How To Choose a Pest Control Company
There are several things that you can take into consideration when choosing the best pest control company for you. In addition to a company's qualifications and treatment methods, you may also look into how long it has been in business and what the reviews look like. Finally, you'll likely want to look at 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?
All pesticide applicators, as well as those that supervise them, need to be licensed via the appropriate Oregon regulatory agencies. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets minimum standards of competency, while providing, maintaining, and revoking licensing is handled at the state level.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies can optionally obtain additional certifications such as the GreenPro Service Certification. This certification is given once a company has proven its methods to be more environmentally friendly and demonstrated that it also maintains certain other standards, such as up-to-date training for employees. A company can also earn other certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations to further verify its practices and methods.
Pest control companies can also hold membership in various 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
You can look at a company's years in business to help determine how much experience it has dealing with pests in your area. You can also explore its website or look through customer reviews to figure out whether it has experience eliminating the species of pests you are struggling with. If this information is not available online, getting in touch with a company representative is a good way to learn more.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look up a company's Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, look for reviews on social media or local review sites, or check the standing of its license via the Oregon licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Things like the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, your location, and other factors can all affect the price of pest control.
You can look into whether a 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 it does not solve your pest problem, it will keep coming back until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
It's important to consider safety when choosing a pest control provider, and you might prefer a provider who employs more natural, environmentally friendly methods.
You can ask your pest control technician if they will be using low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides—if not, ask what precautionary measures they will take. Any pesticide that presents above a minimum risk should be registered with the EPA. Your pest control company should be able to supply information about all pesticides that will be used in your home, as well as how safe they are around people and pets.
Many companies have begun using more natural treatment methods before, or in place of, harsh chemical pesticides. Some employ a program called 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.
- Employ chemical controls only if needed, and always along with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and continue with additional pest control as needed.