How To Choose a Pest Control Company
There are a number of things you can weigh when selecting the right pest control company for you. You may consider a company's qualifications and treatment methods in addition to its customer reviews and years of experience. And of course, there's the cost of services to consider.
Below, we dive into detail on 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 must be certified at the state level. The EPA sets minimum standards of competency, but all pesticide applicators in Texas should be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies can also obtain optional certifications like the GreenPro Service Certification. This certification is given once a company has shown that its treatment methods are more environmentally friendly and demonstrated that it also maintains certain other standards, such as up-to-date employee training. A pest control company can also earn other certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro to further back up its practices and methods.
A pest control company can also belong to professional organizations. Membership in 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 network of professionals with whom to compare best practices. Joining organizations like these is not required, but it can help show that a company follows industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
The number of years that a company has been in business can shed some light on its experience dealing with pests in your area. Online reviews or the company's website itself can also inform you whether it has the experience necessary to eliminate the particular pests that are plaguing you. If you cannot find the answers to your questions online, reaching out to the company directly is an easy way to learn more.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look up a company's rating and reviews on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), check out social media and local review sites to find out what homeowners near you think, or verify its license standing via the Texas licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Things like the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, your location, and other factors can all influence the cost of pest control.
You can find out whether a company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget), as well as what type of guarantees it provides. Often, a company will provide a guarantee that if it does not eliminate your pest problem, it will keep coming back until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Keeping yourself, your family and your pets safe is an important consideration when selecting a pest control provider. You may also prefer one that employs environmentally friendly practices.
Make sure to ask your pest control provider if the chemicals they're using are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not, what kind of precautionary measures they will have in place. All pesticides that are not considered minimum-risk chemicals must be registered with the EPA. Your pest control provider should be able to supply information about all of the pesticides they are going to use.
Many companies will start with more environmentally friendly options before employing harsh pesticides, following a framework called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). When using IPM, the following steps are taken:
- 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 mechanical, physical, biological, and cultural controls to manage the pest problem.
- Use chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always in combination with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and continue with additional pest control as needed.