How To Choose a Pest Control Company
The most important step is picking the best pest control professional for the job. Along with a company's qualifications and treatment methods, you might also consider how long it has been in business and what the reviews look like. Last but not least, you'll likely want to consider the cost of services.
Below, we discuss each of these factors in more detail.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) maintains minimum standards of competency for pesticide applicators, but licensing is taken care of at the state level. All pesticide applicators and their supervisors in Illinois must be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
A pest control company can optionally apply for additional certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations to verify its methods and standards. One particular certification is the GreenPro Service Certification, which is given when a company can demonstrate that its methods are more environmentally friendly. A company that receives this certification also needs to maintain certain employee training standards.
There are various professional organizations that pest control companies can be members of. A pest control company can join both state-level organizations and national organizations like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). While not mandatory, membership in these organizations helps prove a company's reputability and gives it access to resources, education, and a network of professionals with whom to compare best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
You can get some insight into a company's level of experience by looking into how long it has been in operation. The company's website and local reviews can also let you know whether a certain company has the experience needed to deal with the specific species of pests that are afflicting your home. You can contact a representative directly to learn this information if you can't find it online.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can view a company's reviews and rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), read local review sites and social media to hear what homeowners near you think, or verify its license standing via the Illinois licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is often a deciding factor when picking a pest control company. Cost may be determined by the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, your location, and other factors.
A pest control company may offer a free on-site estimate to help you figure out if it fits into your budget. You can also see if it offers a guarantee of satisfaction.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your choice of pest control provider might be affected by how environmentally-friendly a company's practices are, as well as how safe its methods are around your family and pets.
All pesticides used by your company (except those that are determined to be of minimal risk) are required to be registered with the EPA. Your pest control provider should provide information on all the pesticides that they are using. They should inform you whether these chemicals are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not, what safety precautions they plan to take.
Nowadays, many companies are exploring greener and cleaner pest solutions that can be used before (or instead of) chemical pesticides. Many are following the practice of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which goes as follows:
- Identify problem pests and determine whether immediate action is required.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of physical, biological, mechanical, and cultural controls.
- Use chemical controls only when required, and always along with other techniques for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and implement additional pest control as needed.