How To Choose a Pest Control Company
The first step is hiring the right pest control company for the job. In addition to a company's qualifications and treatment methods, you might also look into how long it has been in business and what the reviews are like. Last but not least, you'll likely want to consider 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?
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), all pesticide applicators and those that supervise them are required to be certified at the state level. The EPA sets minimum standards of competency, but all North Carolina pesticide applicators 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 example is the GreenPro Service Certification. To earn this certification, a company must show that its methods are more environmentally friendly and that its employees receive up-to-date training. Additional certifications can be obtained through trade organizations like QualityPro.
A pest control company can also obtain membership in professional organizations. When a company obtains membership in an organization like the National Pest Management Association(NPMA) (or a state-level organization), it receives access to education, resources, and a network of other pest experts with whom to compare treatment methods. This can give you extra peace of mind that a company follows industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
You can get some insight into a company's level of experience by seeing how many years it has been in operation. Local reviews and the company's own website can also tell you whether a company has experience dealing with the specific species of pests invading your home. You can always contact a representative directly to learn this information if you can't find it online.
Reviews and Recommendations
Resources you can use to check a company's reputation include the Better Business Bureau (BBB), social media, and local review sites. You can also check the status of a company's license through the North Carolina licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
The cost of pest control 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 first look into whether a company provides free on-site estimates as part of its process. This can help determine whether the company fits into your budget. Also take into account a company's guarantees: If the problem is not resolved, or if it returns, will the company provide additional treatments until the issue is handled satisfactorily?
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your choice of pest control provider might be affected by how environmentally friendly a provider's practices are, in addition to how safe its methods are around your family and pets.
All pesticides used by your company (except those that are classified as minimum-risk) should be registered with the EPA. Your pest control provider should supply information on all the pesticides that they are using. They should be able to tell you whether the pesticides are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not, what safety precautions will be in place.
Many companies will begin with more environmentally friendly options before employing pesticides, using a technique called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). When using IPM, the following steps are taken:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and determine whether immediate action is required.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of mechanical, cultural, biological, and physical controls.
- Employ chemical controls only when required, and always in combination with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and provide additional pest control as needed.