How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When hiring a pest control company, you want to find the right one for you. A company's qualifications and treatment methods are important to consider, as well as its years of experience and reputation in customer reviews. Of course, you will also want to consider cost.
Below, we discuss each of these factors in more detail.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) maintains minimum standards of competency for pesticide applicators, but licensure is handled at the state level. All pesticide applicators and their supervisors in Texas must be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
One optional certification that may be worth looking for is the GreenPro Service Certification. In order to receive 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 earn other certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro to further support their work.
Pest control companies can also become members of professional organizations. Pest control companies can obtain membership in both state-level organizations and national organizations like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). By being a member of these optional organizations, a company helps support its reputability and gains access to resources, education, and a network of other professionals to compare best practices with.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Typically, a company will list information like specialities and years of experience on its website. Local reviews can also tell you whether a company has experience dealing with a specific pest. If you're unable to locate the information you need online, you can contact a company representative directly to get the answers to your questions.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can read reviews and recommendations on social media or local review sites, view a company's Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, or check its licensure status through the Texas licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Things like the type of pest being treated, your location, the size of your house, and other factors can all affect the cost of pest control.
You can look into whether a company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget) and what type of guarantees it offers. Often, a company will guarantee that if it does not solve your pest problem, it will keep coming back until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your choice of pest control provider might be influenced by how environmentally friendly a company's practices are, as well as how safe its methods are around your family and pets.
All pesticides (except those that pose only a minimum risk) should be registered with the EPA. Your pest control technician should supply information on each pesticide they are using. They should inform you whether these chemicals are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not, what safety precautions will be taken.
Many companies have started making the switch to using more natural treatment methods before (or instead of) harsh chemical pesticides. Some follow a program called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify problem pests and determine if immediate action is required.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Use a combination of mechanical, physical, biological, and cultural controls to manage the pest problem.
- Employ chemical controls only when required, and always in combination with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and provide additional pest control as needed.