How To Choose a Pest Control Company
The most important step is selecting the right pest control company for the job. Important factors 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?
All pesticide applicators, as well as those that supervise them, must be licensed via the appropriate Texas regulatory agencies. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established minimum standards of competency, while providing, maintaining, and revoking licensure is handled at the state level.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
One certification that pest control companies can earn is the GreenPro Service Certification, which requires that a company show that its practices are more environmentally friendly and that its employee training is up to date. Trade organizations such as QualityPro offer additional certifications. While not required, these can help show that a pest control company is reputable.
A pest control company can also hold membership in professional organizations. Pest control companies can join both state-level organizations and national organizations like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). While not mandatory, membership in these organizations helps prove a company's reputability and gives it access to resources, education, and a network of other professionals to compare best practices with.
Professional Experience and Specialties
A company's website can tell you how many years it has been in operation and what kind of pests it specializes in eliminating. Online reviews can also give you some insight into a company's experience dealing with specific pests. If this information isn't available online, you can try reaching out to the company directly.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can check a company's reputation using the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and social media or local review sites. 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 your location, the size of your house, the type of pest being treated, and other factors.
When thinking about the cost of services, you should try to determine whether a company provides free on-site estimates as part of its process. 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 if it returns, does the company promise to offer additional treatment until the problem is resolved satisfactorily?
Safety and Treatment Methods
When picking a pest control provider, you want to choose a company that will keep you, your family, and your pets safe. You might also prefer an environmentally-conscious provider.
Your pest technician should be using low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides any time they can. If any pesticides they intend to use don't fit into one of these categories, your technician should explain what safety precautions will be used to protect you, your family, and your pets. Any pesticides that pose more than a minimum risk are required to be registered with the EPA.
You can ask if your technician will begin with lower-toxicity, more natural options before using harsher chemicals.
Many companies have begun to use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to treat pest infestations with minimal personal or environmental risk. The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify problem pests and assess whether immediate action is needed.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Use a combination of biological, cultural, mechanical, and physical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Use chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always in combination with other solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and implement additional pest control as needed.