How To Choose a Pest Control Company
Choosing the best pest control company for you is key. Factors you might consider include qualifications and licensing, treatment methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and cost.
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, should be licensed via the appropriate Minnesota regulatory agencies. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets minimum standards of competency, but issuing, maintaining, and revoking licensure is handled at the state level.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
There are additional optional certifications that can help show that a pest control company is reputable. One of these is the GreenPro Service Certification. To receive this certification, a company must show that its methods are more environmentally friendly and that its employee training is up to date. Other various certifications can be obtained through trade organizations like QualityPro.
Pest control companies can also become members of professional organizations. While not mandatory, membership in organizations such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations help demonstrate a company's reputability. In the NPMA and other organizations, pest control companies have access to education, resources, and a network of professionals with whom to discuss best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
A company's years in business can indicate how much experience it has taking care of pests in your area. You can also browse its website or peruse customer reviews to determine whether it has adequate experience with the species of pests you are dealing with. If you cannot find this information online, speaking with a company representative is a great way to learn more.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can browse reviews and recommendations on local review sites or social media, view a company's Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, or check the status of its license through the Minnesota licensing board.
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 considering the cost of services, you should confirm whether a company provides free on-site estimates as part of its services. This can help determine whether the company fits into your budget. Also take into account what guarantees a company offers: If the problem is not resolved, or if it returns, does the company provide additional treatments until the problem is satisfactorily handled?
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your choice of pest control company might be affected by how environmentally friendly a company's practices are, in addition to how safe its methods are around your family and pets.
You will want to understand the precautions for the pesticides used in your home, for the sake of your family, your pets, and yourself. Your pest control technician should be capable of providing information about all pesticides they plan on using, whether they are low toxicity or non-toxic, and (if not) what safety measures will be used. All pesticides (except minimum-risk ones) need to be registered with the EPA.
Nowadays, many companies are exploring cleaner and greener pest solutions that can be used before (or in place of) chemical pesticides. Many are following the practice of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which goes as follows:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and determine whether immediate action is needed.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of physical, cultural, biological, and mechanical controls.
- Employ chemical controls only when required, and always in combination with other solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and provide additional pest control as needed.