How To Choose a Pest Control Company
It's important to choose the right pest control company for you. Along with a company's qualifications and treatment methods, you may also look into how long it has been in business and what the reviews look like. Finally, you'll likely want to look at the cost of services.
Below, we explore the details of each of these factors.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), all pesticide applicators and those that supervise them must be certified at the state level. The EPA does set minimum standards of competency, but all pesticide applicators in Michigan need to be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Obtaining additional optional certifications can help show that a pest control company is reputable. One of these is the GreenPro Service Certification. To obtain this certification, a company must prove that its methods are more environmentally friendly and that its employee training is up to date. Other various certifications can be obtained through trade organizations like QualityPro.
Pest control companies can also belong to professional organizations. Pest control companies can join both state-level organizations and national organizations such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). By being a member of these optional organizations, a company helps support its reputability and gains access to resources, education, and a network of professionals to compare best practices with.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Browsing a company's website can tell you how many years it has been in operation and what kind of pests it specializes in exterminating. Online reviews can also offer some insight into a company's experience dealing with a specific pest. If you're unable to find this information online, you can try calling the company directly.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look for reviews and recommendations on local review sites or social media, look up a company's rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), or check its licensure status through the Michigan licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is important when hiring someone for pest control. Cost can be affected influenced by the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, your location, and other factors.
Companies will often offer free on-site estimates before starting work, to help you determine whether it fits into your budget. You can also ask whether if your company has 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
Your preferences regarding safety for yourself, any children or pets, and the environment may affect the provider and the treatment methods you choose.
It's important to understand the precautions for the pesticides being used around your house, for the sake of you, your family, and your pets. Your pest control provider should be capable of providing information about the pesticides they plan to use, whether they are low toxicity or non-toxic, and (if not) what safety measures they have in place. All pesticides (except minimum-risk ones) must be registered with the EPA.
Nowadays, many companies are exploring cleaner and greener pest management that can be implemented before (or in place of) chemical pesticides. Many are following the practice of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which goes as follows:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and determine if immediate action is needed.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Use a combination of physical, biological, mechanical, and cultural controls to manage the pest problem.
- Employ chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always in combination with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and implement additional pest control as needed.