How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When hiring a pest control company, there are a number of factors you can consider to make sure that you're choosing the best one for you. You may consider a company's qualifications, methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and service prices.
Below, we discuss each factor in more detail.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established minimum competency standards for pesticide applicators, but licensure is regulated at the state level. All pesticide applicators and supervisors in Texas need to 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. To get this certification, a pest control company needs to both show that its practices are more environmentally friendly and uphold certain technician training standards. Companies can also obtain other certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro to further support their work.
Pest control companies can also belong to various professional organizations. A pest control company can join state-level organizations in addition to national organizations such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). While not mandatory, membership in these organizations helps prove a company's reputability and gives it access to education, resources, and a network of professionals with whom to compare best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Typically, a company will list information like years of experience and specialities on its website. Online reviews can also help you determine if a company has experience dealing with a particular pest in your area. If you're unable to find the information you need online, you can reach out to the company directly to get your questions answered.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can verify a company's legitimacy using social media or local review sites as well as the Better Business Bureau (BBB). You can also check with Texas' licensing board to verify the status of a company's license.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is important when choosing a pest control company. Cost may be determined by the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, your location, and other factors.
Certain pest control companies offer a free on-site estimate to help you match services to your budget. You can also see if it offers a satisfaction guarantee.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Safety is an important consideration when choosing a pest control provider. You might also prefer a provider who uses more natural, environmentally friendly methods.
You want to ensure that you understand the precautions for the pesticides used in your house, for the sake of your family, your pets, and yourself. Your pest control provider should be able to supply information about all pesticides they will be using, whether they are low toxicity or non-toxic, and (if not) what safety measures they have in place. All pesticides (except minimum-risk ones) should be registered with the EPA.
Nowadays, many companies are exploring greener and cleaner pest management that can be implemented before (or in place of) chemical pesticides. Many are following the practice of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which goes as follows:
- Identify problem pests and determine whether immediate action is required.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Use a combination of physical, biological, mechanical, and cultural controls to manage the pest problem.
- Employ chemical controls only if needed, and always along with other solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and provide additional pest control as needed.