How To Choose a Pest Control Company
The most important step in the pest control process is hiring the right company for you. You may 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?
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 Texas pesticide applicators must be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
One optional certification that could 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 also obtain other certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations to further back up their work.
A pest control company can also belong to professional organizations. Pest control companies can join both state-level organizations and national organizations such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). By being a member of these optional organizations, a company helps support its reputability and gains access to resources, education, and a network of other professionals to compare best practices with.
Professional Experience and Specialties
For the most part, a company will list information like its specialities and years of experience on its website. Local reviews can also help you determine if a company has experience dealing with a particular pest in your area. If you can't get the information you need online, you can speak with a company representative directly to get the answers to your questions.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can browse reviews and recommendations on social media or local review sites, look up a company's Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, or check its licensure status through the Texas licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is often a deciding factor when choosing a pest control company. Cost may be determined by the type of pest being treated, your location, the size of your house, and other factors.
Certain pest control companies offer a free on-site estimate to help you determine if it fits into your budget. You can also look at whether it offers a satisfaction guarantee.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your choice of pest control provider might be affected by how environmentally friendly a provider's practices are, as well as how safe its methods are around your family and pets.
Your pest technician should use pesticides that are low toxicity or non-toxic any time they can. If any pesticides used don't fit into one of these categories, your technician should explain what safety precautions they will put in place to protect you, your family, and your pets. All pesticides that pose more than a minimum risk must be registered with the EPA.
Pest professionals looking to reduce their reliance on chemical pesticides often implement procedures such as Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Using IPM involves a series of steps:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and assess whether immediate action is required.
- Decide on the 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 with other techniques for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and implement additional pest control as needed.