How To Choose a Pest Control Company
Choosing the best pest control company for you is important. Things you might consider include qualifications and licensing, treatment methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and cost.
Below, we discuss each of these factors in more detail.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set minimum standards of competency for pesticide applicators, but licensure is regulated at the state level. All pesticide applicators and supervisors in Oregon need to be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies have the option to obtain certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro. These certifications can help you assess the quality of a company's products. For example, the GreenPro Service Certification recognizes comprehensive and effective pest control treatment that is safer for humans and the environment.
There are several professional organizations that a pest control company can belong to. A pest control company can obtain membership in both state-level organizations and national organizations such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). By being a member of these optional organizations, a company helps support its reputability and gains access to education, resources, and a network of professionals with whom to compare best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
You can look at a company's years in business to help determine how much experience it has handling pests in your area. You can also look at its website or look through customer reviews to figure out whether it has experience eliminating the type of pests you are struggling with. If this information can't be found online, getting in touch with a company representative is a good way to learn more.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look at a company's reviews and rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), check out local review sites and social media to see what homeowners near you think, or verify its license standing via the Oregon licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is often a deciding factor when choosing a pest control company. Cost may be determined by your location, the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, and other factors.
Certain pest control companies offer a free on-site estimate to help you determine if it fits into your budget. You can also see if it offers a satisfaction guarantee.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Keeping yourself, your family and your pets safe is an important consideration when picking a pest control provider. You might also prefer a provider that employs environmentally friendly practices.
Your pest control provider should be able to discuss the safety of any and all pesticides that will be used in your home. They should be able to answer questions about whether the pesticides are low toxicity or non-toxic; if they are not, they should explain what safety precautions they plan to use to protect your family, your pets, and you. Any pesticides that pose more than a minimum risk should 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 now use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to treat pest infestations with minimal personal or environmental risk. The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and determine if immediate action is needed.
- 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 when required, and always with other solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and provide additional pest control as needed.