How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When choosing a pest control company, you want to make sure that you find the right one to meet your needs. You might take into consideration a company's qualifications and treatment methods in addition to its customer reviews and years of experience. And of course, there's the cost of services to consider.
Below, we dive into detail on each of these factors.
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 must be licensed at the state level. The EPA sets minimum standards of competency, and the Texas regulatory agencies take care of the granting, maintaining, and revoking of licenses.
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 must both demonstrate that its practices are more environmentally friendly and uphold certain technician training standards. Companies can also obtain other certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations to further back up their work.
Pest control companies can also hold membership in various professional organizations. Companies can obtain membership in the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), or state-level organizations. Membership in the NPMA provides companies with access to resources, education, and a network of other pest professionals. While not mandatory, membership in professional organizations helps demonstrate a company's reputability.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Looking at how long a company has been in business can help determine how much experience it has dealing with pests in your area. You can also look at its website or peruse customer reviews to figure out whether it has experience eliminating the species of pests you are dealing with. If this information is not available online, contacting a representative directly is a great way to learn more.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look up a company's reviews and rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), check out social media and local review sites to find out what homeowners near you think, or verify its license standing via the Texas licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is important when hiring someone for pest control. Cost can be affected influenced by the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, your location, and other factors.
Many companies offer free on-site estimates before starting work, to help you decide whether it fits into your budget. You can also ask whether if your company has a satisfaction guarantee, meaning that if your pest problem is not solved by the initial treatment, it will continue returning until it is.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your preferences regarding safety for yourself, any children or pets, and the environment may affect the provider and the treatment methods you choose.
Your pest technician should be using pesticides that are low toxicity or non-toxic any time they can. If any pesticides used don't fit into one of these categories, your technician should explain what safety precautions they plan to use to protect you, your family, and your pets. Pesticides that pose more than a minimum risk should be registered with the EPA.
Many companies are now trialing options for more environmentally friendly methods of pest control before jumping into using 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 determine if immediate action is needed.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Use a combination of physical, cultural, biological, and mechanical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Employ chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always with other techniques for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and continue with additional pest control as needed.