How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When picking a pest control company, you want to make sure that you find the right one for you. You might consider a company's qualifications, treatment methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and cost of services.
Below, we discuss each factor in more detail.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
All pesticide applicators (and those who supervise them) are required to be certified at the state level. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets minimum standards of competency, but all pesticide applicators working in Texas should be licensed via the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies can optionally obtain additional certifications like the GreenPro Service Certification. This certification is given once a company has proven its methods to be more environmentally friendly and demonstrated that it also holds itself up to certain other standards, such as up-to-date employee training. A pest control company can also earn other certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro to further back up its practices and methods.
Pest control companies can also belong to certain professional organizations. Pest control companies can join both state-level organizations and national organizations like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). While not mandatory, membership in these organizations helps prove a company's reputability and gives it access to education, resources, and a network of professionals with whom to compare best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
A company's years in business can indicate how much experience it has handling various pests. You can also browse its website or look through customer reviews to determine whether it has adequate experience with the type of pests you are struggling with. If this information is not available online, speaking with a company representative is a good way to learn more.
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). Additionally, you can verify the status of a company's license via the Texas licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
For many people, cost is one of the most important factors when looking for pest control services. Cost can be affected by factors like your location, the type of pest being treated, and the size of your house.
You can think about whether a particular company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits your budget), and what sort of guarantees it provides. 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
Keeping yourself, your family and your pets safe is an important consideration when choosing a pest control provider. You might also prefer one that employs environmentally friendly practices.
You want to ensure that you 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 be able to provide information about any pesticides they plan to use, whether they are low toxicity or non-toxic, and (if not) what safety measures will be in place. All pesticides (except minimum-risk ones) need to be registered with the EPA.
You can ask if your technician will start with more natural and lower-toxicity options before moving on to harsher chemicals.
Many companies have begun to use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to eliminate pests while reducing personal and environmental risks. The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and determine if immediate action is needed.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of mechanical, physical, biological, and cultural controls.
- Employ chemical controls only when required, and always along with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and implement additional pest control as needed.