How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When hiring a pest control company, you want to be sure to find the best one for you. Some things you may consider include qualifications and licensing, treatment methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and cost.
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, need to be licensed via the appropriate Wisconsin regulatory agencies. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets minimum standards of competency, while providing, maintaining, and revoking licensure is handled at the state level.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies can obtain optional certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations. While not required, they can help you assess the quality of a company's products. For example, the GreenPro Service Certification indicates comprehensive and effective pest control treatment that is safer for people and the environment.
A pest control company can also obtain membership in professional organizations. While not required, membership in organizations such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations help demonstrate a company's reputability. In the NPMA and other organizations, pest control companies have access to resources, education, and a network of other professionals with whom to compare best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
You can look at a company's years in business to help determine how much experience it has taking care of various pests. You can also look at its website or read customer reviews to determine whether it has adequate experience with the species of pests you are struggling with. If this information is not available online, speaking with a company representative is a great way to learn more.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can browse reviews and recommendations on local review sites or social media, view a company's rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), or check the status of its license through the Wisconsin licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
For many people, cost is one of the most important factors when looking for pest control services. Cost can be influenced by factors like your location, the type of pest being treated, and the size of your house.
You can take into consideration whether a certain company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits your budget), and what kind of guarantees are provided. 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 influenced by how environmentally friendly a company's practices are, in addition to how safe its methods are around your family and pets.
Ask your pest control provider if they plan to use low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides—if not, ask what precautionary measures they plan to use. Any pesticide that has been deemed above minimum risk needs to be registered with the EPA. Your pest control company should provide information about all pesticides that will be used in your home, in addition to how safe they are around people and pets.
Many companies have begun using more natural treatment methods before (or instead of) harsh chemical pesticides. Some utilize a program called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and assess whether immediate action is required.
- 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 with other techniques for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and provide additional pest control as needed.