How To Choose a Pest Control Company
There are several things you can consider when choosing the right pest control company for you. Things you might consider include qualifications and licensing, treatment methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and cost.
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 (and those who supervise them) need to be certified at the state level. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets minimum standards of competency, but all pesticide applicators working in the state of Texas must be licensed via the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies can optionally obtain additional certifications like the GreenPro Service Certification. This certification is awarded once a company has proven its methods to be more environmentally friendly and demonstrated that it also holds itself up to certain other standards, such as up-to-date employee training. A company can also earn other certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations to further back up its methods and practices.
There are various professional organizations in which pest control companies can hold membership. Holding membership in organizations such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations is not required, but helps confirm that a company follows industry best practices. When a pest control company joins the NPMA, it gains access to resources, education, and a network of pest professionals with whom to discuss practices and methods.
Professional Experience and Specialties
You can gain some insight into a company's level of pest management experience by seeing how long it has been in business. The company's website and local reviews can also clue you in as to whether a company has the experience needed to deal with the specific species of pests that are afflicting your home. You can always contact a representative directly to learn this information if it is not available online.
Reviews and Recommendations
Resources you can use to check a company's reputation include the Better Business Bureau (BBB), local review sites, and social media. Additionally, you can check the status of a company's license via 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 determine if it fits into your budget. You can also look at whether it offers a satisfaction guarantee.
Safety and Treatment Methods
When picking a pest control provider, you want to choose a company that will help keep you, your family, and your pets safe. You'll likely also prefer an environmentally-conscious provider.
Be sure to ask your pest control provider if they plan to use low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides, and if not, ask about what precautionary measures they plan to use. Any pesticide that presents above a minimum risk needs to be registered with the EPA. Your pest control company should provide information about all of the pesticides used, and how safe they are around people and pets.
It is now common for companies to start with more environmentally friendly options before using pesticides, using a technique called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). When using IPM, the following steps are taken:
- Identify problem pests and determine if 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.
- Use chemical controls only if needed, and always in combination with other techniques for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and provide additional pest control as needed.