How To Choose a Pest Control Company
Choosing the best pest control company for you is important. The qualifications of and treatment methods used by a company are important to consider, as are its years of experience and what other customers have said. Of course, you will also want to consider cost.
Below, we dive into detail on each of these factors.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), all pesticide applicators and their supervisors must be licensed at the state level. The EPA has established minimum competency standards, and the Minnesota regulatory agencies handle the issuing, maintaining, and revoking of licenses.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies can optionally obtain certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro. While not required, they can help you assess the quality of a company's products. For example, the GreenPro Service Certification is given to companies that use comprehensive and effective pest control methods that are safer for humans and the environment.
A pest control company can also hold membership in certain professional organizations. Companies can obtain membership in the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), or state-level organizations. Membership in the NPMA gives companies access to education, resources, and a network of other pest professionals. While not mandatory, membership in professional organizations helps demonstrate a company's reputability.
Professional Experience and Specialties
You can gain some insight into a company's level of pest management experience by finding out how many years it has been in business. The company's website and local reviews can also clue you in as to whether a certain company has the experience needed to deal with the specific species of pests that are afflicting your home. You can contact a representative directly to learn this information if it is not available online.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can verify a company's legitimacy using local review sites or social media as well as the Better Business Bureau (BBB). You can also check with Minnesota'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 main deciding factors when hiring for pest control services. Cost can be influenced by factors like the size of your house, the type of pest being treated, and your location.
You can think about whether a company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget), and what kind of guarantees it provides. 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, any children or pets, and the environment might affect which provider and treatment methods you choose.
You will want to understand the precautions around pesticides being used around your home, for the sake of your family, your pets, and yourself. Your pest control technician should supply information about the pesticides they plan on using, whether they are low toxicity or non-toxic, and (if not) what safety measures they plan to take. All pesticides (except minimum-risk ones) should be registered with the EPA.
Many companies have started offering options for more environmentally friendly pest control techniques before moving to harsh pesticides.
One popular way of making pest control safer and greener is Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify problem pests and determine whether 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.
- Employ chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always with other techniques for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and continue with additional pest control as needed.