How To Choose a Pest Control Company
It's important to choose the right pest control company for you. You may take into consideration a company's qualifications, treatment methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and service prices.
Below, we dive into detail on each factor.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
All pesticide applicators (and those who supervise them) need to be certified at the state level. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established minimum standards of competency, but any pesticide applicators working in the state of Louisiana must be licensed via the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
One certification that pest control companies can earn is 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 additional certifications. These are not required, but can help show that a pest control company is reputable.
Pest control companies can also obtain membership in professional organizations. Membership in an organization such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or a state-level organization gives companies access to resources and education, and a professional network to compare best practices with. Belonging to one of these organizations is not mandatory, but it can help indicate that a company follows industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
You can look at a company's years in business to help determine how much experience it has taking care of various pests. You can also explore its website or peruse customer reviews to determine whether it has adequate experience with the type of pests you are looking to get rid of. If this information can't be found online, speaking with a company representative is a good way to learn more.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can view a company's Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, browse 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
The cost of pest control can vary based on things like your location, the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, and other factors.
When considering the cost of services, you should try to determine whether a company includes free on-site estimates as part of its services. This can help determine whether the company fits into your budget. Also consider a company's guarantees: If the problem is not resolved, or returns, does the company promise to offer additional treatment until the issue is satisfactorily resolved?
Safety and Treatment Methods
Safety is an important consideration when choosing a pest control provider, and you might prefer a provider who employs more natural, 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 are going to use. All pesticides that are not considered minimum-risk chemicals must be registered with the EPA. Your pest control provider will be able to provide you with information about all chemicals that they plan to use.
Many companies have started making the switch to 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:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and determine if immediate action is needed.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Use a combination of mechanical, cultural, biological, and physical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Use chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and continue with additional pest control as needed.