How To Choose a Pest Control Company
The most important step in the pest control process is hiring the right company for you. Important factors include a company's qualifications, its treatment methods, experience and reviews, and of course the cost of services.
Below, we dive into detail on each of these factors.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
All pesticide applicators, as well as those that supervise them, need to be licensed via the appropriate Missouri regulatory agencies. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets minimum standards of competency, while providing, maintaining, and revoking licensure is handled at the state level.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
One optional certification that may be worth looking for is the GreenPro Service Certification. In order to get this certification, a pest control company must both show that its practices are more environmentally friendly and uphold certain technician training standards. Companies can also obtain other certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro to further back up their work.
Pest control companies can also obtain membership in professional organizations. Companies can be members of the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), or state-level organizations. Membership in the NPMA gives companies access to resources, education, and a network of other pest control companies. While not required, membership in professional organizations helps demonstrate a company's reputability.
Professional Experience and Specialties
A company's years in business can indicate how much experience it has taking care of pests in your area. You can also explore its website or peruse customer reviews to figure out whether it has experience eliminating the species of pests you are struggling with. If you cannot find this information online, contacting a representative directly is a great way to learn more.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look for reviews and recommendations on social media or local review sites, look up a company's rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), or check the status of its license through the Missouri licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Pest control costs can vary based on things like your location, the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, and other factors.
When thinking about the cost of services, you should first look into whether a company provides free on-site estimates as part of its services. This can help determine whether the company fits into your budget. Also look into a company's guarantees: If the problem is not resolved, or returns, does the company provide additional treatment until the problem is satisfactorily resolved?
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your preferences regarding safety for yourself, your children, your pets, and the environment can influence which provider and treatment methods you choose.
You can ask your pest control provider if they plan on using low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides—if not, ask what precautionary measures will be in place. Any pesticide that poses greater than minimum risk needs to be registered with the EPA. Your pest control company should be able to provide information about all pesticides that will be used in your home, and how safe they are around people and pets.
Nowadays, many companies are exploring greener and cleaner pest solutions that can be used before (or in place of) chemical pesticides. Many are following the practice of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which goes as follows:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and assess whether immediate action is required.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of biological, cultural, physical, and mechanical controls.
- Use chemical controls only if needed, and always in combination with other solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and continue with additional pest control as needed.