How To Choose a Pest Control Company
The most important step in the pest control process is hiring the right company for you. A company's qualifications and treatment methods are important to consider, as well as its years of experience and reputation in customer reviews. Of course, you will also want to think about cost.
Below, we discuss each of these factors in more detail.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
All pesticide applicators, as well as those that supervise them, should be licensed via the appropriate Massachusetts regulatory agencies. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets minimum standards of competency, while providing, maintaining, and revoking licensing is handled at the state level.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies also have the option to obtain additional certifications like the GreenPro Service Certification. This certification is granted once a company has proven that its treatment methods are more environmentally friendly and demonstrated that it also maintains certain other standards, such as up-to-date employee training. A company can also earn other certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro to further back up its practices and methods.
There are various professional organizations that a pest control company can belong to. Joining an organization such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or a state-level organization gives companies access to education and resources, and a professional network to compare best practices with. Belonging to organizations like these is not required, but it can help indicate that a company follows industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
How long a company has been in business can give you some insight into its experience dealing with the pests that live in Somerville. Online reviews or the company's own website can also help you figure out whether it has the skills and experience needed to handle your specific pest problem. If you cannot find the answers to your questions online, reaching out to the company directly is an excellent way to learn more.
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 confirm the status of a company's license via the Massachusetts licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
It's important to think about cost when hiring someone for pest control. Cost can be affected influenced by your location, the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, and other factors.
Many companies offer free on-site estimates at the beginning of their process, to help you determine whether it fits into your budget. You can also ask whether a company offers a satisfaction guarantees, meaning that if your pest problem is not solved by the initial treatment, it will continue returning until it is.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Safety is an important consideration when selecting a pest control provider, and you might prefer a provider who employs more natural, environmentally friendly methods.
Ask your pest control technician if they are going to use low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides, and if not, ask about what precautionary measures will be in place. Any pesticide that has been deemed above minimum risk must be registered with the EPA. Your pest control company should provide information about all of the pesticides that will be used in your home, in addition to how safe they are around people and pets.
You can ask if your technician will begin with lower-toxicity, more natural options before employing harsher chemicals.
Many companies are now using Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to treat pest infestations with minimal personal or environmental risk. The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and assess whether immediate action is needed.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Use a combination of mechanical, physical, biological, and cultural controls to manage the pest problem.
- Use chemical controls only when required, and always with other solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and continue with additional pest control as needed.