How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When choosing a pest control company, you want to make sure that you find the best one to meet your needs. Important decision-making factors can include the company's qualifications, its treatment methods, experience and reviews, and of course the cost of services.
Below, we dive into detail on 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 competency standards for pesticide applicators, licensure is handled at the state level. All pesticide applicators (and those who supervise them) in Oklahoma need to be licensed by all the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
A pest control company can obtain optional certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro to verify its methods and standards. One particular certification is the GreenPro Service Certification, which is awarded when a company can demonstrate that its methods are more environmentally friendly. Companies that receive this certification also need to maintain certain employee training standards.
A pest control company can also hold membership in 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. Organizations like the NPMA provide access to resources, education, and a network of other professionals with whom to compare best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
For the most part, a company will list information like specialities and years of experience on its website. Local reviews can also tell you whether a company has experience dealing with a particular pest in your area. If you're unable to locate the information you need online, you can contact a company representative directly to get the answers to your questions.
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 others in your area have to say, or verify its license standing via the Oklahoma licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
It's important to think about cost when hiring a pest control company. Cost can be affected influenced by the size of your house, the type of pest being treated, your location, and other factors.
Many companies offer free on-site estimates before starting work, to help you decide whether it fits into your budget. You can also ask whether if your company has a satisfaction guarantee, meaning that it will continue to treat your pest problem until it is solved.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your choice of pest control company might be affected by how environmentally friendly a provider's practices are, as well as how safe its methods are around your family and pets.
Be sure to ask your pest control technician if they plan on using low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides, and if not, ask what precautionary measures will be in place. Any pesticide that poses greater than minimum risk needs to be registered with the EPA. Your pest technician should supply information about all of the pesticides to be used, in addition to how safe they are around people and pets.
Many companies have started offering options for more environmentally friendly pest control techniques before employing harsh pesticides.
One common method for making pest control safer and greener is Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify problem pests and determine whether immediate action is needed.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Use a combination of mechanical, cultural, biological, and physical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Employ chemical controls only if needed, and always in combination with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and provide additional pest control as needed.