How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When hiring a pest control company, you want to make sure that you find the best one to meet your needs. Things you might consider include qualifications and licensing, treatment methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and cost.
Below, we explore the details of each of these factors.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set minimum competency standards for pesticide applicators, but licensing is regulated at the state level. All pesticide applicators and their supervisors in Washington need to be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies have the option to obtain certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations. These certifications can help you assess the quality of a company's products. For example, the GreenPro Service Certification is given to companies that use comprehensive and effective pest control treatment that is safer for humans and the environment.
A pest control company can also belong to professional organizations. A pest control company can obtain membership in state-level organizations in addition to national organizations like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). While not mandatory, membership in these organizations helps prove a company's reputability and gives it access to resources, education, and a network of professionals to compare best practices with.
Professional Experience and Specialties
The amount of time that a company has been in business can tell you something about its experience dealing with pests in your area. Customer reviews or the company's website itself can also inform you whether it has the experience needed 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
Resources you can use to check a company's reputation include the Better Business Bureau (BBB), local review sites, and social media. You can also confirm the status of a company's license via the Washington licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is probably high on your list of priorities when hiring someone for pest control. Cost can be affected influenced by your location, the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, and other factors.
Often, companies will offer free on-site estimates as part of their process, to help you decide whether it fits into your budget. You can also ask whether a provider offers a satisfaction guarantee, meaning that it will continue to treat your pest problem until it is solved.
Safety and Treatment Methods
When choosing a pest control provider, you want to choose a company that will keep you, your family, and your pets safe. You'll likely also prefer an environmentally-conscious provider.
All pesticides used by your company (except those that are determined to be of minimal risk) are required to be registered with the EPA. Your pest control technician should be able to provide information on each pesticide they will be using. They should inform you whether these chemicals are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not, what safety precautions will be in place.
Many companies are using options for more environmentally friendly pest control techniques before employing harsh pesticides.
One popular way of making pest control safer and greener is Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and determine whether immediate action is needed.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Use a combination of physical, biological, mechanical, and cultural controls to manage the pest problem.
- Employ chemical controls only if needed, and always with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and implement additional pest control as needed.