How To Choose a Pest Control Company
The most important step is hiring the best pest control company for the job. You may consider a company's qualifications and treatment methods in addition to its customer reviews and years of experience. Of course, there is also the cost of services to consider.
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) 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 obtain optional certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations. While not required, they can help you evaluate the quality of a company's products. For example, the GreenPro Service Certification is given to companies that use comprehensive and effective pest control treatment that is safer for humans and the environment.
There are several professional organizations in which pest control companies can hold membership. Being a member of organizations such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations is not mandatory, but helps verify a company's reputability. 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
For the most part, a company will list information like specialities and years of experience on its website. Local reviews can also inform you as to whether a company has experience dealing with a specific pest. If you're unable to find the information you need online, you can reach out to the company directly to get your questions answered.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look up a company's rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), look for reviews on social media or local review sites, or check the standing of its license via the Michigan licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
For many people, cost is one of the main deciding factors when picking a company for pest control. Cost can be determined by factors like the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, and your location.
You can consider whether a particular company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget), and what sort of guarantees it provides. Often, a company will guarantee that if its treatment doesn't resolve your pest problem, it will continue to come back until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
When choosing a pest control provider, you want to choose a company that will help keep you, your family, and your pets safe. You'll likely also prefer an environmentally-conscious provider.
Your pest control provider 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, and if not what safety precautions will be in place to protect you, your family, and your pets. Pesticides that pose greater than a minimum risk are required to be registered with the EPA.
Nowadays, many companies are exploring cleaner and greener pest solutions that can be used before (or instead of) chemical pesticides. Many follow the practice of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which goes as follows:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and determine if immediate action is needed.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of physical, cultural, biological, and mechanical controls.
- Use chemical controls only if needed, and always with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and implement additional pest control as needed.