How To Choose a Pest Control Company
Hiring the right company for you is the most important step in the pest control process. The qualifications of and treatment methods used by a company are important to consider, as are its years of experience and what other customers have said. Of course, you also want to think about cost.
Below, we discuss each of these factors in more detail.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
All pesticide applicators (and those who supervise them) are required to be certified at the state level. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets minimum standards of competency, but any pesticide applicators working in Texas must be licensed via 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 that a company show that its practices are environmentally friendly and that its employee training is up to date. QualityPro and similar trade organizations also offer additional certifications. These are not required, but can help show that a pest control company is reputable.
There are various professional organizations that pest control companies can be members of. 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, plus a network of professionals with whom to compare best practices. Joining organizations like these is not required, but it can help indicate that a company follows industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
For the most part, a company provides information like its specialities and years of experience on its website. Local reviews can also help you determine if a company has experience dealing with a specific pest. If you're unable to locate the information you need online, you can reach out to the company directly to get your questions answered.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can browse reviews and recommendations on local review sites or social media, look up a company's Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, or check the status of its license through the Texas licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is important when picking 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.
A pest control company may offer a free on-site estimate to help you determine if it fits into your budget. You can also look at whether it offers a satisfaction guarantee.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your preferences regarding safety for yourself, your children, your pets, and the environment may influence the provider and the treatment methods you choose.
It's important to understand the precautions for the pesticides used in your home, for the sake of you, your family, and your pets. Your pest control provider should be able to provide information about any pesticides they plan to use, whether they are low toxicity or non-toxic, and (if not) what safety measures will be used. All pesticides (except minimum-risk ones) need to be registered with the EPA.
Many companies have started making the switch to using more natural treatment methods before, or in place of, harsh chemical pesticides. Some use a program called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and determine if immediate action is required.
- 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 if needed, and always with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and provide additional pest control as needed.