's reputation 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 picking a pest control company. Cost may be determined by the size of your house, your location, the type of pest being treated, 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
Your choice of pest control company might be influenced by how environmentally friendly a company's practices are, in addition to how safe its methods are around your family and pets.
You will want to understand the precautions around pesticides used around your home, for the sake of your family, your pets, and yourself. Your pest control technician should be able to supply information about the pesticides they plan to use, whether they are low toxicity or non-toxic, and (if not) what safety measures they have in place. All pesticides (except minimum-risk ones) must be registered with the EPA.
You can ask if your technician will begin with more natural and lower-toxicity options before moving on to harsher chemicals.
Many companies are now using Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to reduce personal or environmental risk when treating pest infestations. The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and assess whether immediate action is required.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Use a combination of mechanical, cultural, biological, and physical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Employ chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always in combination with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and implement additional pest control as needed.