How To Choose a Pest Control Company
Hiring the right company for you is the most important step in the pest control process. You might take into consideration a company's qualifications and treatment methods in addition to its years of experience and customer reviews. And of course, there's the cost of services to consider.
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 are required to be certified at the state level. The EPA sets minimum standards of competency, but all pesticide applicators in Wisconsin should be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies also have the option to obtain additional certifications such as the GreenPro Service Certification. This certification is awarded once a company has proven its methods to be more environmentally friendly and demonstrated that it also holds itself up to certain other standards, such as up-to-date employee training. A company can also earn other certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro to further back up its methods and practices.
Pest control companies can also join various professional organizations. Becoming a member of an organization such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or a state-level organization grants a pest control company access to resources and education, plus a network of professionals with whom to compare best practices. Membership in organizations like these is not mandatory, but it can help show that a company follows industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
In general, a company provides information like its specialities and years of experience on its website. Online reviews can also inform you as to whether a company has experience dealing with a specific pest. If you're unable to locate the information you need online, you can reach out to the company directly to get your questions answered.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can check a company's Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, explore reviews on local review sites or social media, or check the standing of its license via the Wisconsin licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
The cost of pest control can vary based on things like your location, the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, and other factors.
When thinking about the cost of services, you should verify whether a company provides free on-site estimates as part of its process. This can help determine whether the company fits into your budget. Also look into what guarantees a company offers: If the problem is not resolved, or if it returns, will the company provide additional treatments until the problem is satisfactorily handled?
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your choice of pest control company might be influenced by how environmentally friendly a company'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 used around your home, for the sake of you, your family, and your pets. Your pest control provider should supply information about the pesticides they plan on using, whether they are low toxicity or non-toxic, and (if not) what safety measures they plan to take. All pesticides (except minimum-risk ones) need to be registered with the EPA.
Many companies are using options for more environmentally friendly pest control techniques before relying on 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 needed.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Use a combination of physical, cultural, biological, and mechanical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Use chemical controls only when required, and always in combination with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and provide additional pest control as needed.