How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When hiring a pest control company, you want to find the right one for you. You may consider a company's qualifications, methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and service prices.
Below, we dive into detail on each factor.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
All pesticide applicators (and those that supervise them) must be certified at the state level. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established minimum standards of competency, but all pesticide applicators working in Texas must be licensed via the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies can obtain optional certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro. These are not required, but can help you evaluate the quality of a company's products. For example, the GreenPro Service Certification is given to companies that use comprehensive and effective pest control methods that are safer for humans and the environment.
Pest control companies can also belong to various professional organizations. Companies can be members of the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), or state-level organizations. Membership in the NPMA provides companies with access to education, resources, and a network of other pest control companies. While not required, membership in professional organizations helps back up a company's reputability.
Professional Experience and Specialties
A company's years in business can indicate how much experience it has taking care of pests in your area. You can also explore its website or look through customer reviews to determine whether it has adequate experience with the species of pests you are looking to get rid of. If you cannot find this information online, calling the company directly is a good way to learn more.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look up a company's Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, look for reviews on social media or local review sites, or check the standing of its license via the Texas licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Things like your location, the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, and other factors can all affect the price of pest control.
You can learn whether a company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget) and what kind of guarantees it offers. Often, a company will provide a guarantee that if it does not solve your pest problem, it will continue treatment until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Keeping yourself, your family and your pets safe is an important concern when picking a pest control provider. You may also prefer a provider that employs environmentally friendly practices.
Your pest control provider 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. All pesticides that pose more than a minimum risk are required to be registered with the EPA.
Many companies have begun using more natural treatment methods before, or in place of, harsh chemical pesticides. Some use a program called 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 needed.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of mechanical, cultural, biological, and physical controls.
- Use chemical controls only when required, and always along with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and continue with additional pest control as needed.