How To Choose a Pest Control Company
The first step is selecting the best pest control company for the job. Things you may consider include qualifications and licensing, treatment methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and cost.
Below, we explore the details of each of these factors.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
While the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established minimum standards of competency for pesticide application, licensing is taken care of at the state level. All pesticide applicators (and those who supervise them) in Texas need to be licensed by all the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies can optionally obtain additional certifications such as the GreenPro Service Certification. This certification is granted once a company has shown that its treatment methods are more environmentally friendly and demonstrated that it also maintains certain other standards, such as up-to-date training for employees. A company can also earn other certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations to further verify its methods and practices.
A pest control company can also hold membership in professional organizations. When a company joins an organization like the National Pest Management Association(NPMA) (or a state-level organization), it gains access to resources, education, and a network of other pest control experts with whom to compare treatment methods. This can offer extra peace of mind that a company is following industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
The number of years that a company has been in business can tell you something about its experience dealing with various pests. Online reviews or the company's website itself can also enlighten you about whether it has the skills and experience needed to handle your specific pest problem. If you cannot find the answers to your questions online, contacting the company directly is an easy way to learn about its areas of expertise.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look for reviews and recommendations on social media or local review sites, verify a company's Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, or check its licensure status through the Texas licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is an important consideration when choosing a pest control company. Cost may be determined by the size of your house, the type of pest being treated, your location, and other factors.
Certain pest control companies offer a free on-site estimate to help you decide if it fits into your budget. You can also check to see if it offers a guarantee of satisfaction.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your preferences regarding safety for yourself, any children or pets, and the environment might influence the provider and the treatment methods you choose.
You can ask your pest control provider if they will be using low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides—if not, ask what precautionary measures they plan to use. Any pesticide that presents above a minimum risk needs to be registered with the EPA. Your pest technician should be able to provide information about all of the pesticides used, as well as how safe they are around people and pets.
Companies often start with more environmentally friendly options before using harsh pesticides, using a technique called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). When using IPM, the following steps are taken:
- Identify problem pests and determine whether 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 absolutely necessary, and always along with other solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and provide additional pest control as needed.