How To Choose a Pest Control Company
There are a number of things that you can take into consideration when selecting the best pest control company for you. You may consider a company's qualifications and treatment methods as well as its years of experience and customer reviews. And of course, there's the cost of services to consider.
Below, we explore the details of each of these factors.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) maintains minimum competency standards for pesticide applicators, but licensure is taken care of at the state level. All pesticide applicators and supervisors in Ohio 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 demonstrate that a pest control company is reputable. One of these is the GreenPro Service Certification. To earn this certification, a company must prove that its methods are more environmentally friendly and that its employees receive up-to-date training. Other certifications can be obtained through QualityPro and similar trade organizations.
Pest control companies can also belong to professional organizations. When a company joins an organization such as the National Pest Management Association(NPMA) (or a state-level organization), it gets access to resources, education, and a network of other pest control professionals with whom to compare methods. This can give you added peace of mind that a company follows industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
The amount of time that a company has been in business can give you some insight into its experience dealing with various pests. Customer reviews or the company's own website can also help you figure out whether it has the experience necessary to deal with your particular pests. If you can't find the information you need online, speaking with a representative is an easy way to learn about the company's areas of expertise.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can check a company's reputation using the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and local review sites or social media. You can also check with Ohio's licensing board to verify the status of a company's license.
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 price of pest control.
You can look into whether a company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget) and what type of guarantees it has. Often, a company will provide a guarantee that if it does not resolve your pest problem, it will keep coming back until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your choice of pest control provider might be influenced by how environmentally friendly a company's practices are, as well as how safe its methods are around your family and pets.
You want to ensure that you understand the precautions around pesticides used around your house, for the sake of you, your family, and your pets. Your pest control technician should be capable of providing information about any pesticides they intend to use, whether they are low toxicity or non-toxic, and (if not) what safety measures will be used. All pesticides (except minimum-risk ones) should be registered with the EPA.
Many companies are using options for more environmentally friendly pest control techniques before moving to 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 problem pests and assess whether immediate action is needed.
- 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 when required, and always in combination with other solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and implement additional pest control as needed.