How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When picking a pest control company, there are a number of things that you can consider to make sure you choose the right one for you. You might take into consideration a company's qualifications and treatment methods, in addition to its customer reviews and years of experience. Of course, there is also the cost of services to consider.
Below, we dive into detail on each of these factors.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
All pesticide applicators, as well as those that supervise them, need to be licensed via the appropriate North Carolina regulatory agencies. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established minimum standards of competency, but providing, maintaining, and revoking licensure is handled at the state level.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
An optional certification that might be worth looking for is the GreenPro Service Certification. In order to get this certification, a pest control company must both demonstrate that its practices are more environmentally friendly and uphold certain technician training standards. Companies can earn other certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro to further back up their work.
Pest control companies can also obtain membership in professional organizations. Membership in an organization such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or a state-level organization gives companies access to resources and education, plus a network of professionals with whom to compare best practices. Belonging to organizations like these is not mandatory, but it can help show that a company follows industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
You can gain some insight into a company's experience level by looking into how long it has been in business. Local reviews and the company's own website can also let you know whether the company has the experience needed to deal with the specific species of pests invading your home. You can contact a representative directly to learn this information if it is not available online.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can check a company's Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, explore reviews on local review sites or social media, or check the standing of its license via the North Carolina licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
For many people, cost is one of the most important factors when looking for pest control services. Cost can be influenced by factors like your location, the size of your house, and the type of pest being treated.
You can look into whether a company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits your budget), and what kind of guarantees are provided. Often, a company will guarantee that if your pest problem isn't fixed by its treatment, it will continue to treat until it is.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your choice of pest control company 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.
It's important to understand the precautions around pesticides being used around your house, for the sake of your family, your pets, and yourself. Your pest control technician should be capable of providing information about all pesticides they plan on using, whether they are low toxicity or non-toxic, and (if not) what safety measures will be used. All pesticides (except minimum-risk ones) must be registered with the EPA.
Many companies are making the switch to using more natural treatment methods before (or instead of) harsh chemical pesticides. Some employ a program called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and assess whether immediate action is required.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of mechanical, physical, biological, and cultural controls.
- Use chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always along with other solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and provide additional pest control as needed.
Common Household Pests in Greensboro
Certain pests are more common than others. In Greensboro, common pests to be on the lookout for include the following:
- Snakes: Snakes often enter houses in search of food, and once inside they tend to prefer damp, cool, and dark spots. Although most species of snakes are harmless, you and your family should not take that risk.
- Bees: Having bees around your house can be a nuisance, especially if someone in your household is allergic. Your local pest control company can help get rid of bees; some might even have the resources to safely relocate hives.
- Mice: If your home has a mouse infestation, you may start noticing droppings around your house, or things like chewed wires. You can often find mice in attics or in places where food is stored.
- Bed bugs: Bed bugs may be found throughout North Carolina and can cause big problems if left untreated. Because infestations of bed bugs can be tricky to get rid of, we recommend having professional extermination as soon as you discover the problem. Bed bugs can infest bedsheets, furniture, wallpaper, and more.
- Spiders: These pests prefer dark and damp places and are often found in attics.
Greensboro Pest Control FAQ
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Pests enter your home looking for one of three things: food, water, or shelter. Some pests will enter your home simply because they have the opportunity to do so, via a broken screen or foundation crack. Some are attracted to food, either actual food sitting out or trash left out in the open. Others are searching for water, either standing water on your property or puddles inside from leaky pipes.
One method for preventing pest infestations is to seal off possible entrances into your house. These include 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. Finally, get rid of standing water in and around your house. Work to reduce places where water collects outside, and repair leaks inside.
Generally, it's recommended that you have your house treated for pests approximately once a year, more frequently if there is an active infestation. Your pest professional will ultimately be the one best equipped to recommend a treatment schedule for you.
We recommend asking your pest control technician this question while they are at your house, as the answer can vary depending on the treatments used. After application of pesticides, you might notice a lingering smell that will eventually dissipate over time.
In many cases, dusting, vacuuming, and wiping down certain surfaces are all appropriate after pest control. However, make sure to not wipe away chemical barriers, and avoid touching any traps unless you are explicitly told to do so. After pest control, continue keeping your home clean. Avoid letting trash pile up, take care of spills and leaks promptly, and so on. This helps discourage pests from returning.