How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When picking a pest control company, you want to make sure that you find the best one for you. A company's qualifications and treatment methods are important to consider, as well as its years of experience and customer reviews. Of course, you will 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 must be certified at the state level. The EPA does set minimum standards of competency, but all pesticide applicators in Oregon should be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies can optionally obtain certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations. These are not required, but can help you assess the quality of a company's products. For example, the GreenPro Service Certification indicates comprehensive and effective pest control treatment that is safer for people and the environment.
Pest control companies can also obtain membership in professional organizations. Joining an organization such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or a state-level organization gives companies access to education and resources, and a professional network to compare best practices with. Membership in organizations like these is not required, but it can help indicate that a company follows industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
You can look at a company's years in business to help determine how much experience it has taking care of pests in your area. You can also look at its website or peruse customer reviews to determine whether it has adequate experience with the species of pests you are dealing with. If you cannot find this information online, speaking with a company representative is a good way to learn more.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look at a company's rating and reviews on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), explore local review sites and social media to find out what other people are saying, or verify its license standing via the Oregon licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
For many people, cost is one of the main deciding factors when hiring for pest control. Cost can be determined by factors like the size of your house, the type of pest being treated, and your location.
You can consider whether a certain company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget), and what kind 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 choose one that will help keep you, your family, and your pets safe. You might also prefer a provider that is environmentally-conscious.
You will want to understand the precautions around pesticides used in your home, for the sake of your family, your pets, and yourself. Your pest control provider should provide information about any pesticides they intend to use, whether they are low toxicity or non-toxic, and (if not) what safety measures will be in place. All pesticides (except minimum-risk ones) should be registered with the EPA.
Many companies have started making the switch to using more natural treatment methods before, or in place of, harsh chemical pesticides. Some utilize a program called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and assess whether immediate action is required.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Use a combination of mechanical, cultural, biological, and physical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Employ chemical controls only if needed, and always in combination with other techniques for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and implement additional pest control as needed.