How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When picking a pest control company, you want to find the best one for you. You may take into consideration a company's qualifications, methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and price of services.
Below, we discuss each factor in more detail.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
Per the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), all pesticide applicators and those that supervise them must be licensed at the state level. The EPA has established minimum competency standards, and the Minnesota regulatory agencies handle the granting, maintaining, and revoking of licenses.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
A pest control company can optionally apply for additional certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro in order to verify its methods and standards. One particular certification is the GreenPro Service Certification, which is given when a company can demonstrate that its methods are more environmentally friendly. A company that receives this certification also needs to maintain certain training standards for employees.
Pest control companies can also obtain membership in professional organizations. A pest control company can obtain membership in state-level organizations as well as national organizations like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). While not mandatory, membership in these organizations helps prove a company's reputability and gives it access to education, resources, and a network of other professionals with whom to compare best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Browsing a company's website can tell you how many years it has been in business and what type of pests it specializes in exterminating. Local reviews can also offer some insight into a company's experience dealing with a certain type of pest. If this information isn't available online, you can try calling the company directly.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can read reviews and recommendations on social media or local review sites, view a company's rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), or check its licensure status through the Minnesota licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
For many people, cost is one of the main deciding factors when hiring for pest control services. Cost can be affected by factors like the size of your house, the type of pest being treated, and your location.
You can consider whether a specific company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in 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
When it comes to picking a pest control provider, you want to select one that will keep you, your family, and your pets safe. You'll likely also prefer a provider that is environmentally-conscious.
Your pest technician should be using pesticides that are low toxicity or non-toxic any time they can. If any pesticides they intend to use don't fall into one of these categories, your technician should explain what safety precautions they plan to use to protect you, your family, and your pets. All pesticides that pose more than a minimum risk are required to be registered with the EPA.
Many companies have started making the switch to using more natural treatment methods before, or instead of, harsh chemical pesticides. Some utilize a program called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and assess whether immediate action is required.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Use a combination of biological, cultural, physical, and mechanical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Employ chemical controls only if needed, and always in combination with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and implement additional pest control as needed.