How To Choose a Pest Control Company
There are a number of factors you can consider when selecting the best pest control company for you. Important decision-making factors include a company's qualifications, its treatment methods, experience and reviews, and of course the cost of services.
Below, we explore the details of 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) has established minimum competency standards for pesticide applicators, licensure is handled at the state level. All pesticide applicators (and their supervisors) in Kentucky must be licensed by all the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
A pest control company can receive optional certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations in order to verify its standards and methods. One particular certification is the GreenPro Service Certification, which is awarded to any company that can demonstrate that its methods are more environmentally friendly. These companies also need to maintain certain employee training standards.
There are several professional organizations that pest control companies can be members of. Joining an organization such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or a state-level organization gives companies access to education and resources, and a network of professionals with whom to compare best practices. Membership in one of these organizations is not mandatory, but it can help indicate that a company follows industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
For the most part, a company provides information like years of experience and specialities on its website. Online reviews can also help you figure out if a company has experience dealing with a particular pest in your area. If you can't get the information you need online, you can reach out to the company directly to get your questions answered.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can view a company's rating and reviews on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), explore social media and local review sites to learn what homeowners near you think, or verify its license standing via the Kentucky 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 find out whether a company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget) and what type of guarantees it provides. Often, a company will provide a guarantee that if it does not eliminate your pest problem, it will continue treatment until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your preferences regarding safety for yourself, any children or pets, and the environment can affect which provider and treatment methods you choose.
All pesticides used by your company (except those that are determined to be of minimal risk) are required to be registered with the EPA. Your pest control provider should be able to supply information on every pesticide they plan to use. They should inform you whether these chemicals are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not, what safety precautions will be taken.
Many companies have begun using more natural treatment methods before (or in place of) harsh chemical pesticides. Some employ 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.
- Use a combination of physical, biological, mechanical, and cultural controls to manage the pest problem.
- Employ chemical controls only when required, and always in combination with other techniques for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and implement additional pest control as needed.
Common Household Pests in Lexington Fayette
You might encounter some pests more often in Lexington Fayette. Some pests to keep an eye out for include these:
- Cockroaches: Cockroaches can be found throughout Kentucky, although they prefer wetter areas. Cockroaches come inside through small cracks, and they can sometimes spread diseases like salmonella.
- Bed bugs: Bed bugs may be found throughout Kentucky and can cause major problems if left untreated. Because infestations of bed bugs can be tricky to get rid of, we recommend getting professional extermination as soon as you discover the problem. Bed bugs can infest furniture, bedsheets, wallpaper, and more.
- Spiders: Spiders usually prefer dark and damp places and are commonly found in basements or attics.
Lexington Fayette Pest Control FAQ
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Pest infestations happen when pests come into your house looking for something, typically food, water, or shelter. Pests might be looking to eat food or trash that is sitting out. Some may also be drawn to standing water outside (from rain collecting in one area) or inside (from leaky pipes). They might also enter your home looking for shelter. They can get in through weak spots like foundation cracks or broken screens.
One method for preventing pest infestations is to seal off potential entrances into your house. These include things like cracks in your siding or foundation. Next, try to avoid leaving food out for pests. This includes keeping food in sealed containers and not leaving trash out. Lastly, get rid of standing water in and around your house. Try to reduce places where water collects outside, and repair leaks inside.
Typically, it's recommended that your house is treated for pests approximately once a year, more often if there is an active infestation. Your pest control professional will ultimately be the one best equipped to recommend a treatment schedule for you.
You may feel as though you're seeing a greater number of pests around your house in the days following pest control treatment. This is because living pests are being flushed out of their hiding places deep in your home, or you may be seeing more dead pests around. If the amount of pest activity hasn't decreased in one to two weeks following treatment, contact your Lexington Fayette pest control professional to see if another treatment is required.