How To Choose a Pest Control Company
There are several factors you can consider when choosing the best pest control company for you. You might take into consideration a company's qualifications, methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and service prices.
Below, we discuss each factor in more detail.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
While the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets the minimum competency standards for pesticide applicators, licensure is taken care of at the state level. All pesticide applicators (and those who supervise them) in Missouri need to be licensed by all the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
One certification that pest control companies can earn is the GreenPro Service Certification, which requires that a company show that its practices are environmentally friendly and that its employee training is up to date. Trade organizations such as QualityPro offer other certifications. These are not required, but can help demonstrate that a company is reputable.
A pest control company can also belong to professional organizations. While not required, membership in organizations like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations help verify a company's reputability. In the NPMA and other organizations, pest control companies have access to resources, education, and a network of other professionals with whom to share best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
You can gain some insight into a company's experience level by looking into how many years it has been in business. Local reviews and the company's own website can also inform you whether the company has experience dealing with the specific species of pests that are afflicting your home. You can always contact a representative directly to learn this information if it is not available online.
Reviews and Recommendations
Resources you can use to check a company's reputation include the Better Business Bureau (BBB), social media, and local review sites. Additionally, you can verify the status of a company's license through the Missouri licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is often a deciding factor when picking a pest control company. Cost may be determined by your location, the size of your house, the type of pest being treated, and other factors.
Certain pest control companies offer a free on-site estimate to help you figure out if it fits into your budget. You can also look at whether it offers a guarantee of satisfaction.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your choice of pest control provider 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 want to ensure that you understand the precautions around pesticides being used in your home, for the sake of you, your family, and your pets. Your pest control technician should provide information about the pesticides they plan to use, whether they are low toxicity or non-toxic, and (if not) what safety measures they have in place. All pesticides (except minimum-risk ones) need to be registered with the EPA.
You can ask if your technician will start with lower-toxicity, more natural options before trying harsher chemicals.
Many companies have started to use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to reduce personal or environmental risk when treating pest infestations. The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and determine whether immediate action is needed.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Use a combination of biological, cultural, physical, and mechanical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Use chemical controls only if needed, and always in combination with other techniques for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and implement additional pest control as needed.