How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When selecting a pest control company, there are several factors that you can consider to make sure that you're choosing the best one for you. Important decision-making factors include a company's qualifications, its treatment methods, experience and reviews, and of course the cost of services.
Below, we dive into detail on each of these factors.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
While the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets the minimum competency standards for pesticide application, licensure is taken care of at the state level. All pesticide applicators (and those who supervise them) in Texas need to be licensed by all the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies also have the option to obtain additional certifications such as the GreenPro Service Certification. This certification is awarded once a company has shown its methods to be more environmentally friendly and demonstrated that it also maintains certain other standards, such as up-to-date employee training. A pest control company can also earn other certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations to further support its practices and methods.
Pest control companies can also become members of various professional organizations. When a company obtains membership in an organization such as the National Pest Management Association(NPMA) (or a state-level organization), it gains access to resources, education, and a network of other pest experts with whom to compare methods. This can give you additional peace of mind that a company is following industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Typically, a company displays information like specialities and years of experience on its website. Local reviews can also tell you whether a company has experience dealing with a specific pest. If you're unable to find the information you need online, you can call the company directly to get the answers to your questions.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look for reviews and recommendations on local review sites or social media, view 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
Things like the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, your location, and other factors can all affect the price of pest control.
You can find out whether a company provides free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget), as well as what type of guarantees it provides. Often, a company will provide a guarantee that if it does not resolve your pest problem, it will keep coming back until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
When picking a pest control provider, you want to choose a company that will help keep you, your family, and your pets safe. You might also prefer an environmentally-conscious provider.
You will want to understand the precautions around pesticides used around your house, for the sake of your family, your pets, and yourself. Your pest control provider should provide information about the pesticides they intend to use, whether they are low toxicity or non-toxic, and (if not) what safety measures they plan to take. All pesticides (except minimum-risk ones) must be registered with the EPA.
You can ask if your technician will begin with more natural and lower-toxicity options before employing harsher chemicals.
Many companies are using Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to eliminate pests while reducing personal and environmental risks. 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, cultural, biological, and physical controls.
- Use chemical controls only if needed, and always along with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and implement additional pest control as needed.