How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When picking a pest control company, you want to find the right one to meet your needs. The qualifications of and treatment methods used by a company are important to consider, as are its years of experience and customer reviews. Of course, you will also want to consider cost.
Below, we explore the details of each of these factors.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets minimum competency standards for pesticide applicators, but licensing is regulated at the state level. All pesticide applicators and their supervisors in Texas need to be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies can obtain optional certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations. These certifications can help you evaluate the quality of a company's products. For example, the GreenPro Service Certification recognizes comprehensive and effective pest control methods that are safer for humans and the environment.
Pest control companies can also become members of professional organizations. While not required, membership in organizations such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations help verify a company's reputability. In the NPMA and other organizations, pest control companies have access to education, resources, and a network of other professionals with whom to discuss best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
The number of years that a company has been in business can shed some light on its experience dealing with the pests that live in Hurst. Online reviews or the company's website itself can also help you figure out whether it has the experience needed to handle your specific pest problem. If you can't find the information you need online, calling a representative is a great way to learn about the company's areas of expertise.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look up a company's Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, look for reviews on local review sites or social media, or check the standing of its license via the Texas licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is often a deciding factor when picking a pest control company. Cost may be determined by the size of your house, your location, the type of pest being treated, and other factors.
Certain pest control companies offer a free on-site estimate to help you decide if it fits into your budget. You can also see if it offers a guarantee of satisfaction.
Safety and Treatment Methods
It's important to consider safety when choosing a pest control provider, and you might prefer a provider who uses more natural, environmentally friendly methods.
Your pest technician should be using low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides when possible. If any pesticides used 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 must be registered with the EPA.
Many companies will begin with more environmentally friendly options before employing harsh pesticides, following a technique called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). When using IPM, the following steps are taken:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and assess whether immediate action is needed.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of biological, cultural, mechanical, and physical controls.
- Employ chemical controls only when required, and always with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and provide additional pest control as needed.