How To Choose a Pest Control Company
The most important step is picking the right pest control company for the job. You may consider a company's qualifications and treatment methods, as well as its customer reviews and years of experience. Of course, there is also the cost of services to consider.
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 standards of competency for pesticide applicators, licensing is taken care of at the state level. All pesticide applicators (and those who supervise them) in Louisiana need to be licensed by all the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies can earn the GreenPro Service Certification, which requires that a company show that its practices are more environmentally friendly and that its employees receive up-to-date training. Trade organizations such as QualityPro offer other certifications. While not required, these can help show that a pest control company is reputable.
Pest control companies can also join various professional organizations. Holding membership in 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 education, resources, and a network of other professionals with whom to discuss practices and methods.
Professional Experience and Specialties
The number of years that a company has been in business can tell you something about its experience dealing with various pests. Online reviews or the company's own website can also enlighten you as to whether it has the experience necessary to eliminate the particular pests that are plaguing you. If you cannot find the answers to your questions online, contacting the company directly is an excellent way to learn about its areas of expertise.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can view a company's rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), look for reviews on local review sites or social media, or check the standing of its license via the Louisiana licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Things like the type of pest being treated, your location, the size of your house, and other factors can all influence the cost of pest control.
You can look into whether a company provides free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget) and what type of guarantees it offers. Often, a company will guarantee that if it does not take care of your pest problem, it will continue treatment until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Safety is an important consideration when choosing a pest control provider. You might also prefer a provider who employs more natural, environmentally-friendly methods.
Your pest control technician should be able to discuss the safety of any and all pesticides they plan to use. They should be able to explain whether the pesticides are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not what safety precautions will be in place to protect your family, your pets, and you. Any pesticides that pose more than a minimum risk need to be registered with the EPA.
Many companies have begun using more natural treatment methods before (or in place of) harsh chemical pesticides. Some follow a program called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and assess whether immediate action is required.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Use a combination of biological, cultural, mechanical, and physical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Employ chemical controls only if needed, and always along with other techniques for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and provide additional pest control as needed.
Common Household Pests in New Orleans
In New Orleans, there are some pests that are more common than others. This list of pests includes the following:
- Flies: You might notice flies around sinks or in places where you keep food. Flies might get into your house in New Orleans throughout the year, but they're especially common when the weather gets warmer.
- Bed bugs: Infestations of bed bugs are often very hard to get rid of, so we strongly recommend calling a professional as soon as possible. Bed bugs are found throughout Louisiana, and can infest not just your bedsheets, but also other furniture and even your wallpaper.
- Mice: Some telltale signs of mice include chewed wires and droppings around your house. Frequently, mice can be found in attics or in places where food is kept.
New Orleans Pest Control FAQ
To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pest infestations occur when pests enter your house looking for something, normally food, water, or shelter. Pests might be looking to eat food or trash that is sitting out. Some might also be drawn by standing water collecting outside (from rain collecting in a particular spot) or inside (from leaky pipes). They might also enter your house simply looking for shelter and get in through places like foundation cracks or broken screens.
One thing you can do to prevent pest infestations is seal off potential entrances into your house. This includes things like cracks in your foundation or siding. Next, try to avoid leaving food out for pests. This includes keeping food in sealed containers and not leaving trash out. Lastly, eliminate standing water in and around your house. Work to reduce places where water can collect outside, and repair leaks inside.
It is typically recommended that you hire a pest control technician about once annually. If there is an active infestation, you will need to hire a pest control professional more often. Ultimately, your pest professional will be the person who is best-equipped to recommend a treatment schedule for you.
Most pesticides last about 30 to 90 days after application. Chemicals applied outdoors may not last as long as those applied indoors due to precipitation. Some other things that can affect how long pesticide application lasts include the extent of the pest problem, what specific pests are present, the chemicals used, and the application method.
Typically, it's a smart idea to keep your pets away from treated areas during and for some time following application. Some pest control chemicals are non-toxic or have low toxicity, but as a general rule they should not be ingested by pets. Your pest control company will tell you how far to keep your pets out of treated areas, and for how long.