How To Choose a Pest Control Company
Choosing the best pest control company for you is important. Some things 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?
All pesticide applicators, as well as those that supervise them, should be licensed via the appropriate Michigan regulatory agencies. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established minimum standards of competency, while issuing, maintaining, and revoking licensure is handled at the state level.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies can optionally obtain additional certifications like the GreenPro Service Certification. This certification is granted once a company has shown its methods to be more environmentally friendly and demonstrated that it also holds itself up to certain other standards, such as up-to-date training for employees. A pest control company can also earn other certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations to further verify its methods and practices.
Pest control companies can also belong to various professional organizations. While not mandatory, membership in organizations like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations help show a company's reputability. In the NPMA and other organizations, pest control companies have access to resources, education, and a network of other professionals with whom to share best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
You can look at a company's years in business to help determine how much experience it has handling pests in your area. You can also browse its website or read customer reviews to decide whether it has the right kind of experience handling the type of pests you are struggling with. If you cannot find this information online, getting in touch with a company representative is a great way to learn more.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can verify a company's legitimacy using the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and social media or local review sites. You can also check with Michigan's licensing board to verify the status of a company's license.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Things like the size of your house, the type of pest being treated, your location, and other factors can all influence the price of pest control.
You can look into whether a company provides free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget) and what kind of guarantees it offers. Often, a company will guarantee that if it does not resolve your pest problem, it will keep coming back until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
It's important to consider safety when choosing a pest control provider, and you might prefer a provider who employs more natural, environmentally friendly methods.
It's important to understand the precautions around pesticides being used in your house, for the sake of your family, your pets, and yourself. Your pest control provider should be able to provide information about the pesticides they plan on using, whether they are low toxicity or non-toxic, and (if not) what safety measures they have in place. All pesticides (except minimum-risk ones) should be registered with the EPA.
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 if immediate action is required.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Use a combination of physical, cultural, biological, and mechanical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Employ chemical controls only if needed, and always with other solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and implement additional pest control as needed.