How To Choose a Pest Control Company
There are several factors that you can weigh when selecting the right pest control company for you. You might take into consideration a company's qualifications, methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and price of services.
Below, we explore the details of each factor.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
While the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established minimum standards of competency for pesticide application, licensing is taken care of 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 optionally apply for additional certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro to back up its methods and standards. One particular certification is the GreenPro Service Certification, which is given to any company that can demonstrate that its methods are more environmentally friendly. These companies also need to maintain certain training standards for employees.
There are several professional organizations that a pest control company can be a member of. When a company joins an organization like the National Pest Management Association(NPMA) (or a state-level organization), it receives access to education, resources, and a network of other pest control experts with whom to compare treatment methods. This can offer extra peace of mind that a company follows industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Typically, a company will list information like years of experience and specialities 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 reputation using the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and local review sites or social media. You can also check with Kentucky's licensing board to verify the status of a company's license.
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 price of pest control.
You can look into whether a company provides free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget), as well as what kind of guarantees it provides. Often, a company will guarantee that if it does not resolve your pest problem, it will keep coming back until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
It's important to consider safety when choosing a pest control provider, and you might prefer a provider who uses more natural, environmentally-friendly methods.
Your pest control technician should be able to discuss the safety of all pesticides that they're going to use. They should be able to answer questions as to whether the pesticides are low toxicity or non-toxic; if they are not, they should explain what safety precautions they will put in place to protect your family, your pets, and you. Any pesticides that pose above a minimum risk are required to be registered with the EPA.
Many companies are now exploring greener and cleaner pest solutions that can be used before (or in place of) chemical pesticides. Many are following the practice of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which goes as follows:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and determine whether immediate action is required.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Use a combination of physical, biological, mechanical, and cultural controls to manage the pest problem.
- Use chemical controls only if needed, and always along with other solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and continue with additional pest control as needed.
Common Household Pests in Louisville
Some pests are more prevalent in Louisville, and these are the ones you should keep watch for. Some of these include the following:
- Termites: If termites get out of hand, the result could be hundreds or thousands of dollars in damage. Termites often get inside via nearby piles of rotting wood, mulch, or firewood.
- Ticks: If you live near forests or areas of dense vegetation, or close to a body of water, you might be at higher risk of tick infestations. Ticks can spread diseases like Lyme to you and your pets.
- Spiders: Spiders usually prefer moist, dark places and are commonly found in basements or attics.
- Mice: Some telltale signs of mouse activity include chewed wires and droppings around your house. Mice are often found in attics or in places where you keep food.
- Bed bugs: Bed bugs may be found throughout Kentucky, and they can cause major problems if left untreated. Because bed bug infestations can be difficult to get rid of, we recommend having professional extermination as soon as you discover the problem. These pests can infest bedsheets, furniture, wallpaper, and more.
Louisville 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 opportunistically enter your home through a broken screen or foundation crack. Some are drawn by food, either actual food sitting out or trash left out in the open. Others look for water, whether it be standing water on your property or puddles inside from leaky pipes.
There are a number of steps you can take to help prevent pest infestations. First, don't leave food out. Make sure food is stored in sealed containers, and don't leave trash sitting around.
Next, try not to have standing water in or around your house. Repair leaks inside and eliminate places where standing water collects outside. Lastly, seal off any potential pest entrances into your house, including foundation and siding cracks.
It is typically recommended that you hire a pest control technician about once a year. If your home has an active infestation, you will need pest control to come out more often. Ultimately, your pest professional will be the person best-equipped to recommend a treatment schedule for you.
Your pest control expert will tell you how far your pets need to be kept away from treated areas, and for how long. Some pesticides are low toxicity or non-toxic, but in the vast majority of cases you'll be asked to keep pets out of the area during and for some time after treatment.