How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When hiring a pest control company, you want to make sure that you find the best one to meet your needs. A company's qualifications and treatment methods are important to consider, as well as its years of experience and what other customers have said. Of course, you also want to consider cost.
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 (and those that supervise them) are required to be certified at the state level. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets minimum standards of competency, but any pesticide applicators working in Texas must be licensed via the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies can earn the GreenPro Service Certification, which requires a company to show that its practices are more environmentally friendly and that its employees receive up-to-date training. Trade organizations such as QualityPro offer additional certifications. These are not required, but can help demonstrate that a company is reputable.
Pest control companies can also become members of various professional organizations. When a company obtains membership in an organization like the National Pest Management Association(NPMA) (or a state-level organization), it gains access to education, resources, and a network of other pest experts with whom to compare methods. This can give you added peace of mind that a company is following industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
You can get some insight into a company's experience level by looking into how many years it has been in business. The company's website and local reviews can also clue you in as to whether a certain company has experience dealing 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 see the status of a company's license.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
The cost of pest control can vary based on things like the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, your location, and other factors.
When thinking about the cost of services, you should first look into whether a company includes free on-site estimates as part of its process. This can help determine whether the company fits into your budget. Also take into account what guarantees a company offers: If the problem is not resolved, or if it returns, does the company provide additional treatments until the problem is satisfactorily handled?
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your choice of pest control company might be affected by how environmentally friendly a company's practices are, as well as how safe its methods are around your family and pets.
Your pest control provider should be using low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides any time they can. If they plan to use pesticides that don't fit into one of these categories, your technician should explain what safety precautions will be in place to protect you, your family, and your pets. All pesticides that pose more than a minimum risk are required to be registered with the EPA.
Many companies are now exploring cleaner and greener pest management that can be implemented before (or instead of) chemical pesticides. Many follow the practice of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which goes as follows:
- Identify problem pests and determine if immediate action is needed.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Use a combination of mechanical, physical, biological, and cultural controls to manage the pest problem.
- Use chemical controls only if needed, and always in combination with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and implement additional pest control as needed.