How To Choose a Pest Control Company
The first step is choosing the right pest control professional for the job. A company's qualifications and treatment methods are important to consider, as are its years of experience and customer reviews. Of course, you also want to consider cost.
Below, we dive into detail on each of these factors.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
While the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets the minimum competency standards for pesticide applicators, licensing is taken care of at the state level. All pesticide applicators (and their supervisors) in Ohio must be licensed by all the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
An optional certification that might be worth looking for is the GreenPro Service Certification. To receive this certification, a pest control company needs to both show that its practices are more environmentally friendly and maintain certain training standards for its technicians. Companies can earn other certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro to further support their work.
A pest control company can also be a member of various professional organizations. Pest control companies can obtain membership in state-level organizations as well as national organizations such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). By being a member of these optional organizations, a company helps support its reputability and gains access to resources, education, and a network of professionals with whom to compare best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Looking at how long a company has been in business can help determine how much experience it has taking care of pests in your area. You can also look at its website or look through customer reviews to figure out whether it has experience eliminating the type of pests you are struggling with. If this information can't be found online, speaking with a company representative is a great way to learn more.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can view a company's Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, read reviews on social media or local review sites, or check the standing of its license via the Ohio licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Things like the type of pest being treated, your location, the size of your house, and other factors can all affect the cost of pest control.
You can learn whether a company provides free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget) and what sort of guarantees it has. Often, a company will provide a guarantee that if it does not resolve your pest problem, it will continue treatment until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your choice of pest control company might be affected by how environmentally friendly a provider's practices are, as well as how safe its methods are around your family and pets.
Be sure to ask your pest control technician if they are going to use low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides, and if not, ask what precautionary measures they plan to use. Any pesticide that has been deemed above minimum risk must be registered with the EPA. Your pest technician should be able to provide information about all pesticides that will be used in your home, as well as how safe they are around people and pets.
It is now common for companies to start with more environmentally friendly options before employing harsh pesticides, using a framework called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). When using IPM, the following steps are taken:
- Identify problem pests and assess whether 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.
- Use chemical controls only when required, and always along with other solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and provide additional pest control as needed.