How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When choosing a pest control company, you want to be sure to find the best one to meet your needs. Important factors can include the company's qualifications, its treatment methods, experience and reviews, and of course the cost of services.
Below, we explore the details of each of these factors.
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 certified at the state level. The EPA does set minimum standards of competency, but all pesticide applicators in Nebraska must be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
An optional certification that could be worth looking for is the GreenPro Service Certification. In order to receive 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 QualityPro or similar trade organizations to further back up their work.
Pest control companies can also become members of professional organizations. Becoming a member of an organization like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or a state-level organization grants a pest control company access to resources and education, in addition to a professional network to compare best practices with. Joining one of these organizations is not required, but it can help indicate that a company follows industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
The amount of time that a company has been in business can give you some insight into its experience dealing with pests in your area. Online reviews or the company's website itself can also enlighten you about whether it has the skills and experience needed to handle your specific pest problem. If you can't find the information you need online, calling a representative is a great way to learn about the company's areas of expertise.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can check a company's Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, explore reviews on social media or local review sites, or check the standing of its license via the Nebraska licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Pest control costs can vary based on things like the size of your house, the type of pest being treated, your location, 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 inform you whether the company fits into your budget. Also look into what guarantees a company offers: If the problem is not fixed, or if it returns, will the company provide additional treatment until the problem is satisfactorily handled?
Safety and Treatment Methods
Keeping yourself, your family and your pets safe is an important consideration when picking a pest control provider. You might also prefer a provider that uses environmentally friendly methods.
You should ask your pest control technician if they plan to use low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides, and if not, what precautionary measures they plan to take. Any pesticides that are not minimum-risk chemicals need to be registered with the EPA. Your pest technician should be able to provide you with information about all pesticides they are going to use.
It is now common for companies to begin with more environmentally friendly options before using pesticides, using a technique called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). When using IPM, the following steps are taken:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and determine whether immediate action is required.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Use a combination of biological, cultural, physical, and mechanical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Employ 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.