How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When choosing a pest control company, there are a number of things that you can consider to make sure that you're choosing the right one for you. You may consider a company's qualifications and treatment methods, as well as its customer reviews and years of experience. And of course, there's the cost of services to consider.
Below, we discuss each of these factors in more detail.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
While the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets the minimum competency standards for pesticide applicators, licensure is handled at the state level. All pesticide applicators (and their supervisors) in Florida must be licensed by all the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
There are additional optional certifications that can help prove that a pest control company is reputable. One of these is the GreenPro Service Certification. To earn this certification, a company must show that its methods are more environmentally friendly and that its employee training is up to date. Other various certifications can be obtained through trade organizations like QualityPro.
There are certain professional organizations that a pest control company can be a member of. Companies can obtain membership in the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), or state-level organizations. Membership in the NPMA provides companies with access to education, resources, and a network of other pest professionals. While not required, membership in professional organizations helps demonstrate a company's reputability.
Professional Experience and Specialties
A company's years in business can indicate how much experience it has taking care of pests in your area. You can also browse its website or read customer reviews to figure out whether it has experience eliminating the type of pests you are dealing with. If this information can't be found online, getting in touch with a company representative is a great way to learn more.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can verify a company's legitimacy using the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and social media or local review sites. You can also check with Florida's licensing board to see the status of a company's license.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Things like the type of pest being treated, your location, the size of your house, and other factors can all affect the cost of pest control.
You can look into whether a company provides free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget) and what type of guarantees it provides. Often, a company will provide a guarantee that if it does not resolve your pest problem, it will keep coming back until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
When picking a pest control provider, you want to choose one that will keep you, your family, and your pets safe. You might also prefer a provider that is environmentally-conscious.
You want to ensure that you understand the precautions around pesticides being used around your house, for the sake of you, your family, and your pets. Your pest control provider should be capable of providing information about the pesticides they plan to use, whether they are low toxicity or non-toxic, and (if not) what safety measures they have in place. All pesticides (except minimum-risk ones) should be registered with the EPA.
Many companies have started making the switch to using more natural treatment methods before, or in place of, harsh chemical pesticides. Some use 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 needed.
- 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 if needed, and always with other techniques for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and provide additional pest control as needed.