How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When choosing a pest control company, there are a number of factors you can consider to make sure that you're choosing the best one for you. Factors you might consider include licensing and qualifications, treatment methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and cost.
Below, we explore the details of each of these factors.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
Per the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), all pesticide applicators and their supervisors are required to be certified at the state level. The EPA sets minimum standards of competency, but all pesticide applicators in North Carolina must be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies also have the option to obtain additional certifications like the GreenPro Service Certification. This certification is granted once a company has shown its methods to be more environmentally friendly and demonstrated that it also holds itself up to certain other standards, such as up-to-date employee training. A pest control company can also earn other certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro to further back up its practices and methods.
Pest control companies can also be members of various professional organizations. While not required, membership in organizations like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations help show a company's reputability. In the NPMA and other organizations, pest control companies have access to resources, education, and a network of other professionals with whom to share best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Generally, a company provides information like specialities and years of experience on its website. Local reviews can also tell you whether 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 at a company's reviews and rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), check out local review sites and social media to see what homeowners near you think, or verify its license standing through the North Carolina licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is an important consideration 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 see if it offers a guarantee of satisfaction.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your preferences regarding safety for yourself, any children or pets, and the environment can influence which provider and treatment methods you choose.
Be sure to ask your pest control provider if they plan on using low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides--if not, ask about what precautionary measures they plan to use. Any pesticide that presents above a minimum risk must be registered with the EPA. Your pest technician should supply information about all of the pesticides that will be used in your home, as well as how safe they are around people and pets.
Pest professionals looking to reduce their reliance on chemical pesticides often implement procedures such as Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Using IPM involves a series of steps:
- 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.
- Use chemical controls only if needed, and always in combination with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and provide additional pest control as needed.
Common Household Pests in Durham
You might encounter some pests more often in Durham. Some pests to keep an eye out for include these:
- Cockroaches: It's important to quickly stop a cockroach infestation, as they can bring in diseases like salmonella. Cockroaches can be found in many places throughout North Carolina, and they prefer wetter areas.
- Termites: Termites can often enter your home from nearby piles of mulch, rotting wood, or firewood. If left uncontrolled, they can cause significant damage and cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars in repairs.
- Moths: If you've started finding holes in your linens or clothing, there's a chance that you have moths in your house. Moths like dark places like closets, and are more commonly found in warmer places (like Durham).
- Spiders: You may find spiders in your basement, attic, or other dark, damp places. Even though most species of spider are harmless to humans, you don't want a spider infestation in your home.
- Mice: Some common signs of mice include chewed wires and droppings around your home. Mice tend to frequent attics or places where food is stored.
Durham Pest Control FAQ
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Pest infestations happen when pests enter your house looking for something, usually food, water, or shelter. Pests may seek out and eat 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 may also enter your home simply looking for shelter and get in through weak spots like foundation cracks or broken screens.
One method for preventing pest infestations is to seal off possible entrances into your home. This includes things like cracks in your foundation or siding. Second, avoid leaving food out for pests. This means keeping food in sealed containers as well as not leaving trash out. Lastly, reduce standing water in and around your home. Try to reduce places where water collects outside, and repair leaks inside.
You should consider hiring a pest control professional any time you notice signs of pest activity in your Durham home. This can include seeing droppings, nests, damage caused by pests, or even the pests themselves. If your home has recurrent or seasonal pest infestations, we recommend annual preventive pest management.
It's normal to feel like you're seeing more pests in the first few days or weeks after pest control. Pest control tends to flush pests from their hiding places, making them more visible; you may also find more dead pests around your home. If this uptick in pests sightings doesn't begin to decrease after one to two weeks, contact your Durham pest professional. Further treatment may be required.