How To Choose a Pest Control Company
The first step is choosing the best pest control professional for the job. You might take into consideration a company's qualifications, treatment methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and service prices.
Below, we explore the details of each factor.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established minimum standards of competency for pesticide applicators, but licensing is handled at the state level. All pesticide applicators and their supervisors in Minnesota must be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
A pest control company can optionally apply for certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro to verify its standards and methods. One particular certification is the GreenPro Service Certification, which is awarded to any company that can demonstrate that its methods are more environmentally friendly. Companies that receive this certification also need to maintain certain training standards for employees.
There are certain professional organizations that pest control companies can be members of. Pest control companies can join state-level organizations in addition to national organizations like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). By being a member of these optional organizations, a company helps support its reputability and gains access to education, resources, and a network of other professionals to compare best practices with.
Professional Experience and Specialties
How long a company has been in business can shed some light on its experience dealing with various pests. Customer reviews or the company's own website can also enlighten you about whether it has the skills and experience needed to eliminate the particular pests that are plaguing you. If you cannot find the answers to your questions online, reaching out to the company directly is a great way to learn more.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look at a company's rating and reviews on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), check out social media and local review sites to see what others in your area have to say, or verify its license standing via the Minnesota licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
For many people, cost is one of the most important factors when looking for pest control services. Cost can be affected by factors like your location, the size of your house, and the type of pest being treated.
You can take into consideration whether a 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 your pest problem isn't fixed by its treatment, it will continue to treat until it is.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Safety is an important consideration when selecting a pest control provider. You might also prefer a provider who employs more natural, environmentally friendly methods.
You will want to understand the precautions for the pesticides used in your home, for the sake of you, your family, and your pets. Your pest control technician should be able to provide information about the pesticides they intend to use, whether they are low toxicity or non-toxic, and (if not) what safety measures will be in place. All pesticides (except minimum-risk ones) must be registered with the EPA.
Many companies have started making the switch to using more natural treatment methods before, or in place 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 determine whether immediate action is required.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Use a combination of mechanical, physical, biological, and cultural controls to manage the pest problem.
- Employ chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always along with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and provide additional pest control as needed.