How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When choosing a pest control company, you want to make sure that you find the right one to meet your needs. Along with a company's qualifications and treatment methods, you might also look into how long it has been in business and what the reviews look like. Last but not least, you'll likely want to consider the cost of services.
Below, we discuss each of these factors in more detail.
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 licensed at the state level. The EPA has established minimum competency standards, and the Michigan regulatory agencies take care of the granting, maintaining, and revoking of licenses.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
A pest control company can optionally apply for additional certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations to verify its methods and standards. One particular certification is the GreenPro Service Certification, which is granted to any company that can demonstrate that its methods are more environmentally friendly. These companies also need to maintain certain training standards for employees.
Pest control companies can also hold membership in professional organizations. Becoming a member of an organization like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or a state-level organization gives companies access to education and resources, plus a network of professionals with whom to compare best practices. Joining organizations like these is not required, but it can help indicate that a company follows industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
A company's years in business can indicate how much experience it has handling various pests. You can also look at its website or peruse customer reviews to decide whether it has the right kind of experience handling the type of pests you are dealing with. If this information can't be found online, speaking with a company representative is a good way to learn more.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can read reviews and recommendations on local review sites or social media, view a company's Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, or check the status of its license through the Michigan licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is often a deciding factor when picking a pest control company. Cost may be determined by the size of your house, your location, the type of pest being treated, and other factors.
Certain pest control companies offer a free on-site estimate to help you match services to your budget. You can also check to see if it offers a guarantee of satisfaction.
Safety and Treatment Methods
When picking a pest control provider, you want to choose one that will help keep you, your family, and your pets safe. You'll likely also prefer an environmentally-conscious provider.
Be sure to ask your pest control provider if they plan to use low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides—if not, ask about what precautionary measures will be in place. Any pesticide that poses greater than minimum risk needs to be registered with the EPA. Your pest control company should be able to supply information about all of the pesticides to be used, in addition to how safe they are around people and pets.
You can ask if your technician will start with lower-toxicity, more natural options before using harsher chemicals.
Many companies have started to use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to treat pest infestations with minimal personal or environmental risk. The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and determine whether immediate action is needed.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Use a combination of physical, cultural, biological, and mechanical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Use chemical controls only when required, and always in combination with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and implement additional pest control as needed.