How To Choose a Pest Control Company
There are a number of factors you can consider when selecting the best pest control company for you. Important decision-making factors can 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?
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), all pesticide applicators and those that supervise them need to be licensed at the state level. The EPA sets minimum standards of competency, and the Texas regulatory agencies handle the granting, maintaining, and revoking of licenses.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
There are additional optional certifications that can help demonstrate that a pest control company is reputable. One of these is the GreenPro Service Certification. To receive this certification, a company must show that its methods are more environmentally friendly and that its employees receive up-to-date training. Additional certifications can be earned through QualityPro and similar trade organizations.
A pest control company can also hold membership in 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 resources, education, and a network of other pest experts with whom to compare treatment methods. This can give you extra peace of mind that a company is following industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Browsing a company's website can tell you how many years it has been in operation and what type of pests it specializes in exterminating. Local reviews can also provide some insight into a company's experience dealing with a certain type of pest. If you're unable to find this information online, you can try contacting the company directly.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can verify a company's legitimacy using the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and social media or local review sites. You can also check with Texas' licensing board to verify the status of a company's license.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Things like the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, your location, and other factors can all affect the cost of pest control.
You can find out whether a company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget), as well as what kind of guarantees it provides. Often, a company will provide a guarantee that if it does not solve your pest problem, it will keep coming back until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Keeping yourself, your family and your pets safe is an important concern when choosing a pest control provider. You may also prefer one that uses environmentally friendly methods.
It's important to understand the precautions around pesticides being used in your home, for the sake of you, your family, and your pets. Your pest control technician should supply information about the pesticides they intend to use, whether they are low toxicity or non-toxic, and (if not) what safety measures will be used. All pesticides (except minimum-risk ones) should be registered with the EPA.
Many companies are using options for more environmentally friendly pest control techniques before moving to harsh pesticides.
One popular method for making pest control safer and greener is Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and assess whether immediate action is required.
- 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 absolutely necessary, and always along with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and provide additional pest control as needed.