How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When selecting a pest control company, there are a number of things you can consider to make sure you choose the best one for you. You might consider a company's qualifications and treatment methods as well as its customer reviews and years of experience. And of course, there's the cost of services to consider.
Below, we discuss each of these factors in more detail.
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 need to be certified at the state level. The EPA sets minimum standards of competency, but all Michigan pesticide applicators must be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
An optional certification that may be worth looking for is the GreenPro Service Certification. To get this certification, a pest control company must both demonstrate that its practices are more environmentally friendly and uphold certain training standards for its technicians. Companies can earn other certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations to further back up their work.
Pest control companies can also become members of professional organizations. Companies can obtain membership in the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), or state-level organizations. Membership in the NPMA provides companies with access to resources, education, and a network of other pest professionals. While not required, membership in professional organizations helps demonstrate a company's reputability.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Typically, a company will list information like its years of experience and specialities on its website. Local reviews can also tell you whether a company has experience dealing with a particular pest in your area. If you can't get the information you need online, you can contact a company representative directly to get your questions answered.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can browse reviews and recommendations on social media or local review sites, verify a company's Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, 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 your location, the size of your house, the type of pest being treated, and other factors.
Often, companies will offer free on-site estimates as part of their process, to help you determine whether it fits into your budget. You can also ask whether a company offers a satisfaction guarantees, meaning that it will continue to treat your pest problem until it is solved.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your preferences regarding safety for yourself, any children or pets, and the environment can affect which provider and treatment methods you choose.
Be sure to ask your pest control provider if they are going to use low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides, and if not, ask what precautionary measures they will take. Any pesticide that presents above a minimum risk needs to be registered with the EPA. Your pest technician should be able to supply information about all pesticides used, in addition to how safe they are around people and pets.
You can ask if your technician will begin with more natural and lower-toxicity options before moving on to harsher chemicals.
Many companies have begun to use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to eliminate pests while reducing personal and environmental risks. The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and determine if immediate action is required.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of mechanical, physical, biological, and cultural controls.
- Use chemical controls only when required, and always in combination with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and provide additional pest control as needed.