How To Choose a Pest Control Company
It's important to choose the right pest control company for you. Things you might consider include qualifications and licensing, treatment methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and cost.
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) sets the minimum standards of competency for pesticide application, licensure is taken care of at the state level. All pesticide applicators (and their supervisors) in Texas should be licensed by all the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies also have the option to obtain additional certifications like the GreenPro Service Certification. This certification is awarded once a company has proven its methods to be more environmentally friendly and demonstrated that it also holds itself up to certain other standards, such as up-to-date employee training. A company can also earn other certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro to further support its methods and practices.
Pest control companies can also belong to various professional organizations. Joining an organization like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or a state-level organization grants a pest control company access to resources and education, and a professional network to compare best practices with. Joining one of these organizations is not mandatory, but it can help show that a company follows industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
A company's website can tell you how long it has been in business and what species of pests it specializes in exterminating. Local reviews can also give you some insight into a company's experience dealing with a certain type of pest. If you can't find this information online, you can try contacting the company directly.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can browse reviews and recommendations on social media or local review sites, view a company's rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), or check the status of its license through the Texas licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is probably high on your list of priorities 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.
Companies will often offer free on-site estimates as part of their process, to help you decide whether it fits into your budget. You can also ask whether a provider offers a satisfaction guarantee, meaning that it will continue to treat your pest problem until it is solved.
Safety and Treatment Methods
When choosing a pest control provider, you want to choose one that will keep you, your family, and your pets safe. You may also prefer a provider that is environmentally-conscious.
You can ask your pest control technician if they are going to use low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides, and if not, ask about what precautionary measures will be in place. Any pesticide that poses greater than minimum risk should be registered with the EPA. Your pest technician should be able to supply information about all of the pesticides to be used, as well as how safe they are around people and pets.
You can ask if your technician will begin with lower-toxicity, more natural options before employing 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 required.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Use a combination of mechanical, physical, biological, and cultural controls to manage the pest problem.
- Use chemical controls only when required, and always in combination with other solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and continue with additional pest control as needed.