How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When hiring a pest control company, there are several things you can consider to make sure that you're choosing the right one for you. Important decision-making factors can include a company's qualifications, its treatment methods, experience and reviews, and of course the cost of services.
Below, we explore the details of each of these factors.
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 those that supervise them need to be licensed at the state level. The EPA has established minimum standards of competency, and the Texas regulatory agencies take care of the granting, maintaining, and revoking of licenses.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
An optional certification that may be worth looking for is the GreenPro Service Certification. In order to receive this certification, a pest control company needs to both demonstrate that its practices are more environmentally friendly and uphold certain training standards for its technicians. Companies can also earn other certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations to further support their work.
There are certain professional organizations that pest control companies can be members of. Companies can belong to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), or state-level organizations. NPMA membership gives companies access to education, resources, and a network of other pest control companies. While not mandatory, membership in professional organizations helps back up a company's reputability.
Professional Experience and Specialties
How long a company has been in business can shed some light on its experience dealing with various pests. Online reviews or the company's website itself can also help you figure out whether it has the experience necessary to handle your specific pest problem. If you cannot find the answers to your questions online, calling a representative is an excellent way to learn about the company's areas of expertise.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look for reviews and recommendations on local review sites or social media, verify a company's Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, or check its licensure status through the Texas licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is important 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.
Often, companies will offer free on-site estimates before starting work, to help you decide whether it fits into your budget. You can also ask whether if your company has a satisfaction guarantee, meaning that if your pest problem is not solved by the initial treatment, it will continue returning until it is.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your choice of pest control company might be affected by how environmentally friendly a provider's practices are, in addition to how safe its methods are around your family and pets.
Be sure to ask your pest control provider if they plan to use low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides, and if not, what kind of precautionary measures they are going to use. All pesticides that are not considered minimum-risk chemicals should be registered with the EPA. Your pest technician will be able to provide you with information about all chemicals that they are going to use.
Many companies are now trialing options for more environmentally friendly methods of pest control before employing harsh pesticides.
One popular method for making pest control safer and greener is Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and assess whether immediate action is needed.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Use a combination of physical, cultural, biological, and mechanical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Use chemical controls only if needed, and always with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and provide additional pest control as needed.