How To Choose a Pest Control Company
There are several factors you can weigh when choosing the best pest control company for you. You may consider a company's qualifications, treatment methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and cost of services.
Below, we dive into detail on each factor.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set minimum competency standards for pesticide applicators, but licensing is taken care of at the state level. All pesticide applicators and their supervisors in Missouri must be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Obtaining additional optional certifications can help show that a pest control company is reputable. One of these is the GreenPro Service Certification. For this certification, a company must prove that its methods are more environmentally friendly and that its employees receive up-to-date training. Additional certifications can be earned through trade organizations like QualityPro.
A pest control company can also hold membership in various professional organizations. While not mandatory, membership in organizations such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations help verify a company's reputability. Organizations like the NPMA provide access to resources, education, and a network of other professionals with whom to compare best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Generally, a company provides information like its specialities and years of experience on its website. Online reviews can also help you figure out if a company has experience dealing with a specific pest. If you can't get the information you need online, you can call the company directly to get the answers to your questions.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look up a company's reviews and rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), read social media and local review sites to hear what others in your area have to say, or verify its license standing through the Missouri licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
For many people, cost is one of the most important factors when looking for pest control. Cost can be influenced by factors like the type of pest being treated, your location, and the size of your house.
You can look into whether a specific company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget), and what kind 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
Your choice of pest control provider might be influenced by how environmentally-friendly a company's practices are, as well as how safe its methods are around your family and pets.
Your pest control technician should be able to explain the safety precautions of all pesticides that will be used in your home. They should be able to answer questions as to whether the pesticides are low toxicity or non-toxic; if they are not, they should explain what safety precautions will be in place to protect your family, your pets, and you. Pesticides that pose greater than a minimum risk need to be registered with the EPA.
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 needed.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Use a combination of physical, cultural, biological, and mechanical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Use chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always in combination with other techniques for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and continue with additional pest control as needed.