How To Choose a Pest Control Company
There are several factors that you can weigh when choosing the best pest control company for you. The qualifications of and treatment methods used by a company are important to consider, as well as its years of experience and what other customers have said. Of course, you will also want to consider cost.
Below, we explore the details of 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 those that supervise them need to be licensed at the state level. The EPA sets 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?
Obtaining additional optional certifications can help demonstrate that a pest control company is reputable. One example is the GreenPro Service Certification. To earn this certification, a company must show that its methods are more environmentally friendly and that its employee training is up to date. Other certifications can be obtained through trade organizations like QualityPro.
A pest control company can also belong to certain professional organizations. While not required, membership in organizations such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations help demonstrate a company's reputability. After joining an organization like the NPMA, a company receives access to education, resources, and a network of professionals with whom to compare best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
How long a company has been in business can tell you something about its experience dealing with the pests that live in St. Paul. Online reviews or the company's website itself can also help you figure out whether it has the experience necessary to deal with your particular pests. If you can't find the information you need online, reaching out to the company directly is an easy way to learn more.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look up a company's reviews and rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), check out social media and local review sites to see what homeowners near you think, or verify its license standing via the Minnesota licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Things like the size of your house, your location, the type of pest being treated, and other factors can all affect the cost of pest control.
You can look into whether a company provides free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget) and what sort of guarantees it offers. Often, a company will guarantee that if it does not resolve your pest problem, it will keep coming back until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
When it comes to choosing a pest control provider, you want to select one that will keep you, your family, and your pets safe. You might also prefer a provider that is environmentally-conscious.
Be sure to ask your pest control technician if they plan to use low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides, and if not, ask what precautionary measures they plan to use. Any pesticide that poses greater than minimum risk needs to be registered with the EPA. Your pest technician should be able to supply information about all pesticides used, and how safe they are around people and pets.
Pest professionals looking to reduce their use of chemical pesticides often follow practices such as Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Using IPM involves a series of steps:
- Identify problem pests and assess whether immediate action is required.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of biological, cultural, mechanical, and physical controls.
- Employ chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always in combination with other techniques for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and implement additional pest control as needed.