How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When picking a pest control company, you want to be sure to find the right one for you. In addition to a company's qualifications and treatment methods, you might also look into how long it has been in business and what the reviews look like. Finally, you'll likely want to look at 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?
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), all pesticide applicators and their supervisors must be licensed at the state level. The EPA has established minimum standards of competency, and the Alabama regulatory agencies handle the issuing, maintaining, and revoking of licenses.
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 given once a company has shown that its treatment methods are more environmentally friendly and demonstrated that it also maintains certain other standards, such as up-to-date training for employees. A pest control company can also earn other certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations to further back up its methods and practices.
A pest control company can also belong to professional organizations. Holding membership in organizations like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations is not mandatory, but helps verify a company's reputability. The NPMA gives companies access to education, resources, and a network of other professionals with whom to discuss methods and practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Typically, a company displays information like specialities and years of experience on its website. Online reviews can also tell you whether a company has experience dealing with a particular pest in your area. If you can't get the information you need online, you can call the company directly to get your questions answered.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can verify a company's legitimacy using social media or local review sites as well as the Better Business Bureau (BBB). You can also check with Alabama's licensing board to verify the status of a company's license.
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.
Many companies offer free on-site estimates before starting work, to help you determine 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
It's important to consider safety when choosing a pest control provider. You might also prefer a provider who employs more natural, environmentally-friendly methods.
Make sure to ask your pest control provider if the chemicals they're using are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not, what precautionary measures they plan to take. Any pesticides that are not minimum-risk chemicals need to be registered with the EPA. Your pest control provider should be able to provide information about all chemicals that they plan to use.
Many companies will begin with more environmentally friendly options before using pesticides, using a framework called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). When using IPM, the following steps are taken:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and determine whether immediate action is needed.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Use a combination of mechanical, cultural, biological, and physical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Use chemical controls only if needed, and always along with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and continue with additional pest control as needed.