How To Choose a Pest Control Company
It's important to choose the best pest control company for you. You might take into consideration a company's qualifications, methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and price of services.
Below, we dive into detail on each factor.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
All pesticide applicators (and those that supervise them) need to be certified at the state level. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets minimum standards of competency, but any pesticide applicators working in North Carolina must be licensed via the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
There are additional optional certifications that can help prove that a pest control company is reputable. One of these is the GreenPro Service Certification. To obtain this certification, a company must show that its methods are more environmentally friendly and that its employee training is up to date. Additional certifications can be obtained through QualityPro and similar trade organizations.
Pest control companies can also belong to certain professional organizations. While not required, membership in organizations like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations help demonstrate a company's reputability. After joining an organization like the NPMA, a company receives access to education, resources, and a network of professionals with whom to discuss best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Looking at a company's website can tell you how many years it has been in business and what kind of pests it specializes in eliminating. Online reviews can also offer some insight into a company's experience dealing with specific pests. If you're unable to find this information online, you can try calling the company directly.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can view a company's Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, explore reviews on local review sites or social media, or check the standing of its license via the North Carolina licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is often a deciding factor when choosing a pest control company. Cost may be determined by the size of your house, your location, the type of pest being treated, and other factors.
A pest control company may offer a free on-site estimate to help you match services to your budget. You can also see if it offers a satisfaction guarantee.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your choice of pest control company might be influenced by how environmentally friendly a provider's practices are, in addition to how safe its methods are around your family and pets.
Your pest technician should use pesticides that are low toxicity or non-toxic when possible. If any pesticides used don't fall into one of these categories, your technician should explain what safety precautions they will put in place to protect you, your family, and your pets. Any pesticides that pose more than a minimum risk are required to be registered with the EPA.
Many companies will start with more environmentally friendly options before using pesticides, following 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, mechanical, and physical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Employ chemical controls only if needed, and always in combination with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and continue with additional pest control as needed.