How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When picking a pest control company, you want to make sure that you find the best one 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 also want to think about cost.
Below, we discuss each of these factors 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 those that supervise them must be licensed at the state level. The EPA maintains minimum standards of competency, and the Missouri regulatory agencies take care of the issuing, maintaining, and revoking of licenses.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
An optional certification that might be worth looking for is the GreenPro Service Certification. To obtain this certification, a pest control company needs to both demonstrate that its practices are more environmentally friendly and maintain certain technician training standards. Companies can also earn other certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro to further support their work.
Pest control companies can also become members of various professional organizations. Companies can be members of the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), or state-level organizations. NPMA membership provides companies with access to education, resources, and a network of other pest professionals. While not mandatory, membership in professional organizations helps demonstrate a company's reputability.
Professional Experience and Specialties
You can look at a company's years in business to help determine how much experience it has handling pests in your area. You can also browse its website or peruse customer reviews to figure out whether it has experience eliminating the type of pests you are looking to get rid of. If this information is not available online, speaking with a company representative is a good way to learn more.
Reviews and Recommendations
Resources you can use to check a company's reputation include the Better Business Bureau (BBB), local review sites, and social media. Additionally, you can confirm the status of a company's license via the Missouri licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Things like your location, the size of your house, the type of pest being treated, and other factors can all influence the price of pest control.
You can find out whether a company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget), as well as what type of guarantees it has. Often, a company will guarantee that if it does not solve your pest problem, it will keep coming back until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
When choosing a pest control provider, you want to choose one that will help keep you, your family, and your pets safe. You might also prefer an environmentally-conscious provider.
Your pest control technician should be able to discuss the safety of the pesticides they plan to use. They should be able to clarify whether the pesticides are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not what safety precautions will be used to protect you, your family, and your pets. Any pesticides that pose more than a minimum risk must be registered with the EPA.
You can ask if your technician will start with more natural and lower-toxicity options before using harsher chemicals.
Many companies have begun 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 if immediate action is needed.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of mechanical, physical, biological, and cultural controls.
- Use chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always along with other solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and provide additional pest control as needed.