How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When selecting a pest control company, there are a number of factors you can consider to make sure you choose the best one for you. The qualifications of and treatment methods used by a company are important to consider, as are its years of experience and customer reviews. Of course, you will also want to think about cost.
Below, we discuss each of these factors in more detail.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set minimum standards of competency for pesticide applicators, but licensure is regulated at the state level. All pesticide applicators and their supervisors in Texas must be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
There are additional optional certifications that can help show that a pest control company is reputable. One of these is the GreenPro Service Certification. For this certification, a company must prove 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. When a company joins an organization like the National Pest Management Association(NPMA) (or a state-level organization), it gets access to education, resources, and a network of other pest experts with whom to compare treatment methods. This can give you additional peace of mind that a company is following industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
For the most part, a company will list information like years of experience and specialities on its website. Local reviews can also help you figure out if a company has experience dealing with a specific pest. If you're unable to locate the information you need online, you can speak with a company representative directly to get the answers to your questions.
Reviews and Recommendations
Resources that can be used to verify a company's legitimacy include the Better Business Bureau (BBB), local review sites, and social media. Additionally, you can verify the status of a company's license through the Texas licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is an important consideration when choosing a pest control company. Cost may be determined by the type of pest being treated, your location, the size of your house, 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 see if it offers a guarantee of satisfaction.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Keeping yourself, your family and your pets safe is an important concern when picking a pest control provider. You may also prefer one that uses environmentally friendly methods.
Ask your pest control technician if they plan to use low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides—if not, ask what precautionary measures they will take. Any pesticide that presents above a minimum risk needs to be registered with the EPA. Your pest control company should be able to provide information about all pesticides used, and how safe they are around people and pets.
Companies often begin with more environmentally friendly options before employing pesticides, following a framework called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). When using IPM, the following steps are taken:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and determine whether immediate action is needed.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Use a combination of biological, cultural, physical, and mechanical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Employ chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always in combination with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and implement additional pest control as needed.