How To Choose a Pest Control Company
The most important step is hiring the right pest control professional for the job. You might consider a company's qualifications and treatment methods as well as its customer reviews and years of experience. And of course, there's the cost of services to consider.
Below, we discuss each of these factors in more detail.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
All pesticide applicators, as well as those that supervise them, should be licensed via the appropriate Texas regulatory agencies. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established minimum standards of competency, but providing, maintaining, and revoking licensing is handled at the state level.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
One certification that pest control companies can earn is the GreenPro Service Certification, which requires that a company show that its practices are environmentally friendly and that its employees receive up-to-date training. Trade organizations such as QualityPro offer additional certifications. These are not required, but can help show that a pest control company is reputable.
Pest control companies can also obtain membership in professional organizations. When a company joins an organization such as the National Pest Management Association(NPMA) (or a state-level organization), it receives access to education, resources, and a network of other pest control professionals with whom to compare treatment methods. This can give you added peace of mind that a company is following industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
How long a company has been in business can shed some light on its experience dealing with pests in your area. Online reviews or the company's website itself can also inform you whether it has the experience needed to deal with your particular pests. If you cannot find the answers to your questions online, reaching out to the company directly is a great way to learn more.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can view a company's reviews and rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), read social media and local review sites to hear what other people are saying, or verify its license standing through the Texas licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is often a deciding factor 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.
A pest control company may offer a free on-site estimate to help you match services to your budget. You can also see if it offers a guarantee of satisfaction.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Safety is an important consideration when deciding on a pest control provider, and you might prefer a provider who employs more natural, environmentally friendly methods.
Ask your pest control provider if they are going to use low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides, and if not, ask what precautionary measures they will take. Any pesticide that presents above a minimum risk must be registered with the EPA. Your pest technician should be able to supply information about all pesticides to be used, as well as how safe they are around people and pets.
You can ask if your technician will begin with lower-toxicity, more natural options before trying harsher chemicals.
Many companies are now using Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to eliminate pests while reducing personal and environmental risks. The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and determine whether immediate action is needed.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Use a combination of mechanical, cultural, biological, and physical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Employ chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always along with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and continue with additional pest control as needed.