How To Choose a Pest Control Company
The first step is hiring the best pest control professional for the job. You may consider a company's qualifications and treatment methods as well as its customer reviews and years of experience. Of course, there is also the cost of services to consider.
Below, we discuss each of these factors 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 those that supervise them must be certified at the state level. The EPA sets minimum standards of competency, but all Oregon pesticide applicators need to be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
One certification that pest control companies can earn is 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. These are not required, but can help show that a pest control company is reputable.
Pest control companies can also become members of certain professional organizations. Joining an organization like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or a state-level organization gives companies access to education and resources, as well as a network of professionals with whom to compare best practices. Joining one of these organizations is not mandatory, but it can help indicate that a company follows industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
The amount of time that a company has been in business can shed some light on its experience dealing with various pests. Online reviews or the company's website itself can also inform you whether it has the experience needed to eliminate the particular pests that are plaguing you. If you can't find the information you need online, speaking with a representative is a great way to learn about the company's areas of expertise.
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 via the Oregon licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Things like the size of your house, your location, the type of pest being treated, and other factors can all affect the cost of pest control.
You can find out whether a company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget) and what type of guarantees it provides. Often, a company will provide a guarantee that if it does not take care of your pest problem, it will continue treatment until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Safety is an important consideration when selecting a pest control provider. You might also prefer a provider who uses more natural, environmentally friendly methods.
Your pest control provider should be able to explain the safety precautions of any 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, and if not what safety precautions they plan to use to protect you, your family, and your pets. Pesticides that pose above a minimum risk should be registered with the EPA.
Many companies are using options for more environmentally friendly methods of pest control before moving to harsh pesticides.
One popular method for making pest control safer and greener is Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify problem pests and assess whether immediate action is needed.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Use a combination of biological, cultural, mechanical, and physical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Employ chemical controls only if needed, and always in combination with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and provide additional pest control as needed.