How To Choose a Pest Control Company
Hiring the right company for you is the most important step in the pest control process. The qualifications of and treatment methods used by a company are important to consider, as well as its years of experience and reputation in customer reviews. Of course, you will also want to consider cost.
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 that supervise them) need to be certified at the state level. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established minimum standards of competency, but any 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?
Pest control companies can earn the GreenPro Service Certification, which requires a company to show that its practices are environmentally friendly and that its employees receive up-to-date training. QualityPro and similar trade organizations also offer additional certifications. These are not required, but can help demonstrate that a company is reputable.
Pest control companies can also join various professional organizations. Being a member of organizations such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations is not required, but helps show that a company is reputable. Membership in the NPMA gives companies access to education, resources, and a network of professionals with whom to discuss methods and practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Looking at a company's website can tell you how long it has been in business and what kind of pests it specializes in exterminating. Local reviews can also give you some insight into a company's experience dealing with a certain type of pest. If you're unable to find this information online, you can try reaching out to the company directly.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can check a company's reputation using the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and social media or local review sites. You can also check with Michigan's licensing board to verify the status of a company's license.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
The cost of pest control can vary based on things like the size of your house, the type of pest being treated, your location, and other factors.
When thinking about the cost of services, you should try to determine whether a company provides free on-site estimates as part of its process. This can inform you 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 problem is resolved satisfactorily?
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your choice of pest control company might be affected by how environmentally friendly a provider's practices are, as well as how safe its methods are around your family and pets.
Your pest control technician should be able to discuss the safety of the pesticides that will be used in your home. They should be able to clarify whether the pesticides are low toxicity or non-toxic; if they are not, they should explain what safety precautions they plan to use to protect you, your family, and your pets. Pesticides that pose greater than a minimum risk should be registered with the EPA.
Many companies are making the switch to using more natural treatment methods before, or instead of, harsh chemical pesticides. Some use a program called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). 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 absolutely necessary, and always along with other solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and provide additional pest control as needed.