How To Choose a Pest Control Company
There are several factors that you can take into consideration when choosing the right pest control company for you. Important factors include a company's qualifications, its treatment methods, experience and reviews, and of course the cost of services.
Below, we dive into detail on each of these factors.
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 handled at the state level. All pesticide applicators and their supervisors in Oregon must 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. Trade organizations such as QualityPro offer additional certifications. While not required, these can help show that a pest control company is reputable.
A pest control company can also belong to professional organizations. Becoming a member of an organization such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or a state-level organization grants a pest control company access to resources and education, in addition to a network of professionals with whom to compare best practices. Membership in one of these organizations is not mandatory, but it can help show that a company follows industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Typically, a company provides information like years of experience and specialities 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 can't get the information you need online, you can reach out to the company directly to get your questions answered.
Reviews and Recommendations
Resources that can be used to verify a company's legitimacy include social media, local review sites, and the Better Business Bureau (BBB). You can also check the status of a company's license through the Oregon licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
For many people, cost is one of the most important factors when hiring for pest control. Cost can be influenced by factors like your location, the size of your house, and the type of pest being treated.
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 its treatment doesn't resolve your pest problem, it will continue to come back until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
When it comes to choosing a pest control provider, you want to select one that will keep you, your family, and your pets safe. You may also prefer an environmentally-conscious provider.
You should ask your pest control technician if the chemicals they're using are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not, what kind of precautionary measures they are going to use. All pesticides that are not considered minimum-risk chemicals should be registered with the EPA. Your pest control provider will be able to supply information about all chemicals they plan to use.
Many companies are now exploring cleaner and greener pest solutions that can be used before (or instead of) chemical pesticides. Many follow the practice of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which goes as follows:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and determine if immediate action is required.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of physical, cultural, biological, and mechanical controls.
- Employ chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always along with other techniques for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and provide additional pest control as needed.