How To Choose a Pest Control Company
Choosing the best pest control company for you is key. In addition to 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. Last but not least, 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?
All pesticide applicators (and those who supervise them) are required to be certified at the state level. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets minimum standards of competency, but all pesticide applicators working in the state of Michigan should be licensed via the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
There are additional optional certifications that can help show that a pest control company is reputable. One example is the GreenPro Service Certification. To receive this certification, a company must prove that its methods are more environmentally friendly and that its employees receive up-to-date training. Other certifications can be earned through trade organizations like QualityPro.
Pest control companies can also join various professional organizations. While not required, membership in organizations such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations help demonstrate a company's reputability. Organizations like the NPMA provide access to education, resources, and a network of professionals with whom to discuss best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
You can gain some insight into a company's level of pest management experience by looking into how many years it has been in operation. The company's website and local reviews can also let you know whether a certain company has experience dealing with the specific species of pests invading your home. You can always contact a representative directly to learn this information if it is not available online.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look up a company's Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, look for reviews on local review sites or social media, or check the standing of its license via the Michigan licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Pest control costs can vary based on things like the size of your house, your location, the type of pest being treated, and other factors.
When considering the cost of services, you should first look into whether a company offers free on-site estimates as part of its services. This can help determine whether the company fits into your budget. Also look into what guarantees a company offers: If the problem is not fixed, or returns, does the company promise to offer additional treatments until the issue is satisfactorily handled?
Safety and Treatment Methods
It's important to consider safety when choosing a pest control provider. You might also prefer a provider who uses more natural, environmentally friendly methods.
You want to ensure that you understand the precautions around pesticides used in your home, for the sake of you, your family, and your pets. Your pest control technician should be able to supply information about all pesticides they intend to use, whether they are low toxicity or non-toxic, and (if not) what safety measures will be in place. All pesticides (except minimum-risk ones) need to 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 way of making pest control safer and greener is Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify problem pests and assess whether immediate action is required.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Use a combination of physical, biological, mechanical, and cultural controls to manage the pest problem.
- Use chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always in combination with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and continue with additional pest control as needed.