How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When choosing a pest control company, there are several factors you can consider to make sure you choose the right one for you. You may consider a company's qualifications, treatment methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and service prices.
Below, we discuss each factor in more detail.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
Per the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), all pesticide applicators and their supervisors need to be certified at the state level. The EPA sets minimum standards of competency, but all Indiana pesticide applicators should be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
One optional certification that might be worth looking for is the GreenPro Service Certification. To get this certification, a pest control company needs to both demonstrate that its practices are more environmentally friendly and maintain certain technician training standards. Companies can earn other certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations to further support their work.
Pest control companies can also become members of various professional organizations. A pest control company can obtain membership in both state-level organizations and national organizations such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). By being a member of these optional organizations, a company helps support its reputability and gains access to resources, education, and a network of other professionals with whom to compare best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
How long a company has been in business can shed some light on its experience dealing with pests in your area. Online reviews or the company's website itself can also inform you whether it has the experience necessary to deal with your particular pests. If you can't find the information you need online, calling a representative is an excellent way to learn about the company's areas of expertise.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can check a company's reputation using the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and local review sites or social media. You can also check with Indiana's licensing board to see the status of a company's license.
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 the type of pest being treated, your location, the size of your house, and other factors.
Many companies 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 a provider offers a satisfaction guarantee, meaning that if your pest problem is not solved by the initial treatment, it will continue returning until it is.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Keeping yourself, your family and your pets safe is an important concern when picking a pest control provider. You might also prefer a provider that uses environmentally-friendly methods.
Your pest control provider should use pesticides that are low toxicity or non-toxic when possible. If they plan to use pesticides that don't fit into one of these categories, your technician should explain what safety precautions they will put in place to protect your family, your pets, and you. All pesticides that pose more than a minimum risk are required to be registered with the EPA.
Many companies have started making the switch to using more natural treatment methods before, or in place of, harsh chemical pesticides. Some use a program called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and determine if immediate action is needed.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of biological, cultural, mechanical, and physical 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.