How To Choose a Pest Control Company
Hiring the right company for you is the most important step in the pest control process. You might take into consideration a company's qualifications, treatment methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and service prices.
Below, we explore the details of each factor.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
All pesticide applicators, as well as those that supervise them, should be licensed via the appropriate Pennsylvania regulatory agencies. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets minimum standards of competency, while issuing, maintaining, and revoking licensure is handled at the state level.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
An optional certification that may be worth looking for is the GreenPro Service Certification. To receive this certification, a pest control company needs to both show that its practices are more environmentally friendly and uphold certain technician training standards. Companies can also earn other certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations to further support their work.
A pest control company can also belong to various 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 resources and education, and a network of professionals with whom to compare best practices. Membership in 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 pests in your area. Customer reviews or the company's own website can also enlighten you about whether it has the skills and experience necessary to deal with your particular pests. If you can't find the information you need online, speaking with a representative is an easy way to learn about the company's areas of expertise.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look up a company's reviews and rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), explore local review sites and social media to learn what others in your area have to say, or verify its license standing via the Pennsylvania licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Things like the size of your house, the type of pest being treated, your location, and other factors can all affect the price of pest control.
You can look into whether a company provides free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget) and what kind of guarantees it offers. Often, a company will guarantee that if it does not resolve your pest problem, it will keep coming back until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Keeping yourself, your family and your pets safe is an important concern when selecting a pest control provider. You may also prefer one that uses environmentally friendly methods.
It's important to understand the precautions for the pesticides used in your house, for the sake of you, your family, and your pets. Your pest control provider should supply information about all pesticides they plan to use, whether they are low toxicity or non-toxic, and (if not) what safety measures they have in place. All pesticides (except minimum-risk ones) need to be registered with the EPA.
Companies looking to reduce their reliance on chemical pesticides often follow practices such as Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Using IPM involves a series of steps:
- Identify problem pests and assess whether immediate action is required.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Use a combination of biological, cultural, mechanical, and physical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Use chemical controls only when required, and always with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and continue with additional pest control as needed.