How To Choose a Pest Control Company
It's important to choose the right pest control company for you. You might consider 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?
Per the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), all pesticide applicators and their supervisors need to be certified at the state level. The EPA sets minimum standards of competency, but all pesticide applicators in Missouri must be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies can earn 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 additional certifications. These are not required, but can help demonstrate that a company is reputable.
Pest control companies can also hold membership in various professional organizations. Companies can be members of the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), or state-level organizations. NPMA membership gives companies access to resources, education, and a network of other pest professionals. While not mandatory, membership in professional organizations helps demonstrate a company's reputability.
Professional Experience and Specialties
A company's website can tell you how many years it has been in business and what type of pests it specializes in eliminating. Online reviews can also give you some insight into a company's experience dealing with a certain type of pest. If you're unable to find this information online, you can try contacting the company directly.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can check a company's reputation using the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and social media or local review sites. You can also check with Missouri's licensing board to verify the status of a company's license.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is an important consideration 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 match services to your budget. You can also look at whether it offers a satisfaction guarantee.
Safety and Treatment Methods
When it comes to choosing a pest control provider, you want to select one that will help keep you, your family, and your pets safe. You'll likely also prefer a provider that is environmentally-conscious.
Make sure to ask your pest control technician if the chemicals they're using are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not, what kind of precautionary measures they will have in place. All pesticides that are not considered minimum-risk chemicals need to be registered with the EPA. Your pest control provider should be able to provide you with information about all pesticides they plan to use.
Companies often start with more environmentally friendly options before employing pesticides, using a framework called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). When using IPM, the following steps are taken:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and determine 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.
- Use chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and implement additional pest control as needed.