How To Choose a Pest Control Company
The most important step is hiring the best 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. Finally, you'll likely want to look at the cost of services.
Below, we discuss each of these factors in more detail.
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 Texas regulatory agencies. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established minimum standards of competency, while issuing, maintaining, and revoking licensing is handled at the state level.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
One optional certification that might be worth looking for is the GreenPro Service Certification. In order to earn this certification, a pest control company needs to both show that its practices are more environmentally friendly and maintain certain training standards for its technicians. Companies can also obtain other certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro to further support their work.
Pest control companies can also belong to certain professional organizations. Companies can be members of the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), or state-level organizations. NPMA membership gives companies access to resources, education, and a network of other pest professionals. While not mandatory, membership in professional organizations helps demonstrate a company's reputability.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Browsing a company's website can tell you how long it has been in operation and what type of pests it specializes in exterminating. Local reviews can also give you some insight into a company's experience dealing with specific pests. If you're unable to find this information online, you can try reaching out to the company directly.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can check a company's Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, explore reviews on social media or local review sites, or check the standing of its license via the Texas licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Things like the size of your house, your location, the type of pest being treated, and other factors can all affect the cost of pest control.
You can learn whether a company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget), as well as what type 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
Your preferences regarding safety for yourself, any children or pets, and the environment may affect which provider and treatment methods you choose.
Your pest control provider should be able to explain the safety precautions of all pesticides that will be used in your home. They should be able to answer questions about whether the pesticides are low toxicity or non-toxic; if they are not, they should explain what safety precautions will be used to protect you, your family, and your pets. Any pesticides that pose above a minimum risk are required to be registered with the EPA.
Many companies have started offering options for more environmentally friendly pest control techniques before relying on harsh pesticides.
One popular method for making pest control safer and greener is Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify problem pests and determine whether immediate action is needed.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Use a combination of biological, cultural, mechanical, and physical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Employ chemical controls only if needed, and always in combination with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and continue with additional pest control as needed.