How To Choose a Pest Control Company
The most important step is choosing the right pest control company for the job. Factors you may consider include licensing and qualifications, treatment methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and cost.
Below, we dive into detail on each of these factors.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established minimum competency standards for pesticide applicators, but licensure is overseen 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?
Obtaining additional optional certifications can help demonstrate that a pest control company is reputable. One example is the GreenPro Service Certification. For this certification, a company must prove that its methods are more environmentally friendly and that its employees receive up-to-date training. Other various certifications can be obtained through trade organizations like QualityPro.
Pest control companies can also belong to certain professional organizations. While not mandatory, membership in organizations like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations help show a company's reputability. In the NPMA and other organizations, pest control companies have access to resources, education, and a network of other professionals with whom to compare best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
A company's years in business can indicate how much experience it has taking care of pests in your area. You can also look at its website or read customer reviews to decide whether it has the right kind of experience handling the type of pests you are looking to get rid of. If you cannot find this information online, getting in touch with a company representative is a good way to learn more.
Reviews and Recommendations
Resources that can help you verify a company's reputation include the Better Business Bureau (BBB), social media, and local review sites. Additionally, you can verify the status of a company's license 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 determine if it fits into your budget. You can also check to see if it offers a satisfaction guarantee.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your preferences regarding safety for yourself, your children, your pets, and the environment might influence the provider and the treatment methods you choose.
You can ask your pest control technician if they plan on using low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides, and if not, ask about what precautionary measures they will take. Any pesticide that presents above a minimum risk should be registered with the EPA. Your pest control company should be able to supply information about all pesticides to be used, as well as how safe they are around people and pets.
Many companies have started offering options for more environmentally friendly methods of pest control before moving to harsh pesticides.
One popular method for making pest control safer and greener is Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify problem pests and determine if immediate action is required.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of mechanical, cultural, biological, and physical controls.
- Use chemical controls only when required, and always in combination with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and provide additional pest control as needed.