How To Choose a Pest Control Company
The most important step is choosing the best pest control company for the job. You might consider a company's qualifications, methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and price of services.
Below, we discuss each factor in more detail.
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 those that supervise them must be licensed at the state level. The EPA maintains minimum competency standards, and the Ohio regulatory agencies handle the granting, maintaining, and revoking of licenses.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies can earn the GreenPro Service Certification, which requires a company to show that its practices are environmentally friendly and that its employees receive up-to-date training. Trade organizations such as QualityPro offer additional certifications. While not required, these can help demonstrate that a company is reputable.
Pest control companies can also belong to certain professional organizations. While not mandatory, membership in organizations like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations help to prove a company's reputability. After joining an organization like the NPMA, a company receives access to education, resources, and a network of other professionals with whom to compare best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Browsing a company's website can tell you how many years it has been in operation and what kind of pests it specializes in exterminating. Online reviews can also offer some insight into a company's experience dealing with a specific pest. If you can't find this information online, you can try calling the company directly.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can check a company's reputation using local review sites or social media 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
For many people, cost is one of the most important factors when hiring for pest control. Cost can be determined by factors like the type of pest being treated, your location, and the size of your house.
You can think about whether a company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget), and what kind of guarantees it provides. Often, a company will guarantee that if its treatment doesn't resolve your pest problem, it will continue to come back until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Keeping yourself, your family and your pets safe is an important consideration when choosing a pest control provider. You may also prefer a provider that employs environmentally friendly practices.
Your pest control provider should use pesticides that are low toxicity or non-toxic whenever possible. If any pesticides they intend to use don't fall into one of these categories, your technician should explain what safety precautions they will put in place to protect you, your family, and your pets. Pesticides that pose more than a minimum risk should be registered with the EPA.
Many companies are making the switch to using more natural treatment methods before (or in place of) harsh chemical pesticides. Some utilize a program called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and determine if immediate action is required.
- 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 techniques for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and implement additional pest control as needed.