How To Choose a Pest Control Company
There are several things you can consider when selecting the best pest control company for you. Along with a company's qualifications and treatment methods, you might also look into how long it has been in business and what the reviews are like. Finally, you'll likely want to consider 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?
All pesticide applicators, as well as those that supervise them, should be licensed via the appropriate Tennessee regulatory agencies. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established minimum standards of competency, but providing, maintaining, and revoking licensure is handled at the state level.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Obtaining additional optional certifications can help show that a pest control company is reputable. One of these is the GreenPro Service Certification. To earn this certification, a company must show that its methods are more environmentally friendly and that its employees receive up-to-date training. Other various certifications can be earned through QualityPro and similar trade organizations.
There are certain professional organizations that a pest control company can be a member of. Becoming a member of 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, in addition to a network of professionals with whom to compare best practices. Joining organizations like these is not required, but it can help show that a company follows industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
A company's website can tell you how long it has been in operation and what species of pests it specializes in eliminating. Local reviews can also give you some insight into a company's experience dealing with a certain type of pest. If you're unable to find this information online, you can try calling the company directly.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can check a company's Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, look for reviews on social media or local review sites, or check the standing of its license via the Tennessee licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
The cost of pest control can vary based on things like the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, your location, and other factors.
When considering the cost of services, you should first look into whether a company offers free on-site estimates as part of its process. This can help determine whether the company fits into your budget. Also consider what guarantees a company offers: If the problem is not resolved, or returns, does the company promise to offer additional treatments until the problem is handled satisfactorily?
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your preferences regarding safety for yourself, your children, your pets, and the environment may influence the provider and the treatment methods you choose.
All pesticides (except those that pose only a minimum risk) need to be registered with the EPA. Your pest control technician should supply information on each pesticide they plan to use. They should inform you whether the pesticides are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not, what safety precautions they plan to take.
It is now common for companies to start with more environmentally friendly options before employing harsh pesticides, using a technique called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). When using IPM, the following steps are taken:
- Identify the source of the pest 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.
- Employ chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always in combination with other techniques for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and implement additional pest control as needed.