How To Choose a Pest Control Company
The first step is hiring the best pest control professional for the job. Factors you might consider include licensing and qualifications, treatment methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and cost.
Below, we explore the details of each of these factors.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets minimum standards of competency for pesticide applicators, but licensure is regulated at the state level. All pesticide applicators and their supervisors in Massachusetts need to be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
There are additional optional certifications that can help show 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 employees receive up-to-date training. Other certifications can be earned through QualityPro and similar trade organizations.
There are several professional organizations in which pest control companies can hold membership. 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. The NPMA gives companies access to education, resources, and a network of other professionals with whom to discuss methods and practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Looking at how long a company has been in business can help determine how much experience it has dealing with various pests. You can also look at its website or read customer reviews to decide whether it has the right kind of experience handling the type of pests you are dealing with. If you cannot find this information online, calling the company directly is a great way to learn more.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can check a company's Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, browse reviews on local review sites or social media, or check the standing of its license via the Massachusetts licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
It's important to think about cost when hiring a pest control company. Cost can be affected influenced by the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, your location, and other factors.
Many companies offer free on-site estimates as part 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 if your pest problem is not solved by the initial treatment, it will continue returning until it is.
Safety and Treatment Methods
When it comes to picking a pest control provider, you want to choose one that will help keep you, your family, and your pets safe. You may also prefer an environmentally-conscious provider.
Be sure to ask your pest control provider if the chemicals they're using are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not, what precautionary measures they are going to use. Any pesticides that are not minimum-risk chemicals should be registered with the EPA. Your pest control provider should be able to provide you with information about all pesticides they plan to use.
Pest professionals looking to reduce their reliance on chemical pesticides often implement procedures such as Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Using IPM involves a series of steps:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and assess whether immediate action is needed.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of mechanical, physical, biological, and cultural controls.
- Use chemical controls only when required, and always in combination with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and provide additional pest control as needed.