How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When choosing a pest control company, you want to find the best one for you. Along with a company's qualifications and treatment methods, you might also consider how long it has been in business and what the reviews look like. Last but not least, you'll likely want to consider the cost of services.
Below, we dive into detail on each of these factors.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
Per the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), all pesticide applicators and their supervisors need to be licensed at the state level. The EPA maintains minimum standards of competency, and the Texas regulatory agencies take care of the issuing, 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. In order to obtain this certification, a pest control company needs to both show that its practices are more environmentally friendly and uphold certain technician training standards. Companies can also earn other certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations to further support their work.
Pest control companies can also become members of professional organizations. Being a member of organizations such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations is not required, but helps show that a company is reputable. Membership in the NPMA gives companies access to resources, education, and a network of professionals with whom to discuss methods and practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
The amount of time that a company has been in business can tell you something about its experience dealing with the pests that live in Plano. Customer reviews or the company's own website can also enlighten you about whether it has the experience needed to deal with your particular pests. If you cannot find the answers to your questions online, calling a representative is an easy way to learn about the company's areas of expertise.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can view a company's rating and reviews on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), read local review sites and social media to hear what others in your area have to say, 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, your location, the size of your house, and other factors.
Often, companies will offer free on-site estimates at the beginning of their process, to help you decide whether it fits into your budget. You can also ask whether a company offers a satisfaction guarantees, meaning that it will continue to treat your pest problem until it is solved.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Keeping yourself, your family and your pets safe is an important concern when picking a pest control provider. You may also prefer a provider that employs environmentally friendly practices.
Your pest control provider should use pesticides that are low toxicity or non-toxic whenever possible. If any pesticides they intend to use don't fit into one of these categories, your technician should explain what safety precautions they will put in place to protect you, your family, and your pets. All pesticides that pose more than a minimum risk are required to be registered with the EPA.
You can ask if your technician will start 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 assess whether immediate action is needed.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of physical, biological, mechanical, and cultural controls.
- Employ chemical controls only when required, and always along with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and provide additional pest control as needed.