How To Choose a Pest Control Company
There are a number of factors that you can consider when choosing the right pest control company for you. A company's qualifications and treatment methods are important to consider, as well as its years of experience and reputation in customer reviews. Of course, you will also want to consider cost.
Below, we dive into detail on each of these factors.
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 licensure is overseen at the state level. All pesticide applicators and their supervisors in Missouri need to be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
There are additional optional certifications that can help demonstrate that a pest control company is reputable. One example is the GreenPro Service Certification. To receive this certification, a company must show that its methods are more environmentally friendly and that its employee training is up to date. Additional certifications can be earned through trade organizations like QualityPro.
Pest control companies can also join various professional organizations. Membership in an organization like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or a state-level organization grants a pest control company access to resources and education, and a professional network to compare best practices with. Membership in one of these organizations is not mandatory, but it can help show that a company follows industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
A company's years in business can indicate how much experience it has handling pests in your area. You can also browse its website or read customer reviews to figure out whether it has experience eliminating the type of pests you are struggling with. If this information is not available online, calling the company directly is a great way to learn more.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can check a company's Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, browse reviews on local review sites or social media, or check the standing of its license via the Missouri licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is an important consideration when picking a pest control company. Cost may be determined by your location, the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, and other factors.
A pest control company may offer a free on-site estimate to help you match services to your budget. You can also see if it offers a guarantee of satisfaction.
Safety and Treatment Methods
It's important to consider safety when deciding on a pest control provider, and you might prefer a provider who uses more natural, environmentally friendly methods.
Make sure to ask your pest control provider if they plan to use low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides, and if not, what precautionary measures they are going to use. Any pesticides that are not minimum-risk chemicals must be registered with the EPA. Your pest technician will be able to provide you with information about all of the pesticides they plan on using.
Companies looking to reduce their reliance on chemical pesticides often follow practices such as Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Using IPM involves a series of steps:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and assess whether immediate action is required.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Use a combination of biological, cultural, mechanical, and physical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Use chemical controls only when required, and always in combination with other techniques for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and implement additional pest control as needed.