How To Choose a Pest Control Company
Hiring the right company for you is the most important step in the pest control process. In addition to a company's qualifications and treatment methods, you might also look into how long it has been in business and what the reviews look like. Last but not least, you'll likely want to look at the cost of services.
Below, we dive into detail on each of these factors.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
Per the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), all pesticide applicators and their supervisors must be licensed at the state level. The EPA sets minimum standards of competency, and the Massachusetts regulatory agencies handle the granting, maintaining, and revoking of licenses.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
One optional certification that may be worth looking for is the GreenPro Service Certification. In order to receive this certification, a pest control company must both demonstrate that its practices are more environmentally friendly and maintain certain technician training standards. Companies can earn other certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations to further support their work.
Pest control companies can also belong to certain professional organizations. When a company becomes a member of an organization such as the National Pest Management Association(NPMA) (or a state-level organization), it gains access to resources, education, and a network of other pest professionals with whom to compare treatment methods. This can give you added peace of mind that a company follows industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
In general, a company displays information like specialities and years of experience on its website. Local reviews can also help you figure out if a company has experience dealing with a particular pest in your area. If you're unable to find the information you need online, you can contact a company representative directly to get your questions answered.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look for reviews and recommendations on social media or local review sites, view a company's Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, or check the status of its license through the Massachusetts licensing board.
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 decide if it fits into your budget. You can also see if it offers a satisfaction guarantee.
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 one that uses environmentally friendly methods.
You can ask your pest control technician if they plan to use low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides—if not, ask about what precautionary measures will be in place. Any pesticide that presents above a minimum risk should be registered with the EPA. Your pest technician should be able to supply information about all pesticides to be used, and how safe they are around people and pets.
It is now common for companies to start with more environmentally friendly options before using harsh pesticides, following a framework called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). When using IPM, the following steps are taken:
- Identify problem pests and assess whether immediate action is required.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of physical, biological, mechanical, and cultural controls.
- Use chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and continue with additional pest control as needed.