How To Choose a Pest Control Company
There are several things you can take into consideration when selecting the best pest control company for you. Important decision-making factors can include a company's qualifications, its treatment methods, experience and reviews, and of course the cost of services.
Below, we discuss each of these factors 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) has established minimum standards of competency, but all pesticide applicators working in the state of Ohio must be licensed via the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
One optional certification that may be worth looking for is the GreenPro Service Certification. In order to get this certification, a pest control company needs to both show that its practices are more environmentally friendly and uphold certain training standards for its technicians. Companies can earn other certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro to further support their work.
Pest control companies can also become members of certain 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. Organizations like the NPMA provide access to resources, education, and a network of other professionals with whom to discuss best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
You can gain some insight into a company's level of experience by looking into how many years it has been in operation. The company's website and local reviews can also let you know whether a company has the experience needed to deal with the specific species of pests invading your home. You can always reach out to a representative directly to learn this information if it is not available online.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look up a company's rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), explore reviews on social media or local review sites, or check the standing of its license via the Ohio licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Pest control costs can vary based on things like your location, the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, and other factors.
When considering the cost of services, you should confirm whether a company includes free on-site estimates as part of its services. This can help determine whether the company fits into your budget. Also take into account what guarantees a company offers: If the problem is not resolved, or returns, will the company provide additional treatments until the issue is satisfactorily resolved?
Safety and Treatment Methods
It's important to consider safety when deciding on a pest control provider. You might also prefer a provider who employs more natural, environmentally-friendly methods.
Ask your pest control technician if the chemicals they're using are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not, what kind of precautionary measures they will have in place. Any pesticides that are not minimum-risk chemicals need to be registered with the EPA. Your pest control provider should be able to supply information about all chemicals that they plan to use.
Companies often start with more environmentally friendly options before employing pesticides, using a framework called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). When using IPM, the following steps are taken:
- Identify problem pests and assess whether immediate action is required.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Use a combination of biological, cultural, mechanical, and physical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Use chemical controls only if needed, and always in combination with other solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and continue with additional pest control as needed.