How To Choose a Pest Control Company
There are several factors that you can consider when choosing the best pest control company for you. You may take into consideration a company's qualifications, methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and price of services.
Below, we dive into detail on each factor.
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 their supervisors must be licensed at the state level. The EPA has established minimum standards of competency, and the Massachusetts regulatory agencies take care of the granting, maintaining, and revoking of licenses.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies can optionally obtain certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations. These certifications can help you assess 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 people and the environment.
Pest control companies can also become members of professional organizations. A pest control company can join state-level organizations in addition to national organizations like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). While not mandatory, membership in these organizations helps prove a company's reputability and gives it access to resources, education, and a network of other professionals to compare best practices with.
Professional Experience and Specialties
A company's years in business can indicate how much experience it has handling various pests. You can also browse its website or peruse customer reviews to figure out whether it has experience eliminating the type of pests you are struggling with. If this information can't be found online, calling the company directly is a good way to learn more.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can verify a company's legitimacy using social media or local review sites 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
The cost of pest control can vary based on things like the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, your location, and other factors.
When thinking about the cost of services, you should first look into whether a company offers free on-site estimates as part of its services. This can help determine whether the company fits into your budget. Also take into account what guarantees a company offers: If the problem is not resolved, or returns, will the company provide additional treatments until the issue is handled satisfactorily?
Safety and Treatment Methods
Keeping yourself, your family and your pets safe is an important consideration when choosing a pest control provider. You may also prefer a provider that uses environmentally friendly methods.
Your pest control provider should be able to explain the safety precautions of any and all pesticides they plan to use. They should be able to clarify whether the pesticides are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not what safety precautions will be in place to protect you, your family, and your pets. All pesticides that pose more than a minimum risk need to be registered with the EPA.
Many companies are now trialing options for more environmentally friendly pest control techniques before relying on harsh pesticides.
One popular way of making pest control safer and greener is Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and determine if immediate action is required.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of mechanical, cultural, biological, and physical controls.
- Employ chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always in combination with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and implement additional pest control as needed.