How To Choose a Pest Control Company
Choosing the best pest control company for you is important. Factors you might consider include licensing and qualifications, treatment methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and cost.
Below, we explore the details of 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, must be licensed via the appropriate Texas regulatory agencies. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets minimum standards of competency, while providing, maintaining, and revoking licensing is handled at the state level.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
A pest control company can receive optional certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations to back up its standards and methods. One particular certification is the GreenPro Service Certification, which is granted to any company that can demonstrate that its methods are more environmentally friendly. A company that receives this certification also needs to maintain certain training standards for employees.
Pest control companies can also hold membership in professional organizations. Pest control companies can obtain membership in both state-level organizations and national organizations such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). While not mandatory, membership in these organizations helps prove a company's reputability and gives it access to resources, education, and a network of professionals with whom to compare best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
You can gain some insight into a company's level of experience by finding out how long it has been in operation. Local reviews and the company's own website can also tell you whether a company has the experience needed to deal with the specific species of pests invading your home. You can contact a representative directly to learn this information if it is not available online.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can check a company's reputation using the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and local review sites or social media. You can also check with Texas' licensing board to verify the status of a company's license.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is important when picking a pest control company. Cost may be determined by your location, the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, and other factors.
A pest control company may offer a free on-site estimate to help you figure out if it fits into your budget. You can also check to see if it offers a satisfaction guarantee.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your preferences regarding safety for yourself, your children, your pets, and the environment may affect the provider and the treatment methods you choose.
You can ask your pest control provider if they plan on using low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides--if not, ask what precautionary measures will be in place. Any pesticide that has been deemed above minimum risk needs to be registered with the EPA. Your pest control company should be able to provide information about all of the pesticides to be used, as well as how safe they are around people and pets.
You can ask if your technician will start with lower-toxicity, more natural options before employing harsher chemicals.
Many companies are using Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to treat pest infestations with minimal personal or environmental risk. The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and determine whether immediate action is required.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Use a combination of physical, cultural, biological, and mechanical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Employ chemical controls only when required, and always along with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and provide additional pest control as needed.