How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When hiring a pest control company, you want to make sure that you find the best one for you. Factors you may consider include licensing and qualifications, treatment methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and cost.
Below, we explore the details of 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 standards of competency 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?
Pest control companies can obtain optional certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro. These certifications can help you evaluate the quality of a company's products. For example, the GreenPro Service Certification recognizes comprehensive and effective pest control treatment that is safer for humans and the environment.
Pest control companies can also join various professional organizations. A pest control company can join both state-level organizations and 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 other professionals with whom to compare best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
You can gain some insight into a company's experience level by seeing how long it has been in business. The company's website and local reviews can also tell you whether a company has the experience needed to deal with the specific species of pests that are afflicting your home. You can contact a representative directly to learn this information if you can't find it online.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can view a company's rating and reviews on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), explore local review sites and social media to find out what homeowners near you think, or verify its license standing 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 influence 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), as well as what kind of guarantees it has. Often, a company will guarantee that if it does not solve your pest problem, it will continue treatment until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Keeping yourself, your family and your pets safe is an important concern when choosing a pest control provider. You might also prefer a provider that employs environmentally friendly practices.
Your pest control technician should be able to discuss the safety of any and all pesticides that will be used in your home. They should be able to answer questions about whether the pesticides are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not what safety precautions they plan to use to protect your family, your pets, and you. Any pesticides that pose greater than a minimum risk must be registered with the EPA.
Many companies will start with more environmentally friendly options before using pesticides, using a technique called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). When using IPM, the following steps are taken:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and assess whether immediate action is needed.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of physical, cultural, biological, and mechanical controls.
- Use chemical controls only when required, and always with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and provide additional pest control as needed.