How To Choose a Pest Control Company
The first step is selecting the right pest control professional for the job. A company's qualifications and treatment methods are important to consider, as well as its years of experience and what other customers have said. Of course, you will also want to consider cost.
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) sets the minimum competency standards for pesticide application, licensing is taken care of at the state level. All pesticide applicators (and those who supervise them) in Louisiana must be licensed by all the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Obtaining additional optional certifications can help show that a pest control company is reputable. One of these is the GreenPro Service Certification. To obtain this certification, a company must prove that its methods are more environmentally friendly and that its employees receive up-to-date training. Other various certifications can be obtained through QualityPro and similar trade organizations.
A pest control company can also be a member of various professional organizations. Being a member of organizations like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations is not required, but helps show that a company is reputable. When a pest control company joins the NPMA, it gains access to resources, education, and a network of pest professionals with whom to discuss methods and practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Looking at how long a company has been in business can help determine how much experience it has taking care of pests in your area. You can also look at its website or peruse customer reviews to determine whether it has adequate experience with the type of pests you are struggling with. If this information can't be found online, contacting a representative directly is a great way to learn more.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look up 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 Louisiana licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is important when hiring a pest control company. Cost can be affected influenced by your location, the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, and other factors.
Often, companies will offer free on-site estimates before starting work, to help you decide 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
It's important to consider safety when deciding on a pest control provider, and you might prefer a provider who uses more natural, environmentally-friendly methods.
Ask your pest control technician if they plan to use low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides--if not, ask what precautionary measures they will take. Any pesticide that poses greater than minimum risk must be registered with the EPA. Your pest technician should supply information about all pesticides that will be used in your home, as well as how safe they are around people and pets.
Many companies have started offering options for more environmentally friendly methods of pest control before moving to harsh pesticides.
One popular method for making pest control safer and greener is Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and assess whether 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 in combination with other techniques for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and continue with additional pest control as needed.