How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When choosing a pest control company, there are several things that you can consider to make sure you choose the best one for you. You may take into consideration a company's qualifications, methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and service prices.
Below, we discuss each factor in more detail.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
All pesticide applicators (and those who supervise them) must be certified at the state level. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets minimum standards of competency, but any pesticide applicators working in Nebraska should be licensed via 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 employee training is up to date. QualityPro and similar trade organizations also offer other certifications. While not required, these can help show that a company is reputable.
Pest control companies can also belong to certain professional organizations. When a company joins an organization like the National Pest Management Association(NPMA) (or a state-level organization), it gains access to resources, education, and a network of other pest experts with whom to compare methods. This can give you extra peace of mind that a company is following industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
For the most part, a company displays information like years of experience and specialities on its website. Online reviews can also tell you whether a company has experience dealing with a particular pest in your area. If you're unable to locate the information you need online, you can speak with a company representative directly to get the answers to your questions.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can check a company's Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, read reviews on social media or local review sites, or check the standing of its license via the Nebraska licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is important when choosing a pest control company. Cost may be determined by the type of pest being treated, your location, the size of your house, and other factors.
A pest control company may offer a free on-site estimate to help you decide if it fits into your budget. You can also check to see if it offers a guarantee of satisfaction.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Safety is an important consideration when deciding on a pest control provider. You might also prefer a provider who uses more natural, environmentally-friendly methods.
You will want to understand the precautions for the pesticides being used around your home, for the sake of your family, your pets, and yourself. Your pest control provider should supply information about any pesticides they plan on 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) should be registered with the EPA.
Many companies have started making the switch to 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:
- Identify problem pests and determine whether immediate action is required.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Use a combination of biological, cultural, mechanical, and physical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Employ chemical controls only when required, and always along with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and continue with additional pest control as needed.
Common Household Pests in Omaha
Certain pests are more prevalent in Omaha, and these are the ones you should keep an eye out for. Some of these include the following:
- Termites: Termites can often enter your house from nearby piles of firewood, mulch, or rotting wood. If not stopped, they can do significant damage and cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars in repairs.
- Spiders: You may find spiders in your basement, attic, or other damp, dark places. While most spiders are harmless and pose no threat to humans, you don't want an infestation of them in your home.
- Mice: Common signs of mice include chewed wires and droppings around your home. Mice tend to frequent attics or places where you keep food.
- Bed bugs: Bed bug infestations can be very hard to quash, so we recommend calling a local exterminator as soon as possible. Bed bugs can be found throughout Nebraska, and can infest not only your bedsheets, but also other furniture and even wallpaper.
Omaha Pest Control FAQ
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Pest infestations occur when pests enter your house looking for something, normally food, water, or shelter. Pests may come looking for food or trash left sitting out. Some may also be drawn by standing water collecting outside (from rain collecting in a particular spot) or inside (from leaky pipes). They may also enter your home looking for shelter and get in through weak spots like broken screens or foundation cracks.
There are several steps you can take to help prevent pest infestations. First, don't leave food out. Make sure food is stored in sealed containers, and don't leave trash sitting around.
Next, try not to have standing water in or around your home. Fix leaks inside and eliminate standing water sites outside. Finally, seal off potential pest entrances into your home, including siding or foundation cracks.
It is generally recommended that you hire a pest control technician about once a year. If your home has an active infestation, you will need pest control to come out more frequently. Ultimately, your pest professional will be the person best-equipped to recommend a treatment schedule for you.
We recommend discussing this question with your pest technician while they are in your home, as the answer will vary depending on the treatments used. After pesticides are applied, you may notice a lingering smell that should dissipate over time.
Generally, dusting, vacuuming, and wiping down certain surfaces will be appropriate after pest control. However, make sure that you don't wipe away chemical barriers, and avoid touching any traps unless explicitly told to do so. After the problem is taken care of, continue to keep your home clean. Avoid letting trash pile up, take care of spills and leaks promptly, and so on. This will help keep pests from coming back.