How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When picking a pest control company, you want to make sure that you find the best one to meet your needs. You might consider a company's qualifications and treatment methods in addition to its years of experience and customer reviews. And of course, there's the cost of services to consider.
Below, we discuss each of these factors in more detail.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
All pesticide applicators (and those that supervise them) must be certified at the state level. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established minimum standards of competency, but all pesticide applicators working in the state of Ohio must be licensed via the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
A pest control company can optionally apply for certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro to back up its standards and methods. One particular certification is the GreenPro Service Certification, which is granted to any company that can demonstrate that its methods are more environmentally friendly. Companies that receive this certification also need to maintain certain training standards for employees.
Pest control companies can also become members of professional organizations. When a company becomes a member of an organization like the National Pest Management Association(NPMA) (or a state-level organization), it gets access to education, resources, and a network of other pest professionals with whom to compare methods. This can give you extra peace of mind that a company is following industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
The number of years that a company has been in business can tell you something about its experience dealing with pests in your area. Online reviews or the company's own website can also enlighten you about whether it has the experience necessary to eliminate the particular pests that are plaguing you. If you can't find the information you need online, contacting the company directly is an easy way to learn about its areas of expertise.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look at a company's rating and reviews on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), check out social media and local review sites to hear what others in your area have to say, or verify its license standing through the Ohio licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is often a deciding factor when choosing a pest control company. Cost may be determined by your location, the size of your house, 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 check to see if it offers a guarantee of satisfaction.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your preferences regarding safety for yourself, your children, your pets, and the environment might affect the provider and the treatment methods you choose.
You can ask your pest control provider if they plan on using low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides—if not, ask about what precautionary measures they will take. Any pesticide that presents above a minimum risk needs to be registered with the EPA. Your pest technician should be able to supply information about all pesticides used, in addition to how safe they are around people and pets.
Organizations looking to reduce their use of chemical pesticides often implement procedures such as Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Using IPM involves a series of steps:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and assess whether immediate action is needed.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Use a combination of physical, cultural, biological, and mechanical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Employ chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always in combination with other solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and provide additional pest control as needed.