How To Choose a Pest Control Company
Choosing the best pest control company for you is important. You may consider a company's qualifications and treatment methods, in addition to its years of experience and customer reviews. Of course, there is also 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 application, licensing is handled at the state level. All pesticide applicators (and their supervisors) in Illinois need to be licensed by all the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
An optional certification that could be worth looking for is the GreenPro Service Certification. To earn this certification, a pest control company must both show that its practices are more environmentally friendly and maintain certain training standards for its technicians. Companies can also earn other certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations to further back up their work.
A pest control company can also hold membership in professional organizations. Becoming a member of an organization like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or a state-level organization gives companies access to resources and education, as well as a professional network to compare best practices with. Joining organizations like these is not mandatory, but it can help show that a company follows industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
A company's website can tell you how long it has been in business and what species of pests it specializes in eliminating. Online reviews can also give you some insight into a company's experience dealing with a certain type of pest. If you're unable to find this information online, you can try contacting the company directly.
Reviews and Recommendations
Resources that can help you verify a company's reputation include the Better Business Bureau (BBB), social media, and local review sites. Additionally, you can check the status of a company's license via the Illinois licensing board.
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.
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 if your company has a satisfaction guarantee, meaning that it will continue to treat your pest problem until it is solved.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Keeping yourself, your family and your pets safe is an important consideration when selecting a pest control provider. You might also prefer one that uses environmentally-friendly methods.
You should ask your pest control technician if the chemicals they're using are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not, what precautionary measures they are going to use. All pesticides that are not considered minimum-risk chemicals should be registered with the EPA. Your pest technician will be able to supply you with information about all of the pesticides that they are going to use.
You can ask if your technician will begin with lower-toxicity, more natural options before employing harsher chemicals.
Many companies are using Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to treat pest infestations with minimal personal or environmental risk. The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and assess whether immediate action is required.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of mechanical, cultural, biological, and physical controls.
- Use chemical controls only when required, and always along with other solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and continue with additional pest control as needed.