How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When hiring a pest control company, you want to be sure to find the best one to meet your needs. You might consider a company's qualifications, methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and service prices.
Below, we discuss each factor in more detail.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), all pesticide applicators and those that supervise them must be certified at the state level. The EPA sets minimum standards of competency, but all Texas pesticide applicators should be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies can earn the GreenPro Service Certification, which requires that a company show that its practices are more environmentally friendly and that its employee training is up to date. QualityPro and similar trade organizations also offer additional certifications. While not required, these can help demonstrate that a company is reputable.
Pest control companies can also hold membership in professional organizations. When a company joins an organization like the National Pest Management Association(NPMA) (or a state-level organization), it gets access to education, resources, and a network of other pest experts with whom to compare treatment methods. This can give you added peace of mind that a company is following industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
A company's years in business can indicate how much experience it has handling pests in your area. You can also look at its website or read customer reviews to decide whether it has the right kind of experience handling the type of pests you are looking to get rid of. If this information is not available online, calling the company directly is a great way to learn more.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can verify a company's legitimacy using social media or local review sites as well as the Better Business Bureau (BBB). You can also check with Texas' licensing board to verify the status of a company's license.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is important when choosing a pest control company. Cost may be determined by the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, your location, and other factors.
A pest control company may offer a free on-site estimate to help you match services to your budget. You can also see if it offers a satisfaction guarantee.
Safety and Treatment Methods
When it comes to choosing a pest control provider, you want to choose a company that will keep you, your family, and your pets safe. You'll likely also prefer a provider that is environmentally-conscious.
Your pest technician should be using pesticides that are low toxicity or non-toxic when possible. If any pesticides used don't fall into one of these categories, your technician should explain what safety precautions they plan to use to protect your family, your pets, and you. Any 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 now use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to treat pest infestations with minimal personal or environmental risk. The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify problem pests and determine whether immediate action is required.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of physical, biological, mechanical, and cultural controls.
- Use chemical controls only when required, and always with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and provide additional pest control as needed.