How To Choose a Pest Control Company
It's important to choose the best pest control company for you. You might take into consideration a company's qualifications and treatment methods in addition to 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?
While the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets the minimum standards of competency for pesticide application, licensure is taken care of at the state level. All pesticide applicators (and their supervisors) in Oregon must be licensed by all the necessary 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 more 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 company is reputable.
There are certain professional organizations in which pest control companies can hold membership. Becoming a member of an organization like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or a state-level organization grants a pest control company access to education and resources, and a network of professionals with whom to compare best practices. Membership in one of these organizations is not required, but it can help indicate that a company follows industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
In general, a company will list information like specialities and years of experience on its website. Local reviews can also tell you whether a company has experience dealing with a specific pest. If you're unable to find the information you need online, you can reach out to the company directly to get the answers to your questions.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look up a company's rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), read reviews on local review sites or social media, or check the standing of its license via the Oregon licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
It's important to think about cost when hiring someone for pest control. Cost can be affected influenced by the size of your house, the type of pest being treated, your location, and other factors.
Often, companies will offer free on-site estimates at the beginning of their process, to help you determine whether it fits into your budget. You can also ask whether if your company has a satisfaction guarantee, meaning that if your pest problem is not solved by the initial treatment, it will continue returning until it is.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Safety is an important consideration when choosing a pest control provider, and you might prefer a provider who uses more natural, environmentally friendly methods.
All pesticides used by your company (except those that pose only a minimum risk) must be registered with the EPA. Your pest control provider should be able to supply information on each pesticide they will be using. They should inform you whether these chemicals are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not, what safety precautions will be in place.
You can ask if your technician will start with lower-toxicity, more natural options before moving on to harsher chemicals.
Many companies are using Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to treat pest infestations with minimal personal or environmental risk. The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and determine if immediate action is needed.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Use a combination of mechanical, physical, biological, and cultural controls to manage the pest problem.
- Use chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and continue with additional pest control as needed.