How To Choose a Pest Control Company
Choosing the best pest control company for you is key. Things you may consider include qualifications and licensing, treatment methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and cost.
Below, we dive into detail on each of these factors.
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 must be certified at the state level. The EPA sets minimum standards of competency, but all pesticide applicators in Iowa must be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
A pest control company can obtain optional certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro in order to support its methods and standards. One particular certification is the GreenPro Service Certification, which is granted when a company can demonstrate that its methods are more environmentally friendly. These companies also need to maintain certain employee training standards.
Pest control companies can also belong to certain professional organizations. Companies can be members of the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), or state-level organizations. NPMA membership gives companies access to education, resources, and a network of other pest control companies. While not required, membership in professional organizations helps demonstrate a company's reputability.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Generally, a company provides information like specialities and years of experience on its website. Online reviews can also tell you whether a company has experience dealing with a specific pest. If you're unable to find the information you need online, you can speak with a company representative directly to get the answers to your questions.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can check a company's Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, read reviews on social media or local review sites, or check the standing of its license via the Iowa licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is an important consideration when choosing 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.
Certain pest control companies offer a free on-site estimate to help you match services to your budget. You can also see if it offers a guarantee of satisfaction.
Safety and Treatment Methods
When it comes to choosing a pest control provider, you want to select one that will help keep you, your family, and your pets safe. You'll likely also prefer an environmentally-conscious provider.
You will want to understand the precautions for the pesticides being used around your house, for the sake of your family, your pets, and yourself. Your pest control technician should supply information about any pesticides they plan on 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) should be registered with the EPA.
You can ask if your technician will begin with lower-toxicity, more natural options before moving on to harsher chemicals.
Many companies are now using Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to eliminate pests while reducing personal and environmental risks. The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and assess whether immediate action is required.
- 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 absolutely necessary, and always in combination with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and continue with additional pest control as needed.