How To Choose a Pest Control Company
There are a number of factors you can consider when choosing the best pest control company for you. Important factors can include a company's qualifications, its treatment methods, experience and reviews, and of course the cost of services.
Below, we dive into detail on each of these factors.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
While the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets the minimum standards of competency for pesticide application, licensing is handled 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?
Pest control companies can optionally obtain certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro. These certifications can help you assess the quality of a company's products. For example, the GreenPro Service Certification is given to companies that use comprehensive and effective pest control treatment that is safer for humans and the environment.
A pest control company can also be a member of various professional organizations. Being a member of organizations like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations is not required, but helps confirm that a company follows industry best practices. The NPMA gives companies access to resources, education, and a network of other professionals with whom to discuss methods and practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
You can look at a company's years in business to help determine how much experience it has taking care of various pests. You can also browse its website or peruse customer reviews to figure out whether it has experience eliminating the type of pests you are struggling with. If this information can't be found online, contacting a representative directly is a great way to learn more.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can check a company's reputation using the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and social media or local review sites. You can also check with Indiana's licensing board to verify the status of a company's license.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is important when choosing a pest control company. Cost may be determined by the size of your house, the type of pest being treated, 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
When picking a pest control provider, you want to choose one that will help keep you, your family, and your pets safe. You'll likely also prefer a provider that is environmentally-conscious.
You want to ensure that you understand the precautions around pesticides used around your house, for the sake of your family, your pets, and yourself. Your pest control provider should be able to provide information about any pesticides they will be using, whether they are low toxicity or non-toxic, and (if not) what safety measures they plan to take. All pesticides (except minimum-risk ones) need to be registered with the EPA.
Many companies have started offering options for more environmentally friendly pest control techniques before moving to 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 the source of the pest problem and determine whether immediate action is needed.
- 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 when required, and always in combination with other techniques for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and continue with additional pest control as needed.