How To Choose a Pest Control Company
Hiring the best company for you is the most important step in the pest control process. You might take into consideration a company's qualifications, methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and service prices.
Below, we explore the details of each factor.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
All pesticide applicators (and those that supervise them) must be certified at the state level. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established minimum standards of competency, but all pesticide applicators working in Missouri must be licensed via the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Obtaining additional optional certifications can help prove that a pest control company is reputable. One example is the GreenPro Service Certification. For this certification, a company must show that its methods are more environmentally friendly and that its employee training is up to date. Other certifications can be earned through trade organizations like QualityPro.
A pest control company can also obtain membership in professional organizations. When a company joins an organization like the National Pest Management Association(NPMA) (or a state-level organization), it gets access to education, resources, and a network of other pest professionals with whom to compare methods. This can offer added peace of mind that a company is following industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
You can gain some insight into a company's level of experience by finding out how many years it has been in business. The company's website and local reviews can also let you know whether a company has the experience needed to deal with the specific species of pests invading your home. You can contact the company directly to learn this information if you can't find it online.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look up a company's rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), explore reviews on social media or local review sites, or check the standing of its license via the Missouri licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
For many people, cost is one of the most important factors when looking for pest control. Cost can be affected by factors like the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, and your location.
You can take into consideration whether a particular company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits your budget), and what sort of guarantees are provided. Often, a company will guarantee that if your pest problem isn't fixed by its treatment, it will continue to treat until it is.
Safety and Treatment Methods
When it comes to picking a pest control provider, you want to choose one that will help keep you, your family, and your pets safe. You'll likely also prefer an environmentally-conscious provider.
All pesticides that will be used (except those that are classified as minimum-risk) should be registered with the EPA. Your pest control provider should be able to provide you with information on each pesticide they plan to use. They should inform you whether the pesticides are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not, what safety precautions will be taken.
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 treat pest infestations with minimal personal or environmental risk. The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify problem pests and assess whether immediate action is required.
- 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 if needed, and always along with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and implement additional pest control as needed.