How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When selecting a pest control company, there are several things that you can consider to make sure you choose the right one for you. Important decision-making factors can 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?
Per the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), all pesticide applicators and their supervisors are required to be certified at the state level. The EPA sets minimum standards of competency, but all Oregon pesticide applicators must be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Obtaining additional optional certifications can help demonstrate that a pest control company is reputable. One of these is the GreenPro Service Certification. To receive this certification, a company must show that its methods are more environmentally friendly and that its employees receive up-to-date training. Other certifications can be earned through trade organizations like QualityPro.
There are several professional organizations in which pest control companies can hold membership. While not mandatory, membership in organizations such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations help show a company's reputability. Organizations like the NPMA provide access to resources, education, and a network of other professionals with whom to discuss 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 various pests. You can also explore its website or look through customer reviews to determine whether it has adequate experience with the type of pests you are dealing with. If you cannot find this information online, getting in touch with a company representative is a good way to learn more.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can view a company's reviews and rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), check out social media and local review sites to see what other people are saying, or verify its license standing via the Oregon licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is probably high on your list of priorities when hiring a pest control company. Cost can be affected influenced by the type of pest being treated, your location, the size of your house, and other factors.
Companies will often offer free on-site estimates as part of their process, to help you decide whether it fits into your budget. You can also ask whether a provider offers 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.
Your pest control provider should be able to explain the safety precautions of any and all pesticides that they're going to use. They should be able to clarify whether the pesticides are low toxicity or non-toxic; if they are not, they should explain what safety precautions will be in place to protect you, your family, and your pets. All pesticides that pose above a minimum risk should be registered with the EPA.
Nowadays, many companies are exploring cleaner and greener pest solutions that can be used before (or in place of) chemical pesticides. Many are following the practice of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which goes as follows:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and determine whether immediate action is required.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of mechanical, physical, biological, and cultural controls.
- Employ chemical controls only when required, and always in combination with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and continue with additional pest control as needed.