How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When choosing a pest control company, there are a number of factors that you can consider to make sure that you're choosing the best one for you. In addition to a company's qualifications and treatment methods, you may also consider how long it has been in business and what the reviews look like. Last but not least, you'll likely want to look at 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?
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established minimum standards of competency for pesticide applicators, but licensing is taken care of at the state level. All pesticide applicators and their supervisors in Tennessee must be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies can earn the GreenPro Service Certification, which requires that a company show that its practices are environmentally friendly and that its employees receive up-to-date training. Trade organizations such as QualityPro offer other certifications. While not required, these can help demonstrate that a company is reputable.
Pest control companies can also belong to certain professional organizations. Companies can obtain membership in the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), or state-level organizations. NPMA membership provides companies with access to resources, education, and a network of other pest professionals. While not required, membership in professional organizations helps back up a company's reputability.
Professional Experience and Specialties
In general, a company displays information like its years of experience and specialities on its website. Online reviews can also tell you whether a company has experience dealing with a particular pest in your area. If you're unable to locate the information you need online, you can contact a company representative directly to get the answers to your questions.
Reviews and Recommendations
Resources you can use to check a company's reputation include social media, local review sites, and the Better Business Bureau (BBB). You can also confirm the status of a company's license via the Tennessee licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
For many people, cost is one of the most important factors when picking a company for pest control. Cost can be influenced by factors like the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, and your location.
You can think about whether a specific company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget), and what kind of guarantees are provided. 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 picking a pest control provider, you want to select one that will keep you, your family, and your pets safe. You'll likely also prefer an environmentally-conscious provider.
All pesticides that will be used (except those that are determined to be of minimal risk) need to be registered with the EPA. Your pest control technician should be able to provide you with information on every 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 taken.
Many companies are 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.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of physical, biological, mechanical, and cultural controls.
- Use chemical controls only if needed, and always with other techniques for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and provide additional pest control as needed.