How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When selecting a pest control company, there are a number of factors you can consider to be sure you choose the best one for you. 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 are like. Finally, you'll likely want to look at the cost of services.
Below, we dive into detail on each of these factors.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
All pesticide applicators, as well as those that supervise them, need to be licensed via the appropriate Michigan regulatory agencies. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established minimum standards of competency, while issuing, maintaining, and revoking licensing is handled at the state level.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies can earn the GreenPro Service Certification, which requires that a company show that its practices are more environmentally friendly and that its employee training is up to date. Trade organizations such as QualityPro offer other certifications. While not required, these can help show that a company is reputable.
Pest control companies can also join various professional organizations. Holding membership in organizations like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations is not mandatory, but helps verify a company's reputability. When a pest control company joins the NPMA, it gains access to education, resources, and a network of pest professionals with whom to discuss practices and methods.
Professional Experience and Specialties
In general, a company displays information like its years of experience and specialities on its website. Online reviews can also tell you whether a company has experience dealing with a particular pest in your area. If you can't get the information you need online, you can speak with a company representative directly to get your questions answered.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can verify a company's legitimacy using the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and local review sites or social media. You can also check with Michigan's licensing board to see the status of a company's license.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
For many people, cost is one of the most important factors when hiring for pest control services. Cost can be affected by factors like your location, the type of pest being treated, and the size of your house.
You can look into whether a particular company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits your budget), and what sort of guarantees are provided. Often, a company will guarantee that if your pest problem isn't fixed by its treatment, it will continue to treat until it is.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your preferences regarding safety for yourself, your children, your pets, and the environment might affect the provider and the treatment methods you choose.
Ask your pest control technician if they plan to use low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides, and if not, ask what precautionary measures they plan to use. Any pesticide that has been deemed above minimum risk needs to be registered with the EPA. Your pest control company should be able to provide information about all of the pesticides used, as well as how safe they are around people and pets.
Companies often begin with more environmentally friendly options before employing pesticides, following a framework called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). When using IPM, the following steps are taken:
- Identify problem pests and assess whether immediate action is needed.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Use a combination of biological, cultural, mechanical, and physical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Employ chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always in combination with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and provide additional pest control as needed.