How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When choosing a pest control company, you want to find the right one to meet your needs. You might take into consideration a company's qualifications, treatment methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and cost of services.
Below, we dive into detail on each factor.
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 their supervisors are required to be certified at the state level. The EPA does set minimum standards of competency, but all Michigan pesticide applicators should be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies also have the option to obtain additional certifications such as the GreenPro Service Certification. This certification is given 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 employee training. A company can also earn other certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro to further verify its methods and practices.
Pest control companies can also belong to professional organizations. When a company becomes a member of an organization like the National Pest Management Association(NPMA) (or a state-level organization), it receives access to resources, education, and a network of other pest control experts with whom to compare methods. This can offer additional peace of mind that a company is following industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Looking at a company's website can tell you how many years it has been in business and what kind of pests it specializes in exterminating. Online reviews can also provide some insight into a company's experience dealing with a specific pest. If this information isn't available online, you can try calling the company directly.
Reviews and Recommendations
Resources you can use to check a company's reputation include the Better Business Bureau (BBB), social media, and local review sites. You can also confirm the status of a company's license through the Michigan licensing board.
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 affect the cost of pest control.
You can learn whether a company provides free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget), as well as what kind of guarantees it has. Often, a company will provide a 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 deciding on a pest control provider. You might also prefer a provider who uses more natural, environmentally friendly methods.
Your pest technician should use low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides any time they can. If any pesticides they intend to use don't fall into one of these categories, your technician should explain what safety precautions they plan to use to protect your family, your pets, and you. Any pesticides that pose more than a minimum risk need to be registered with the EPA.
Many companies will start with more environmentally friendly options before employing pesticides, using a technique called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). When using IPM, the following steps are taken:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and assess whether immediate action is required.
- 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 if needed, and always in combination with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and continue with additional pest control as needed.