How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When choosing a pest control company, you want to find the right one for you. You might take into consideration a company's qualifications, methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and price of services.
Below, we dive into detail on each factor.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
All pesticide applicators (and those who supervise them) are required to be certified at the state level. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established minimum standards of competency, but all pesticide applicators working in Washington must be licensed via the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies can earn the GreenPro Service Certification, which requires that a company show that its practices are more environmentally friendly and that its employee training is up to date. QualityPro and similar trade organizations also offer other certifications. These are not required, but can help demonstrate that a company is reputable.
Pest control companies can also be members of various professional organizations. When a company obtains membership in an organization such as the National Pest Management Association(NPMA) (or a state-level organization), it gets access to education, resources, and a network of other pest experts with whom to compare methods. This can give you added peace of mind that a company follows industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Typically, a company will list information like its specialities and years of experience on its website. Online reviews can also tell you whether a company has experience dealing with a specific pest. If you can't get the information you need online, you can call the company directly to get your questions answered.
Reviews and Recommendations
Resources that can be used to verify a company's legitimacy include social media, local review sites, and the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Additionally, you can check the status of a company's license via the Washington licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
The cost of pest control can vary based on things like the type of pest being treated, your location, the size of your house, and other factors.
When thinking about the cost of services, you should confirm whether a company offers free on-site estimates as part of its services. This can help determine whether the company fits into your budget. Also consider a company's guarantees: If the problem is not resolved, or if it returns, does the company promise to offer additional treatments until the problem is handled satisfactorily?
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your choice of pest control provider might be influenced by how environmentally friendly a company's practices are, as well as how safe its methods are around your family and pets.
You can ask your pest control technician if they will be using low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides—if not, ask 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 supply information about all pesticides used, in addition to how safe they are around people and pets.
Nowadays, many companies are exploring cleaner and greener pest management that can be implemented before (or instead of) chemical pesticides. Many are following 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.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of biological, cultural, mechanical, and physical controls.
- Use chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always along with other solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and provide additional pest control as needed.