How To Choose a Pest Control Company
The first step is selecting the best pest control company for the job. Important decision-making factors include the company's qualifications, its treatment methods, experience and reviews, and of course the cost of services.
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 set minimum standards of competency for pesticide applicators, but licensing is overseen at the state level. All pesticide applicators and their supervisors in Nevada need to be licensed through the proper 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 of these is the GreenPro Service Certification. To earn this certification, a company must prove 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 belong to professional organizations. Membership in organizations such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations is not required, but helps show that a company is reputable. The NPMA gives companies access to education, resources, and a network of pest professionals with whom to discuss methods and practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Looking at a company's website can tell you how many years it has been in operation and what kind of pests it specializes in eliminating. Local 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
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 check the status of a company's license via the Nevada licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Pest control costs can vary based on things like the type of pest being treated, your location, the size of your house, and other factors.
When thinking about the cost of services, you should verify whether a company includes free on-site estimates as part of its services. This can inform you whether the company fits into your budget. Also look into a company's guarantees: If the problem is not resolved, or if it returns, does the company provide additional treatment until the problem is handled satisfactorily?
Safety and Treatment Methods
When choosing a pest control provider, you want to choose a company that will keep you, your family, and your pets safe. You'll likely also prefer a provider that is environmentally-conscious.
You should 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 must be registered with the EPA. Your pest control provider will be able to supply information about all chemicals they plan on using.
You can ask if your technician will start with more natural and lower-toxicity options before employing harsher chemicals.
Many companies have started to use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to eliminate pests while reducing personal and environmental risks. The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and determine if 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.
- Employ chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always along with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and continue with additional pest control as needed.