How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When picking a pest control company, you want to be sure to find the best one for you. The qualifications of and treatment methods used by a company are important to consider, as well as its years of experience and what other customers have said. Of course, you will also want to think about 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) has established minimum standards of competency, but issuing, maintaining, and revoking licensing is handled at the state level.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies can earn the GreenPro Service Certification, which requires a company to show that its practices are environmentally friendly and that its employees receive up-to-date training. Trade organizations such as QualityPro offer additional certifications. While not required, these can help show that a company is reputable.
There are certain professional organizations that a pest control company can be a member of. When a company becomes a member of an organization like the National Pest Management Association(NPMA) (or a state-level organization), it receives access to education, resources, and a network of other pest control experts with whom to compare treatment methods. This can give you extra peace of mind that a company follows industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
The amount of time that a company has been in business can give you some insight into its experience dealing with the pests that live in Salem. Customer reviews or the company's website itself can also help you figure out whether it has the experience needed to handle your specific pest problem. If you can't find the information you need online, contacting the company directly is an excellent way to learn about its areas of expertise.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look for reviews and recommendations on local review sites or social media, view a company's Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, or check its licensure status through the Massachusetts licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
For many people, cost is one of the main deciding factors when hiring for pest control services. Cost can be influenced by factors like your location, the size of your house, and the type of pest being treated.
You can take into consideration whether a specific company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget), and what sort of guarantees are provided. Often, a company will guarantee that if its treatment doesn't resolve your pest problem, it will continue to come back until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your choice of pest control provider might be affected by how environmentally friendly a company's practices are, as well as how safe its methods are around your family and pets.
Ask your pest control technician if they plan to use low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides, and if not, ask about what precautionary measures they plan to use. Any pesticide that presents above a minimum risk must be registered with the EPA. Your pest control company should be able to supply information about all pesticides that will be used in your home, and how safe they are around people and pets.
Companies often start with more environmentally friendly options before employing harsh pesticides, following a framework called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). When using IPM, the following steps are taken:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and determine whether immediate action is needed.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of mechanical, physical, biological, and cultural controls.
- Employ chemical controls only when required, and always in combination with other techniques for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and continue with additional pest control as needed.