How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When hiring a pest control company, you want to make sure that you find the best one to meet your needs. Along with a company's qualifications and treatment methods, you might also look into how long it has been in business and what the reviews look like. Finally, you'll likely want to look at the cost of services.
Below, we discuss each of these factors in more detail.
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 certified at the state level. The EPA does set minimum standards of competency, but all pesticide applicators in Texas should be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
A pest control company can optionally apply for certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations to back up its standards and methods. One particular certification is the GreenPro Service Certification, which is granted to any company that can demonstrate that its methods are more environmentally friendly. A company that receives this certification also needs to maintain certain employee training standards.
There are certain professional organizations that a pest control company can belong to. Companies can obtain membership in the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), or state-level organizations. NPMA membership gives companies access to resources, education, and a network of other pest control companies. While not required, membership in professional organizations helps demonstrate a company's reputability.
Professional Experience and Specialties
The amount of time that a company has been in business can give you some insight into its experience dealing with various pests. Online reviews or the company's own website can also inform you whether it has the experience needed to eliminate the particular pests that are plaguing you. If the answers to your questions aren't available online, calling a representative is an excellent way to learn about the company's areas of expertise.
Reviews and Recommendations
Resources you can use to check a company's reputation include social media, local review sites, and the Better Business Bureau (BBB). You can also check the status of a company's license via the Texas licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Things like the type of pest being treated, your location, the size of your house, and other factors can all affect the cost of pest control.
You can learn whether a company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget), as well as what kind of guarantees it offers. Often, a company will provide a guarantee that if it does not resolve your pest problem, it will continue treatment until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your choice of pest control company might be influenced by how environmentally friendly a provider's practices are, in addition to how safe its methods are around your family and pets.
It's important to understand the precautions around pesticides being used around your house, for the sake of you, your family, and your pets. Your pest control technician should be able to supply information about all pesticides they will be using, whether they are low toxicity or non-toxic, and (if not) what safety measures they plan to take. All pesticides (except minimum-risk ones) need to be registered with the EPA.
Companies often start with more environmentally friendly options before employing harsh pesticides, following a technique called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). When using IPM, the following steps are taken:
- Identify problem pests and determine whether immediate action is needed.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Use a combination of physical, biological, mechanical, and cultural controls to manage the pest problem.
- Use chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always in combination with other techniques for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and continue with additional pest control as needed.