How To Choose a Pest Control Company
The most important step in the pest control process is hiring the right company for you. You might consider a company's qualifications, methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and service prices.
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 their supervisors need to be certified at the state level. The EPA sets minimum standards of competency, but all pesticide applicators in Oklahoma must be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
One optional certification that could be worth looking for is the GreenPro Service Certification. In order to receive this certification, a pest control company needs to both demonstrate that its practices are more environmentally friendly and maintain certain training standards for its technicians. Companies can obtain other certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations to further support their work.
There are various professional organizations that a pest control company can belong to. Pest control companies can obtain membership in both state-level organizations and national organizations like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). By being a member of these optional organizations, a company helps support its reputability and gains access to resources, education, and a network of professionals with whom to compare best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
How long a company has been in business can tell you something about its experience dealing with the pests that live in Oklahoma City. Online reviews or the company's website itself can also help you figure out whether it has the skills and experience necessary to handle your specific pest problem. 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 view a company's rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), explore 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
For many people, cost is one of the most important factors when looking for pest control services. Cost can be affected by factors like the size of your house, the type of pest being treated, and your location.
You can take into consideration whether a specific company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in 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
Keeping yourself, your family and your pets safe is an important consideration when choosing a pest control provider. You might also prefer one that employs environmentally friendly practices.
Your pest control technician should be able to discuss the safety of any pesticides that they're going to use. They should be able to explain whether the pesticides are low toxicity or non-toxic; if they are not, they should explain what safety precautions will be used to protect your family, your pets, and you. Pesticides that pose more than a minimum risk should be registered with the EPA.
Organizations looking to reduce their use of 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 assess whether immediate action is needed.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Use a combination of mechanical, physical, biological, and cultural controls to manage the pest problem.
- Employ chemical controls only if needed, and always with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and continue with additional pest control as needed.