How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When hiring a pest control company, there are a number of factors you can consider to be sure that you're choosing the right one for you. In addition to 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. Last but not least, you'll likely want to consider the cost of services.
Below, we dive into detail on each of these factors.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
All pesticide applicators, as well as those that supervise them, must be licensed via the appropriate Virginia regulatory agencies. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets minimum standards of competency, while providing, maintaining, and revoking licensing is handled at the state level.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
One certification that pest control companies can earn is the GreenPro Service Certification, which requires that a company show that its practices are environmentally friendly and that its employees receive up-to-date training. Trade organizations such as QualityPro offer other certifications. While not required, these can help demonstrate that a pest control company is reputable.
A pest control company can also be a member of various professional organizations. Pest control companies can join both state-level organizations and national organizations such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). By being a member of these optional organizations, a company helps support its reputability and gains access to resources, education, and a network of other professionals with whom to compare best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Generally, a company will list information like its years of experience and specialities on its website. Local reviews can also help you figure out if a company has experience dealing with a specific pest. If you're unable to locate the information you need online, you can call the company directly to get your questions answered.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look up a company's reviews and rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), check out social media and local review sites to hear what others in your area have to say, or verify its license standing via the Virginia licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Things like the type of pest being treated, your location, the size of your house, and other factors can all affect the cost of pest control.
You can learn whether a company provides free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget), as well as what kind of guarantees it offers. Often, a company will guarantee that if it does not take care of your pest problem, it will continue treatment until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
When picking a pest control provider, you want to choose one that will help keep you, your family, and your pets safe. You might also prefer a provider that is environmentally-conscious.
All pesticides that will be used (except those that are determined to be of minimal risk) need to be registered with the EPA. Your pest control technician should provide information on all the pesticides that they are using. They should be able to tell you whether these chemicals are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not, what safety precautions will be in place.
Many companies have started offering options for more environmentally friendly methods of pest control before relying on harsh pesticides.
One popular method for making pest control safer and greener is Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify problem pests and determine if immediate action is needed.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Use a combination of biological, cultural, mechanical, and physical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Employ chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always along with other techniques for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and continue with additional pest control as needed.