How To Choose a Pest Control Company
There are several factors you can consider when choosing the right pest control company for you. Important decision-making factors can include a company's qualifications, its treatment methods, experience and reviews, and of course the cost of services.
Below, we discuss each of these factors in more detail.
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 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?
Pest control companies also have the option to obtain additional certifications such as the GreenPro Service Certification. This certification is granted once a company has proven its methods to be more environmentally friendly and demonstrated that it also holds itself up to certain other standards, such as up-to-date employee training. A pest control company can also earn other certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations to further support its practices and methods.
Pest control companies can also belong to various professional organizations. A pest control company can join state-level organizations as well as national organizations like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). While not mandatory, membership in these organizations helps prove a company's reputability and gives it access to resources, education, and a network of other professionals with whom to compare best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
The amount of time that a company has been in business can tell you something about its experience dealing with pests in your area. Customer reviews or the company's own website can also help you figure out whether it has the skills and experience necessary to eliminate the particular pests that are plaguing you. If you can't find the information you need online, speaking with a representative is an excellent way to learn about the company's areas of expertise.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look up a company's Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, browse reviews on local review sites or social media, or check the standing of its license via the Oklahoma licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
The cost of pest control can vary based on things like the type of pest being treated, your location, the size of your house, and other factors.
When considering the cost of services, you should verify whether a company provides free on-site estimates as part of its process. This can inform you whether the company fits into your budget. Also look into what guarantees a company offers: If the problem is not resolved, or if it returns, will the company provide additional treatment until the problem is satisfactorily handled?
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your preferences regarding safety for yourself, any children or pets, and the environment can influence the provider and the treatment methods you choose.
You want to ensure that you understand the precautions around pesticides used around your house, for the sake of you, your family, and your pets. Your pest control technician should be able to supply information about all pesticides they plan on using, whether they are low toxicity or non-toxic, and (if not) what safety measures they have in place. All pesticides (except minimum-risk ones) must be registered with the EPA.
You can ask if your technician will begin with lower-toxicity, more natural options before employing harsher chemicals.
Many companies are now using Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to reduce personal or environmental risk when treating pest infestations. The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify problem pests and determine if immediate action is required.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Use a combination of physical, cultural, biological, and mechanical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Employ chemical controls only if needed, and always along with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and provide additional pest control as needed.