How To Choose a Pest Control Company
The most important step in the pest control process is hiring the right company for you. In addition to a company's qualifications and treatment methods, you may also consider 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?
While the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established minimum competency standards for pesticide application, licensure is taken care of at the state level. All pesticide applicators (and those who supervise them) in Texas should be licensed by all the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
One certification that pest control companies can earn is the GreenPro Service Certification, which requires a company to show that its practices are more environmentally friendly and that its employee training is up to date. QualityPro and similar trade organizations also offer other certifications. These are not required, but can help demonstrate that a pest control company is reputable.
Pest control companies can also be members of certain professional organizations. When a company obtains membership in an organization such as the National Pest Management Association(NPMA) (or a state-level organization), it gets access to education, resources, and a network of other pest control experts with whom to compare treatment methods. This can offer additional peace of mind that a company is following industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
In general, a company will list information like its years of experience and specialities on its website. Online reviews can also help you determine if a company has experience dealing with a particular pest in your area. If you're unable to find the information you need online, you can reach out to the company directly to get your questions answered.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can view a company's rating and reviews on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), explore social media and local review sites to learn what other people are saying, or verify its license standing via the Texas licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
For many people, cost is one of the most important factors when hiring for pest control. Cost can be influenced by factors like your location, the type of pest being treated, and the size of your house.
You can look into whether a company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget), and what kind of guarantees it provides. Often, a company will guarantee that if its treatment doesn't resolve your pest problem, it will continue to come back until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Keeping yourself, your family and your pets safe is an important consideration when picking a pest control provider. You may also prefer a provider that uses environmentally friendly methods.
Your pest control provider should use pesticides that are low toxicity or non-toxic any time they can. If any pesticides used don't fit into one of these categories, your technician should explain what safety precautions will be in place to protect you, your family, and your pets. Pesticides that pose more than a minimum risk should be registered with the EPA.
You can ask if your technician will begin with lower-toxicity, more natural options before trying harsher chemicals.
Many companies have started to use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to reduce personal or environmental risk when treating pest infestations. The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and determine whether immediate action is needed.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of biological, cultural, mechanical, and physical controls.
- Use chemical controls only if needed, and always along with other solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and provide additional pest control as needed.