How To Choose a Pest Control Company
It's important to choose the right pest control company for you. Important decision-making factors include a company's qualifications, its treatment methods, experience and reviews, and of course the cost of services.
Below, we explore the details of each of these factors.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
Per the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), all pesticide applicators and those that supervise them are required to be certified at the state level. The EPA does set minimum standards of competency, but all Texas pesticide applicators must be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies can optionally obtain 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 treatment that is safer for humans and the environment.
Pest control companies can also become members of certain professional organizations. Companies can be members of the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), or state-level organizations. Membership in the NPMA gives companies access to resources, education, and a network of other pest control companies. While not required, membership in professional organizations helps demonstrate a company's reputability.
Professional Experience and Specialties
You can look at a company's years in business to help determine how much experience it has taking care of pests in your area. You can also explore its website or peruse customer reviews to decide whether it has the right kind of experience handling the species of pests you are dealing with. If this information is not available online, calling the company directly is a good way to learn more.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look at a company's reviews and rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), check out social media and local review sites to find out what others in your area have to say, or verify its license standing through the Texas licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
For many people, cost is one of the most important factors when picking a company for pest control. Cost can be determined by factors like your location, the type of pest being treated, and the size of your house.
You can think about whether a specific company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget), and what kind of guarantees are provided. Often, a company will guarantee that if its treatment doesn't resolve your pest problem, it will continue to come back until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your choice of pest control company might be affected by how environmentally friendly a company's practices are, as well as how safe its methods are around your family and pets.
Ask your pest control provider if the chemicals they're using are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not, what sort of precautionary measures they will have in place. All pesticides that are not considered minimum-risk chemicals should be registered with the EPA. Your pest technician should be able to supply information about all chemicals that they are going to use.
Many companies have started offering options for more environmentally friendly methods of pest control before relying on harsh pesticides.
One common way of 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 determine if immediate action is required.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of biological, cultural, mechanical, and physical controls.
- Use chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and provide additional pest control as needed.