How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When choosing a pest control company, there are a number of factors that you can consider to be sure you choose the best one for you. You might consider a company's qualifications and treatment methods in addition to 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 those that supervise them are required 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?
A pest control company can obtain optional certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro in order to back up its standards and methods. One particular certification is the GreenPro Service Certification, which is awarded to any company that can demonstrate that its methods are more environmentally friendly. A company that receives this certification also needs to maintain certain training standards for employees.
Pest control companies can also hold membership in various professional organizations. A pest control company can obtain membership in both state-level organizations and national organizations like 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 other professionals to compare best practices with.
Professional Experience and Specialties
A company's website can tell you how long it has been in operation and what kind of pests it specializes in exterminating. Local reviews can also provide some insight into a company's experience dealing with a certain type of pest. If you can't find this information online, you can try contacting the company directly.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can verify a company's legitimacy using local review sites or social media as well as the Better Business Bureau (BBB). You can also check with Michigan's licensing board to see the status of a company's license.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is often a deciding factor when choosing a pest control company. Cost may be determined by your location, the size of your house, the type of pest being treated, and other factors.
Certain pest control companies offer a free on-site estimate to help you determine if it fits into your budget. You can also look at whether it offers a satisfaction guarantee.
Safety and Treatment Methods
When it comes to 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.
It's important to understand the precautions around pesticides being used in your house, for the sake of your family, your pets, and yourself. Your pest control technician should be capable of providing information about the pesticides they will be using, whether they are low toxicity or non-toxic, and (if not) what safety measures they plan to take. All pesticides (except minimum-risk ones) must be registered with the EPA.
Many companies are using options for more environmentally friendly methods of pest control before moving to harsh pesticides.
One common method for making pest control safer and greener is Integrated Pest Management (IPM). 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.
- Use a combination of mechanical, cultural, biological, and physical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Employ chemical controls only if needed, and always along with other techniques for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and continue with additional pest control as needed.