How To Choose a Pest Control Company
The most important step is selecting the right pest control professional for the job. A company's qualifications and treatment methods are important to consider, as well as its years of experience and customer reviews. Of course, you will also want to consider cost.
Below, we discuss each of these factors in more detail.
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 maintains minimum standards of competency, and the Illinois regulatory agencies take care of the issuing, maintaining, and revoking of licenses.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies can obtain optional certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro. These certifications can help you evaluate the quality of a company's products. For example, the GreenPro Service Certification indicates comprehensive and effective pest control methods that are safer for people and the environment.
Pest control companies can also become members of various professional organizations. Pest control companies can join both state-level organizations and national organizations such as 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
A company's years in business can indicate how much experience it has taking care of various pests. You can also explore its website or look through customer reviews to determine whether it has adequate experience with the species of pests you are dealing with. If this information is not available online, calling the company directly is a good way to learn more.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can check a company's reputation using local review sites or social media as well as the Better Business Bureau (BBB). You can also check with Illinois' licensing board to verify the status of a company's license.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is an important consideration 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 match services to your budget. You can also see if it offers a satisfaction guarantee.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Keeping yourself, your family and your pets safe is an important concern when choosing a pest control provider. You might also prefer a provider that uses environmentally-friendly methods.
You should ask your pest control provider if the chemicals they're using are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not, what sort of precautionary measures they will have in place. All pesticides that are not considered minimum-risk chemicals should be registered with the EPA. Your pest technician should be able to supply you with information about all of the pesticides that they plan on using.
Companies looking to reduce their use of chemical pesticides often follow practices such as Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Using IPM involves a series of steps:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and determine 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.
- Employ chemical controls only if needed, and always with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and implement additional pest control as needed.