How To Choose a Pest Control Company
Choosing the best pest control company for you is key. A company's qualifications and treatment methods are important to consider, as well as its years of experience and customer reviews. Of course, you also want to think about cost.
Below, we dive into detail on 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?
A pest control company can receive optional certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro in order to back up its standards and methods. One particular certification is the GreenPro Service Certification, which is awarded when a company can demonstrate that its methods are more environmentally friendly. These companies also need to maintain certain employee training standards.
A pest control company can also belong to certain professional organizations. While not required, membership in organizations like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations help verify a company's reputability. After joining an organization like the NPMA, a company receives access to resources, education, and a network of professionals with whom to discuss best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Looking at a company's website can tell you how many years it has been in operation and what kind of pests it specializes in eliminating. Local reviews can also give you some insight into a company's experience dealing with a specific pest. If you're unable to find this information online, you can try calling the company directly.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look up a company's rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), read reviews on local review sites or social media, or check the standing of its license via the Ohio licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
For many people, cost is one of the main deciding factors when hiring for pest control services. Cost can be influenced by factors like the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, and your location.
You can take into consideration whether a particular company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits your budget), and what sort of guarantees it provides. Often, a company will guarantee that if your pest problem isn't fixed by its treatment, it will continue to treat until it is.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Safety is an important consideration when selecting a pest control provider. You might also prefer a provider who uses more natural, environmentally friendly methods.
Make sure to ask your pest control technician if they plan to use low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides, and if not, what precautionary measures they plan to take. All pesticides that are not considered minimum-risk chemicals must be registered with the EPA. Your pest control provider will be able to supply you with information about all of the pesticides they plan on using.
Many companies will start with more environmentally friendly options before employing pesticides, following a technique called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). When using IPM, the following steps are taken:
- Identify problem pests and assess whether immediate action is required.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of mechanical, cultural, biological, and physical controls.
- Employ chemical controls only when required, and always with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and continue with additional pest control as needed.