How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When picking a pest control company, you want to find the right one to meet your needs. Along with a company's qualifications and treatment methods, you may also look into how long it has been in business and what the reviews are like. Finally, you'll likely want to consider the cost of services.
Below, we discuss each of these factors in more detail.
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, licensure is taken care of at the state level. All pesticide applicators (and those who supervise them) in Michigan need to be licensed by all the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Obtaining additional optional certifications can help prove that a pest control company is reputable. One of these is the GreenPro Service Certification. To earn this certification, a company must show that its methods are more environmentally friendly and that its employees receive up-to-date training. Other certifications can be obtained through QualityPro and similar trade organizations.
Pest control companies can also become members of various professional organizations. Companies can belong to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), or state-level organizations. Membership in the NPMA provides companies with access to resources, education, and a network of other pest professionals. While not mandatory, membership in professional organizations helps demonstrate a company's reputability.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Generally, a company will list information like specialities and years of experience 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 look up a company's rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), look for reviews on social media or local review sites, or check the standing of its license via the Michigan licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
For many people, cost is one of the main deciding factors when looking for pest control services. Cost can be affected by factors like your location, the type of pest being treated, and the size of your house.
You can take into consideration whether a certain company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget), and what kind of guarantees are provided. Often, a company will guarantee that if its treatment doesn't resolve your pest problem, it will continue to come back until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Keeping yourself, your family and your pets safe is an important concern when selecting a pest control provider. You may also prefer a provider that uses environmentally-friendly methods.
All pesticides used by your company (except those that are determined to be of minimal risk) should be registered with the EPA. Your pest control provider should provide information on all the pesticides that they are using. They should be able to tell you whether these chemicals are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not, what safety precautions will be in place.
Many companies will start with more environmentally friendly options before employing harsh pesticides, using a framework called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). When using IPM, the following steps are taken:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and assess whether immediate action is required.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of physical, cultural, biological, and mechanical controls.
- Employ chemical controls only when required, and always in combination with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and provide additional pest control as needed.