How To Choose a Pest Control Company
The most important step is choosing the right pest control company for the job. Important decision-making factors can include a company's qualifications, its treatment methods, experience and reviews, and of course 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?
Per the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), all pesticide applicators and those that supervise them are required to be certified at the state level. The EPA does set minimum standards of competency, but all pesticide applicators in Texas need to be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
An optional certification that might be worth looking for is the GreenPro Service Certification. In order to earn this certification, a pest control company must both demonstrate that its practices are more environmentally friendly and uphold certain technician training standards. Companies can obtain other certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro to further back up their work.
Pest control companies can also belong to professional organizations. While not required, membership in organizations like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations help demonstrate a company's reputability. After joining an organization like the NPMA, a company receives access to education, resources, and a network of professionals with whom to share best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
The amount of time that a company has been in business can tell you something about its experience dealing with the pests that live in Dallas. Customer reviews or the company's own website can also inform you whether it has the experience needed to handle your specific pest problem. If the answers to your questions aren't available online, calling a representative is an excellent way to learn about the company's areas of expertise.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can read reviews and recommendations on social media or local review sites, verify a company's rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), or check the status of its license through the Texas licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
For many people, cost is one of the main deciding factors when picking a company for pest control services. Cost can be affected by factors like the type of pest being treated, your location, and the size of your house.
You can think about whether a company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget), and what kind 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
Safety is an important consideration when deciding on a pest control provider, and you might prefer a provider who uses more natural, environmentally friendly methods.
All pesticides that will be used (except those that are determined to be of minimal risk) need to be registered with the EPA. Your pest control provider should provide you with information on every pesticide they plan to use. They should inform you whether the pesticides are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not, what safety precautions will be taken.
You can ask if your technician will begin with lower-toxicity, more natural options before employing harsher chemicals.
Many companies are now using Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to reduce personal or environmental risk when treating pest infestations. The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify problem pests 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.
- Use chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always in combination with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and implement additional pest control as needed.