How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When selecting a pest control company, there are several things that you can consider to make sure that you're choosing the right one for you. A company's qualifications and treatment methods are important to consider, as well as its years of experience and reputation in customer reviews. Of course, you will also want to think about cost.
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 sets minimum standards of competency, but all pesticide applicators in Minnesota need to be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
There are additional optional certifications that can help demonstrate 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 earned through trade organizations like QualityPro.
Pest control companies can also obtain membership in professional organizations. Pest control companies can obtain membership in both state-level organizations and national organizations like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). While not mandatory, membership in these organizations helps prove a company's reputability and gives it access to resources, education, and a network of professionals to compare best practices with.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Typically, a company displays information like its years of experience and specialities on its website. Online reviews can also inform you as to whether a company has experience dealing with a particular pest in your area. If you're unable to find the information you need online, you can reach out to the company directly to get your questions answered.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can view a company's Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, read reviews on local review sites or social media, or check the standing of its license via the Minnesota licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is an important consideration when choosing a pest control company. Cost may be determined by the size of your house, your location, the type of pest being treated, and other factors.
Certain pest control companies offer a free on-site estimate to help you match services to your budget. You can also see if it offers a guarantee of satisfaction.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your choice of pest control provider might be influenced by how environmentally-friendly a company's practices are, as well as how safe its methods are around your family and pets.
Your pest technician should be using pesticides that are low toxicity or non-toxic any time they can. If any pesticides they intend to use don't fall into one of these categories, your technician should explain what safety precautions they will put in place to protect your family, your pets, and you. Pesticides that pose more than a minimum risk must be registered with the EPA.
Many companies have begun using more natural treatment methods before, or instead of, harsh chemical pesticides. Some follow a program called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify problem pests and determine if immediate action is required.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Use a combination of physical, biological, mechanical, and cultural controls to manage the pest problem.
- Employ chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always in combination with other solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and continue with additional pest control as needed.
Common Household Pests in Minneapolis
You might run into some pests more often in Minneapolis. Some pests to keep an eye out for include these:
- Bed bugs: Infestations of bed bugs can be very difficult to eliminate, so we strongly recommend calling a local exterminator as soon as possible. Bed bugs are found throughout Minnesota, and can infest not just your bedsheets, but also other furniture and even your wallpaper.
- Spiders: Spiders usually prefer dark and moist places and are often found in basements or attics.
Minneapolis Pest Control FAQ
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Pest infestations happen when pests enter your house looking for something, generally food, water, or shelter. Pests might come looking for food or trash left sitting out. Some could also be drawn by standing water collecting outside (from rain collecting in one spot) or inside (from leaky pipes). Pests might also come into your home simply looking for shelter. They can get in through places like broken screens or foundation cracks.
One method for preventing pest infestations is to seal off possible entrances into your house. These include things like cracks in your siding or foundation. Also try to avoid leaving food out for pests. This includes keeping food in sealed containers and not leaving trash out. Finally, eliminate standing water in and around your house. Find ways to reduce places where water can collect outside, and fix leaks inside.
It is generally recommended that you hire a pest control technician about once annually. If your home has an active infestation, you will need to hire a pest control professional more often. Ultimately, your pest professional will be the person best-equipped to recommend a treatment schedule for you.
How soon you notice pest control results will depend on the issue and treatment. If your pest technician takes measures like removing a wasp nest, you will see results almost immediately. However, for most pest control you may need to wait anywhere from a few days to up to six weeks to see substantial results. Some pest problems may require your pest professional to make multiple trips to your home.
You might think you're seeing a greater number of pests around your house in the days following pest control treatment. This can be due to living pests being flushed out of their hiding places deep in your home, or you may be finding more dead pests. If pest activity hasn't decreased in one to two weeks following treatment, reach out to your Minneapolis pest professional to see if more treatment is required.