How To Choose a Pest Control Company
The most important step in the pest control process is hiring the right company for you. Important factors can include the 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, licensure is taken care of at the state level. All pesticide applicators (and their supervisors) in Kansas must 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 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. Companies can be members of the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), or state-level organizations. Membership in the NPMA provides companies with access to resources, education, and a network of other pest professionals. While not mandatory, membership in professional organizations helps demonstrate a company's reputability.
Professional Experience and Specialties
The amount of time that a company has been in business can tell you something about its experience dealing with the pests that live in Wichita. Online reviews or the company's own website can also help you figure out whether it has the skills and experience needed to eliminate the particular pests that are plaguing you. If the answers to your questions aren't available online, speaking with a representative is an excellent way to learn about the company's areas of expertise.
Reviews and Recommendations
Resources you can use to check a company's reputation include the Better Business Bureau (BBB), local review sites, and social media. Additionally, you can check the status of a company's license through the Kansas licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Things like your location, the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, and other factors can all affect the cost of pest control.
You can look into whether a company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget), as well as what type of guarantees it offers. Often, a company will provide a guarantee that if it does not solve your pest problem, it will keep coming back until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Keeping yourself, your family and your pets safe is an important concern when selecting a pest control provider. You may also prefer one that uses environmentally-friendly methods.
Ask your pest control technician if they plan to use low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides, and if not, what sort of precautionary measures they plan to take. All pesticides that are not considered minimum-risk chemicals should be registered with the EPA. Your pest control provider should be able to provide information about all of the pesticides they plan on using.
Nowadays, many companies are exploring greener and cleaner pest management that can be implemented before (or instead of) chemical pesticides. Many are following the practice of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which goes 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, biological, mechanical, and cultural controls.
- Employ chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always along with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and implement additional pest control as needed.
Common Household Pests in Wichita
You might deal with some pests more frequently in Wichita. Some pests to keep an eye out for include these:
- Fleas: Fleas tend to prefer warmer weather (which can make them a real nuisance in Wichita) and often get into your house by hiding in pet fur.
- Ticks: Tick infestations can be dangerous if they bring Lyme or other diseases into your home. You may be at increased risk of these infestations if you live near a body of water, a forest, or an area of dense vegetation.
- Mice: Some common signs of mouse activity include chewed wires and droppings around your home. Mice tend to frequent attics or areas where food is kept.
- Spiders: These pests prefer moist, dark places and are commonly found in basements or attics.
- Bed bugs: Infestations of bed bugs are often very hard to eliminate, so we recommend hiring an exterminator as soon as possible. Bed bugs can be found throughout Kansas, and can infest not just your bedsheets, but also other furniture and even wallpaper.
Wichita Pest Control FAQ
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Pests come into your house looking for one of three things: food, water, or shelter. Some pests will enter your home simply because they have the opportunity to do so, through a foundation crack or broken screen. Some are attracted to food, either actual food left out or trash sitting out in the open. Others are searching for water, whether it be standing water on your property or puddles inside from leaky pipes.
There are several steps you can take to help prevent pest infestations. First, avoid leaving food out. Make sure food is stored in sealed containers, and avoid leaving trash sitting around.
Next, avoid having standing water in or around your house. Fix leaks inside and eliminate places where standing water collects outdoors. Finally, seal off any potential pest entrances into your house, including siding or foundation cracks.
It is generally recommended that you hire a pest control technician about once a year. If you have an active infestation, you will need to hire a pest control professional more often. Ultimately, your pest professional is the person who is best-equipped to recommend a treatment schedule for you.
How soon you notice pest control results will depend on the issue and treatment. If your pest control technician takes measures like removing a wasp nest, you will see results almost immediately. However, for most pest control you might need to wait anywhere from one to two days to up to six weeks for substantial results. Some pests may require your pest professional to make multiple visits to your house.