How To Choose a Pest Control Company
Hiring the best company for you is the most important step in the pest control process. You might consider a company's qualifications, methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and cost of services.
Below, we explore the details of each factor.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
All pesticide applicators, as well as those that supervise them, need to be licensed via the appropriate Texas regulatory agencies. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets minimum standards of competency, while issuing, maintaining, and revoking licensure is handled at the state level.
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 environmentally friendly and that its employees receive up-to-date training. QualityPro and similar trade organizations also offer other certifications. These are not required, but can help show that a company is reputable.
Pest control companies can also belong to certain professional organizations. Becoming a member of an organization like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or a state-level organization gives companies access to resources and education, in addition to a network of professionals with whom to compare best practices. Membership in one of these organizations is not required, but it can help show that a company follows industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Typically, a company provides information like its specialities and years of experience on its website. Local reviews can also inform you as to whether a company has experience dealing with a specific pest. If you're unable to locate the information you need online, you can contact a company representative directly to get your questions answered.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look up a company's rating and reviews on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), explore social media and local review sites to see what homeowners near you think, or verify its license standing through the Texas licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
The cost of pest control can vary based on things like your location, the size of your house, the type of pest being treated, and other factors.
When considering the cost of services, you should confirm whether a company provides free on-site estimates as part of its services. This can help determine whether the company fits into your budget. Also consider what guarantees a company offers: If the problem is not fixed, or returns, will the company provide additional treatment until the issue is satisfactorily resolved?
Safety and Treatment Methods
It's important to consider safety when choosing a pest control provider, and you might prefer a provider who employs more natural, environmentally friendly methods.
You want to ensure that you understand the precautions for the pesticides being used in your house, for the sake of your family, your pets, and yourself. Your pest control provider should be able to provide information about the pesticides they plan on using, whether they are low toxicity or non-toxic, and (if not) what safety measures will be in place. All pesticides (except minimum-risk ones) should be registered with the EPA.
Nowadays, many companies are 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 the source of the pest problem and assess whether immediate action is required.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Use a combination of physical, biological, mechanical, 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 provide additional pest control as needed.