How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When choosing a pest control company, there are several things you can consider to make sure that you're choosing the best one for you. You might take into consideration a company's qualifications and treatment methods, as well as its years of experience and customer reviews. 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?
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), all pesticide applicators and those that supervise them are required to be certified at the state level. The EPA does set minimum standards of competency, but all Minnesota pesticide applicators must be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies can optionally obtain certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations. These certifications can help you evaluate the quality of a company's products. For example, the GreenPro Service Certification indicates comprehensive and effective pest control methods that are safer for humans and the environment.
There are various professional organizations in which pest control companies can hold membership. While not mandatory, membership in organizations like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations help demonstrate a company's reputability. In the NPMA and other organizations, pest control companies have access to education, resources, and a network of other professionals with whom to share best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Looking at a company's website can tell you how long it has been in operation and what kind of pests it specializes in eliminating. Online reviews can also offer some insight into a company's experience dealing with a specific pest. If this information isn't available online, you can try calling the company directly.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can verify a company's legitimacy using the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and local review sites or social media. You can also check with Minnesota's licensing board to see the status of a company's license.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is important when hiring someone for pest control. Cost can be affected influenced by your location, the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, and other factors.
Companies will often offer free on-site estimates before starting work, to help you decide whether it fits into your budget. You can also ask whether a company offers a satisfaction guarantees, meaning that if your pest problem is not solved by the initial treatment, it will continue returning until it is.
Safety and Treatment Methods
When it comes to choosing a pest control provider, you want to choose a company that will keep you, your family, and your pets safe. You might also prefer an environmentally-conscious provider.
You will want to understand the precautions around pesticides used around your home, for the sake of your family, your pets, and yourself. Your pest control provider should be capable of providing information about any pesticides they will be using, whether they are low toxicity or non-toxic, and (if not) what safety measures they plan to take. All pesticides (except minimum-risk ones) need to be registered with the EPA.
Many companies are now exploring cleaner and greener pest management that can be implemented before (or instead 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 if immediate action is needed.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of biological, cultural, physical, and mechanical controls.
- Use chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and provide additional pest control as needed.