How To Choose a Pest Control Company
The first step is choosing the right pest control company for the job. You may consider a company's qualifications and treatment methods in addition to its customer reviews and years of experience. Of course, there is also the cost of services to consider.
Below, we explore the details of 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 competency standards, and the Massachusetts regulatory agencies take care of 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. To earn this certification, a pest control company needs to both show that its practices are more environmentally friendly and uphold certain technician training standards. Companies can also obtain other certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro to further back up their work.
A pest control company can also hold membership in various professional organizations. Companies can belong to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), or state-level organizations. NPMA membership gives companies access to education, resources, and a network of other pest professionals. While not required, membership in professional organizations helps back up a company's reputability.
Professional Experience and Specialties
How long a company has been in business can tell you something about its experience dealing with the pests that live in Waltham. Customer reviews or the company's own website can also help you figure out whether it has the experience needed to eliminate the particular pests that are plaguing you. If you can't find the information you need online, calling a representative is a great way to learn about the company's areas of expertise.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can check a company's reputation using the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and local review sites or social media. You can also check with Massachusetts' licensing board to see the status of a company's license.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
For many people, cost is one of the main deciding factors when looking for pest control services. Cost can be affected by factors like the size of your house, your location, and the type of pest being treated.
You can consider 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 influenced by how environmentally friendly a company's practices are, in addition to how safe its methods are around your family and pets.
Be sure to ask your pest control provider if they plan to use low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides, and if not, what precautionary measures they plan to take. Any pesticides that are not minimum-risk chemicals must be registered with the EPA. Your pest technician will be able to provide information about all of the pesticides they plan on using.
Organizations looking to reduce their use of 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.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Use a combination of biological, cultural, mechanical, and physical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Employ chemical controls only when required, and always in combination with other techniques for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and implement additional pest control as needed.