How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When picking a pest control company, you want to be sure to find the best one to meet your needs. The qualifications of and treatment methods used by a company are important to consider, as are its years of experience and reputation in customer reviews. Of course, you also want to consider cost.
Below, we discuss each of these factors in more detail.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
Per the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), all pesticide applicators and those that supervise them are required to be certified at the state level. The EPA sets minimum standards of competency, but all Oklahoma pesticide applicators need to be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies can earn the GreenPro Service Certification, which requires that a company show that its practices are environmentally friendly and that its employee training is up to date. QualityPro and similar trade organizations also offer additional certifications. While not required, these can help demonstrate that a company is reputable.
Pest control companies can also belong to certain professional organizations. Companies can be members of the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), or state-level organizations. Membership in the NPMA gives companies access to resources, education, and a network of other pest professionals. While not required, membership in professional organizations helps back up a company's reputability.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Generally, a company will list information like specialities and years of experience on its website. Local reviews can also help you figure out if 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 speak with a company representative directly to get the answers to your questions.
Reviews and Recommendations
Resources that can be used to verify a company's legitimacy include local review sites, social media, and the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Additionally, you can confirm the status of a company's license through the Oklahoma licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is important when hiring someone for pest control. 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 at the beginning of their process, to help you decide 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
Your choice of pest control company might be influenced by how environmentally friendly a company's practices are, in addition to how safe its methods are around your family and pets.
You want to ensure that you understand the precautions for the pesticides being used around your home, for the sake of your family, your pets, and yourself. Your pest control technician should be able to supply information about the pesticides they plan to use, whether they are low toxicity or non-toxic, and (if not) what safety measures they plan to take. All pesticides (except minimum-risk ones) should be registered with the EPA.
Many companies have started offering options for more environmentally friendly methods of pest control before relying on harsh pesticides.
One popular way of making pest control safer and greener is Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and assess whether immediate action is required.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Use a combination of physical, biological, mechanical, and cultural controls to manage the pest problem.
- Use chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always in combination with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and implement additional pest control as needed.