How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When hiring a pest control company, there are several factors you can consider to make sure that you're choosing the right one for you. In addition to a company's qualifications and treatment methods, you may also consider how long it has been in business and what the reviews look like. Finally, 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 any pesticide applicators working in Michigan must be licensed via the necessary state regulatory agencies.
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 support 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. These companies also need to maintain certain employee training standards.
Pest control companies can also hold membership in various professional organizations. Becoming a member of an organization like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or a state-level organization grants a pest control company access to resources and education, and a professional network to compare best practices with. Membership in one of these organizations is not mandatory, but it can help show that a company follows industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
You can get some insight into a company's level of pest management experience by finding out how long it has been in business. Local reviews and the company's own website can also tell you whether a company has experience dealing with the specific species of pests that are afflicting your home. You can call the company directly to learn this information if you can't find it online.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look at a company's reviews and rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), check out local review sites and social media to hear what other people are saying, or verify its license standing through the Michigan licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is an important consideration when picking 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.
A pest control company may offer a free on-site estimate to help you decide if it fits into your budget. You can also check to see if it offers a guarantee of satisfaction.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your choice of pest control provider might be affected by how environmentally friendly a company's practices are, as well as how safe its methods are around your family and pets.
Ask your pest control technician if they plan to use low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides, and if not, what sort of precautionary measures they plan to take. All pesticides that are not considered minimum-risk chemicals need to be registered with the EPA. Your pest technician should be able to supply you with information about all chemicals that they plan to use.
You can ask if your technician will start with lower-toxicity, more natural options before employing harsher chemicals.
Many companies have begun to use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to treat pest infestations with minimal personal or environmental risk. The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and determine whether immediate action is required.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of biological, cultural, mechanical, and physical 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.