How To Choose a Pest Control Company
There are several factors that you can weigh when selecting the right pest control company for you. You might take into consideration a company's qualifications, methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and service prices.
Below, we explore the details of each factor.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
While the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established minimum competency standards for pesticide application, licensure is taken care of at the state level. All pesticide applicators (and their supervisors) in Florida need to be licensed by all the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
A pest control company can obtain optional certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro to verify its methods and standards. One particular certification is the GreenPro Service Certification, which is awarded to any company that can demonstrate that its methods are more environmentally friendly. These companies also need to maintain certain employee training standards.
Pest control companies can also hold membership in various professional organizations. Membership in organizations such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations is not mandatory, but helps confirm that a company follows industry best practices. When a pest control company joins the NPMA, it gains access to resources, education, and a network of pest professionals with whom to discuss practices and methods.
Professional Experience and Specialties
In general, a company will list information like specialities and years of experience on its website. Local reviews can also help you figure out if a company has experience dealing with a particular pest in your area. If you're unable to locate the information you need online, you can contact a company representative directly to get the answers to your questions.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can check a company's reputation using social media or local review sites as well as the Better Business Bureau (BBB). You can also check with Florida's licensing board to verify the status of a company's license.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is important when hiring a pest control company. Cost can be affected influenced by the size of your house, your location, the type of pest being treated, and other factors.
Often, companies will offer free on-site estimates as part of their process, to help you determine whether it fits into your budget. You can also ask whether a company offers a satisfaction guarantees, meaning that if your pest problem is not solved by the initial treatment, it will continue returning until it is.
Safety and Treatment Methods
When it comes to choosing a pest control provider, you want to choose a company that will keep you, your family, and your pets safe. You may also prefer an environmentally-conscious provider.
Your pest control technician should be able to discuss the safety of the pesticides they plan to use. They should be able to answer questions as to whether the pesticides are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not what safety precautions will be in place to protect your family, your pets, and you. Any pesticides that pose greater than a minimum risk must be registered with the EPA.
Companies often start with more environmentally friendly options before employing harsh pesticides, following a framework called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). When using IPM, the following steps are taken:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and determine if immediate action is required.
- 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 solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and implement additional pest control as needed.
Common Household Pests in St Petersburg
In St Petersburg, there are some pests that are more common than others. This list includes the following:
- Termites: Termites often come into your house from nearby piles of rotting wood, firewood, or mulch. If not stopped, they can do significant damage and cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars in repairs.
- Ants: Whether they are larger carpenter ants or smaller soils ants, these pests are found in most of Florida. Carpenter ants can pose a bigger problem than their smaller counterparts by causing damage to your home.
- Spiders: You may encounter spiders in your attic or other dark, damp areas. While most spiders are harmless and pose no threat to humans, you don't want a spider infestation in your home.
- Bed bugs: Bed bug infestations can be very hard to quash, so we strongly recommend calling a local exterminator as soon as possible. Bed bugs can be found throughout Florida, and can infest not only your bedsheets, but also other furniture and even your wallpaper.
St Petersburg Pest Control FAQ
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Pest infestations happen when pests come into your home looking for something, usually food, water, or shelter. Pests may come looking for food or trash left sitting out. Some may also be drawn by standing water collecting outside (from rain collecting in a particular area) or inside (from leaky pipes). They may also come into your home simply looking for shelter and get in through places like foundation cracks or broken screens.
One method for preventing pest infestations is to seal off potential entrances into your home. This includes things like cracks in your siding or foundation. Second, avoid leaving out food for pests. This includes keeping food in sealed containers and not leaving trash out. Finally, reduce standing water in and around your home. Work to reduce places where water collects outside, and repair leaks inside.
Generally, it's recommended that you have your house treated for pests around once a year, more often if you have an active infestation. Your pest professional will ultimately be the best person to recommend a treatment schedule for you.
Most pesticides last around 30 to 90 days after application. Chemicals applied outdoors may not last as long as those applied indoors due to precipitation. Other factors that affect how long pesticide application lasts include what chemicals are used, the application method, what pests are being targeted, and the extent of your pest problem.
It's common to feel like you're seeing more pests in the first few days or weeks after pest control. The process tends to flush pests from their hiding places, making them more visible; you may also start seeing more dead pests around your home. If this uptick in pests sightings doesn't begin to decrease after a week or two, reach out to your St Petersburg pest professional, as further treatment may be necessary.