How To Choose a Pest Control Company
There are a number of factors you can weigh when selecting the best pest control company for you. Important decision-making factors include the company's qualifications, its treatment methods, experience and reviews, and of course the cost of services.
Below, we discuss each of these factors in more detail.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established minimum competency standards for pesticide applicators, but licensing is handled at the state level. All pesticide applicators and supervisors in Nevada need to 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 more environmentally friendly and that its employee training is up to date. QualityPro and similar trade organizations also offer other certifications. While not required, these can help demonstrate that a pest control company is reputable.
Pest control companies can also become members of certain professional organizations. Pest control companies can obtain membership in state-level organizations in addition to national organizations like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). By being a member of these optional organizations, a company helps support its reputability and gains access to education, resources, and a network of professionals to compare best practices with.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Typically, a company provides information like years of experience and specialities on its website. Local reviews can also tell you whether a company has experience dealing with a specific pest. If you're unable to locate the information you need online, you can call the company directly to get the answers to your questions.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can verify a company's legitimacy using local review sites or social media as well as the Better Business Bureau (BBB). You can also check with Nevada's licensing board to verify the status of a company's license.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
For many people, cost is one of the most important factors when picking a company for pest control services. Cost can be affected by factors like your location, the type of pest being treated, and the size of your house.
You can take into consideration whether a specific 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 its treatment doesn't resolve your pest problem, it will continue to come back until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Keeping yourself, your family and your pets safe is an important concern when choosing a pest control provider. You might also prefer one that employs environmentally friendly practices.
Ask your pest control provider if they plan to use low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides, and if not, ask what precautionary measures they will take. Any pesticide that presents above a minimum risk should be registered with the EPA. Your pest technician should be able to supply information about all pesticides used, as well as how safe they are around people and pets.
Pest professionals looking to reduce their use of chemical pesticides often implement procedures such as Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Using IPM involves a series of steps:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and assess whether immediate action is needed.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Use a combination of physical, cultural, biological, and mechanical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Use chemical controls only if needed, and always along with other solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and implement additional pest control as needed.