How To Choose a Pest Control Company
The first step is selecting the best pest control professional for the job. A company's qualifications and treatment methods are important to consider, as are its years of experience and reputation in customer reviews. Of course, you will also want to think about cost.
Below, we explore the details of 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 competency standards, and the Oklahoma regulatory agencies take care of the issuing, maintaining, and revoking of licenses.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
A pest control company can obtain optional certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations in order to verify its standards and methods. One particular certification is the GreenPro Service Certification, which is granted to any company that can demonstrate that its methods are more environmentally friendly. These companies also need to maintain certain training standards for employees.
Pest control companies can also belong to various 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 control companies. While not mandatory, membership in professional organizations helps back up a company's reputability.
Professional Experience and Specialties
The number of years 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 website itself can also help you figure out whether it has the experience necessary to deal with your particular pests. If you cannot find the answers to your questions online, calling a representative is an excellent way to learn about the company's areas of expertise.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can check a company's rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), read reviews on social media or local review sites, or check the standing of its license via the Oklahoma licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is important when hiring a pest control company. Cost can be affected influenced by the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, your location, and other factors.
Companies will often offer free on-site estimates at the beginning of their process, to help you determine whether it fits into your budget. You can also ask whether a company offers a satisfaction guarantees, meaning that it will continue to treat your pest problem until it is solved.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Keeping yourself, your family and your pets safe is an important concern when picking a pest control provider. You may also prefer a provider that employs environmentally friendly practices.
Be sure to ask your pest control technician if they plan to use low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides—if not, ask about what precautionary measures will be in place. Any pesticide that presents above a minimum risk must be registered with the EPA. Your pest technician should be able to provide information about all pesticides to be used, in addition to how safe they are around people and pets.
Pest professionals looking to reduce their reliance on chemical pesticides often follow practices such as Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Using IPM involves a series of steps:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and determine whether immediate action is needed.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Use a combination of mechanical, cultural, biological, and physical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Employ chemical controls only when required, and always with other techniques for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and continue with additional pest control as needed.