How To Choose a Pest Control Company
Hiring the best company for you is the most important step in the pest control process. Factors you might consider include licensing and qualifications, treatment methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and cost.
Below, we dive into detail on each of these factors.
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 does set minimum standards of competency, but all Texas pesticide applicators need to be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
A pest control company can receive optional certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations to verify its methods and standards. One particular certification is the GreenPro Service Certification, which is awarded to any company that can demonstrate that its methods are more environmentally friendly. A company that receives this certification also needs to maintain certain employee training standards.
Pest control companies can also belong to certain professional organizations. While not mandatory, membership in organizations like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations help to prove a company's reputability. Organizations like the NPMA provide access to resources, education, and a network of professionals with whom to discuss best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
In general, a company displays information like its years of experience and specialities on its website. Online reviews can also inform you as to whether a company has experience dealing with a particular pest in your area. If you're unable to find the information you need online, you can speak with a company representative directly to get your questions answered.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can view a company's rating and reviews on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), read local review sites and social media to learn what other people are saying, or verify its license standing through the Texas licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
For many people, cost is one of the most important factors when picking a company for pest control. Cost can be influenced by factors like the size of your house, the type of pest being treated, and your location.
You can think about whether a specific company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget), and what kind of guarantees are provided. Often, a company will guarantee that if its treatment doesn't resolve your pest problem, it will continue to come back until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Keeping yourself, your family and your pets safe is an important consideration when choosing a pest control provider. You might also prefer a provider that employs environmentally friendly practices.
Be sure to 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 has been deemed above minimum risk needs to be registered with the EPA. Your pest control company should be able to provide information about all of the pesticides to be used, and how safe they are around people and pets.
Many companies have started offering options for more environmentally friendly pest control techniques before jumping into using harsh pesticides.
One common 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 determine whether immediate action is required.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Use a combination of biological, cultural, physical, and mechanical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Employ chemical controls only if needed, and always along with other techniques for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and continue with additional pest control as needed.