How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When choosing a pest control company, you want to be sure to find the best one for you. Along with a company's qualifications and treatment methods, you may also look into how long it has been in business and what the reviews look like. Finally, you'll likely want to consider 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 must be licensed at the state level. The EPA has established minimum competency standards, and the Virginia regulatory agencies take care of the granting, maintaining, and revoking of licenses.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
One certification that pest control companies can earn is the GreenPro Service Certification, which requires a company to show that its practices are environmentally friendly and that its employees receive up-to-date training. Trade organizations such as QualityPro offer other certifications. These are not required, but can help show that a company is reputable.
Pest control companies can also become members of professional organizations. While not required, membership in organizations like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations help show a company's reputability. Organizations like the NPMA provide access to education, resources, and a network of professionals with whom to compare best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Generally, a company will list information like its specialities and years of experience on its website. Online reviews can also help you determine if a company has experience dealing with a particular pest in your area. If you're unable to locate the information you need online, you can call the company directly to get the answers to your questions.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look up a company's Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, look for reviews on social media or local review sites, or check the standing of its license via the Virginia licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
For many people, cost is one of the main deciding factors when picking a company for pest control. Cost can be affected by factors like your location, the size of your house, and the type of pest being treated.
You can look into whether a particular company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits your budget), and what sort of guarantees it provides. 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
Your choice of pest control provider 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.
You want to ensure that you understand the precautions around pesticides being used around your house, for the sake of your family, your pets, and yourself. Your pest control technician should supply information about the pesticides they intend to use, whether they are low toxicity or non-toxic, and (if not) what safety measures they have in place. All pesticides (except minimum-risk ones) need to be registered with the EPA.
Nowadays, many companies are exploring cleaner and greener pest management that can be implemented before (or in place of) chemical pesticides. Many follow the practice of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which goes as follows:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and determine if immediate action is needed.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Use a combination of biological, cultural, physical, and mechanical 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.
- Observe the results and implement additional pest control as needed.