How To Choose a Pest Control Company
The first step is choosing the right pest control company for the job. Things you might consider include licensing and qualifications, treatment methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and cost.
Below, we dive into detail on each of these factors.
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 their supervisors need to be licensed at the state level. The EPA has established minimum standards of competency, and the Ohio regulatory agencies take care of the granting, maintaining, and revoking of licenses.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies have the option to obtain certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro. While not required, they can help you assess the quality of a company's products. For example, the GreenPro Service Certification indicates comprehensive and effective pest control treatment that is safer for humans and the environment.
Pest control companies can also obtain membership in professional organizations. Companies can obtain membership in the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), or state-level organizations. NPMA membership provides companies with access to resources, education, and a network of other pest professionals. While not mandatory, membership in professional organizations helps back up a company's reputability.
Professional Experience and Specialties
You can gain some insight into a company's experience level by looking at how many years it has been in business. The company's website and local reviews can also let you know whether a company has experience dealing with the specific species of pests invading your home. You can reach out to a representative directly to learn this information if you can't find it online.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can verify a company's legitimacy using social media or local review sites as well as the Better Business Bureau (BBB). You can also check with Ohio's licensing board to verify the status of a company's license.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
The cost of pest control can vary based on things like your location, the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, and other factors.
When considering the cost of services, you should first look into whether a company offers free on-site estimates as part of its services. This can help determine whether the company fits into your budget. Also take into account a company's guarantees: If the problem is not fixed, or returns, does the company provide additional treatment until the issue is handled satisfactorily?
Safety and Treatment Methods
It's important to consider safety when deciding on a pest control provider. You might also prefer a provider who employs more natural, environmentally friendly methods.
It's important to understand the precautions for the pesticides being used around your house, for the sake of your family, your pets, and yourself. Your pest control technician should be able to provide information about all pesticides they plan on using, whether they are low toxicity or non-toxic, and (if not) what safety measures they have in place. All pesticides (except minimum-risk ones) should be registered with the EPA.
Many companies have started offering options for more environmentally friendly methods of pest control before employing harsh pesticides.
One popular method for making pest control safer and greener is Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and determine whether immediate action is required.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Use a combination of mechanical, physical, biological, and cultural controls to manage the pest problem.
- Employ chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and implement additional pest control as needed.