How To Choose a Pest Control Company
It's important to choose the best pest control company 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) has established minimum competency standards for pesticide applicators, licensure is taken care of at the state level. All pesticide applicators (and those who supervise them) in Indiana must be licensed by all the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
One certification that pest control companies can earn is the GreenPro Service Certification, which requires a company to show that its practices are more environmentally friendly and that its employees receive up-to-date training. QualityPro and similar trade organizations also offer other certifications. While not required, these can help demonstrate that a pest control company is reputable.
Pest control companies can also hold membership in professional organizations. While not required, membership in organizations like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations help verify a company's reputability. After joining an organization like the NPMA, a company receives access to resources, education, and a network of other professionals with whom to share best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
For the most part, a company will list information like its specialities and years of experience on its website. Online reviews can also tell you whether a company has experience dealing with a particular pest in your area. If you're unable to find the information you need online, you can call the company directly to get your questions answered.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look up a company's reviews and rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), check out social media and local review sites to hear what others in your area have to say, or verify its license standing via the Indiana licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Pest control costs can vary based on things like your location, the size of your house, the type of pest being treated, and other factors.
When thinking about the cost of services, you should first look into whether a company offers free on-site estimates as part of its services. This can inform you whether the company fits into your budget. Also consider what guarantees a company offers: If the problem is not resolved, or returns, does the company provide additional treatment until the problem is resolved satisfactorily?
Safety and Treatment Methods
When choosing a pest control provider, you want to choose one that will keep you, your family, and your pets safe. You'll likely also prefer a provider that is environmentally-conscious.
All pesticides that will be used (except those that pose only a minimum risk) must be registered with the EPA. Your pest control provider should supply information on each pesticide they plan to use. They should inform you whether the pesticides are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not, what safety precautions will be taken.
Many companies have started offering options for more environmentally friendly pest control techniques before employing harsh pesticides.
One popular way of making pest control safer and greener is Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify problem pests and assess whether immediate action is needed.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of physical, cultural, biological, and mechanical controls.
- Use chemical controls only if needed, and always along with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and provide additional pest control as needed.