How To Choose a Pest Control Company
Hiring the best company for you is the most important step in the pest control process. You may take into consideration a company's qualifications, methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and service prices.
Below, we dive into detail on each factor.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set minimum standards of competency for pesticide applicators, but licensing is regulated at the state level. All pesticide applicators and supervisors in Michigan need to be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
There are additional optional certifications that can help prove that a pest control company is reputable. One example is the GreenPro Service Certification. For this certification, a company must show that its methods are more environmentally friendly and that its employees receive up-to-date training. Additional certifications can be obtained through QualityPro and similar trade organizations.
There are several professional organizations that a pest control company can belong to. Becoming a member of an organization such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or a state-level organization grants a pest control company access to education and resources, plus a network of professionals with whom to compare best practices. Belonging to organizations like these is not mandatory, but it can help indicate that a company follows industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
You can gain some insight into a company's level of experience by finding out how many years it has been in business. The company's website and local reviews can also tell you whether the company has the experience needed to deal with the specific species of pests invading your home. You can always contact a representative directly to learn this information if you can't find it online.
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 check the status of a company's license through the Michigan licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is probably high on your list of priorities when hiring someone for pest control. Cost can be affected influenced by your location, the size of your house, the type of pest being treated, and other factors.
Often, companies will 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 provider offers a satisfaction guarantee, meaning that if your pest problem is not solved by the initial treatment, it will continue returning until it is.
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 a provider that employs environmentally friendly practices.
Your pest control provider should be able to explain the safety precautions of any and all pesticides that will be used in your home. They should be able to explain whether the pesticides are low toxicity or non-toxic; if they are not, they should explain what safety precautions they plan to use to protect your family, your pets, and you. All pesticides that pose more than a minimum risk must be registered with the EPA.
You can ask if your technician will begin with more natural and lower-toxicity options before employing harsher chemicals.
Many companies have begun to use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to reduce personal or environmental risk when treating pest infestations. The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and assess whether 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 in combination with other solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and provide additional pest control as needed.