How To Choose a Pest Control Company
The most important step is choosing the right pest control professional for the job. Along with 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?
While the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets the minimum standards of competency for pesticide application, licensing is handled at the state level. All pesticide applicators (and those who supervise them) in Texas should be licensed by all the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
There are additional optional certifications that can help demonstrate that a pest control company is reputable. One of these is the GreenPro Service Certification. For 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 obtained through QualityPro and similar trade organizations.
Pest control companies can also become members of various professional organizations. Joining an organization like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or a state-level organization grants a pest control company access to resources and education, and a professional network to compare best practices with. Joining one of these organizations is not required, but it can help indicate that a company follows industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
For the most part, a company will list information like specialities and years of experience on its website. Local reviews can also help you determine if a company has experience dealing with a specific pest. If you're unable to find the information you need online, you can contact a company representative directly to get the answers to your questions.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look for reviews and recommendations on local review sites or social media, view a company's Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, or check the status of its license through the Texas licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is often a deciding factor when choosing a pest control company. Cost may be determined by your location, the size of your house, the type of pest being treated, 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 look at whether it offers a satisfaction guarantee.
Safety and Treatment Methods
When it comes to choosing a pest control provider, you want to choose a company that will keep you, your family, and your pets safe. You may also prefer an environmentally-conscious provider.
You should ask your pest control technician if the chemicals they're using are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not, what precautionary measures they will have in place. Any pesticides that are not minimum-risk chemicals need to be registered with the EPA. Your pest control provider should be able to supply you with information about all of the pesticides that they plan to use.
Organizations looking to reduce their use of chemical pesticides often follow practices such as Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Using IPM involves a series of steps:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and assess whether immediate action is needed.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of mechanical, cultural, biological, and physical controls.
- Employ chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always along with other techniques for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and continue with additional pest control as needed.