How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When choosing a pest control company, you want to find the best one to meet your needs. Important decision-making factors include the company's qualifications, its treatment methods, experience and reviews, and of course the cost of services.
Below, we explore the details of 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 does set minimum standards of competency, but all pesticide applicators in Oregon need to be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies also have the option to obtain additional certifications like the GreenPro Service Certification. This certification is awarded once a company has proven that its treatment methods are more environmentally friendly and demonstrated that it also holds itself up to certain other standards, such as up-to-date training for employees. A company can also earn other certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations to further back up its methods and practices.
A pest control company can also hold membership in professional organizations. Joining an organization such as 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 organizations like these is not mandatory, but it can help show that a company follows industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
The amount of time that a company has been in business can tell you something about its experience dealing with the pests that live in Tigard. Online reviews or the company's website itself can also help you figure out whether it has the skills and experience necessary to handle your specific pest problem. If you can't find the information you need online, reaching out to the company directly is an easy way to learn more.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can check a company's reputation using the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and local review sites or social media. You can also check with Oregon's licensing board to verify the status of a company's license.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is important when picking a pest control company. Cost may be determined by the type of pest being treated, your location, the size of your house, and other factors.
A pest control company may offer a free on-site estimate to help you match services to your budget. You can also see if it offers a guarantee of satisfaction.
Safety and Treatment Methods
It's important to consider safety when selecting a pest control provider, and you might prefer a provider who employs more natural, environmentally friendly methods.
All pesticides (except those that pose only a minimum risk) need to be registered with the EPA. Your pest control provider should provide information on all the pesticides that they are using. They should inform you whether the pesticides are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not, what safety precautions will be in place.
Many companies have begun using more natural treatment methods before, or instead of, harsh chemical pesticides. Some employ a program called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and assess whether immediate action is needed.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Use a combination of physical, biological, mechanical, and cultural controls to manage the pest problem.
- Use chemical controls only when required, and always along with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and continue with additional pest control as needed.