How To Choose a Pest Control Company
The first step is choosing the best pest control professional for the job. You may consider a company's qualifications, methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and service prices.
Below, we explore the details of each factor.
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 Ohio regulatory agencies. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established minimum standards of competency, while issuing, maintaining, and revoking licensure is handled at the state level.
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 receive this certification, a company must show that its methods are more environmentally friendly and that its employee training is up to date. Other various certifications can be earned through QualityPro and similar trade organizations.
There are several professional organizations that a pest control company can be a member of. Joining an organization like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or a state-level organization gives companies access to resources and education, as well as a professional network to compare best practices with. Membership in organizations like these is not mandatory, but it can help indicate that a company follows industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Looking at how long a company has been in business can help determine how much experience it has taking care of various pests. You can also look at its website or look through customer reviews to figure out whether it has experience eliminating the species of pests you are struggling with. If you cannot find this information online, calling the company directly is a great way to learn more.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can check a company's reputation using the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and social media or local review sites. You can also check with Ohio's licensing board to see the status of a company's license.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is an important consideration when choosing a pest control company. Cost may be determined by your location, the size of your house, 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 look at whether it offers a guarantee of satisfaction.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Keeping yourself, your family and your pets safe is an important concern when selecting a pest control provider. You may also prefer one that employs environmentally-friendly practices.
All pesticides used by your company (except those that are determined to be of minimal risk) must be registered with the EPA. Your pest control provider should supply information on each pesticide they plan to use. They should inform you whether these chemicals are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not, what safety precautions will be in place.
Many companies will start with more environmentally friendly options before using harsh pesticides, using a framework called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). When using IPM, the following steps are taken:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and assess whether immediate action is needed.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of biological, cultural, mechanical, and physical controls.
- Use chemical controls only if needed, and always with other solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and continue with additional pest control as needed.
Common Household Pests in Columbus
Some specific pests are more common in Columbus, and these are the ones to keep watch for. Some of these include the following:
- Flies: You may spot flies around sinks or in places where you keep food. Flies might get into your house in Columbus throughout the year, but they're even more common in warmer weather.
- Bees: Bees around your house can be a nuisance, especially if someone in your household has an allergy. Your local pest control company can help get rid of bees; some may even be able to help safely relocate hives.
- Snakes: Snakes often enter houses in search of food, and once inside they tend to prefer dark, cool, and damp places like basements. While the majority of snakes are harmless, most people don't want their family, their pets, or themselves to take that risk.
- Mice: If you have a mouse infestation, you may notice droppings or things like chewed wires. If your home has mice, they may be found in places where food is stored, or in attics.
- Spiders: You may encounter spiders in your basement, attic, or other dark, damp areas. While most spiders are harmless and pose no threat to humans, you don't want a spider infestation in your home.
- Bed bugs: Bed bugs are found throughout Ohio and can lead to major problems if left untreated. Because infestations of bed bugs are often hard to get rid of, we recommend getting professional extermination as soon as you discover the problem. Bed bugs can infest wallpaper, bedsheets, furniture, and more.
Columbus Pest Control FAQ
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Pests make their way into 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, through a foundation crack or broken screen. Some are drawn by food, either actual food sitting out or trash left out in the open. Others are searching for water, whether it be standing water outside or puddles inside from leaky pipes.
One thing you can do to prevent pest infestations is seal off possible entrances into your home. These include things like cracks in your siding or foundation. Second, avoid leaving out food for pests. This includes keeping food in sealed containers as well as not leaving trash out. Third, reduce standing water in and around your home. Try to reduce places where water collects outside, and repair leaks inside.
When you see signs of pest activity in your Columbus home--things like nests, droppings, signs of damage, or the pests themselves--you should contact an exterminator. If your home has had seasonal or recurrent infestations, we suggest reaching out to a local pest control company to request annual pest management services.
How long it takes pest control to work depends on the problem and treatment. For example, if your technician removes a wasp nest, the problem should be resolved immediately. In other cases, it might take anywhere from a few days to up to six weeks for significant results from pest control to become apparent. Some pest issues may require your technician to make multiple trips to your home.
We recommend checking in with your pest control technician while they are in your home, as the answer can vary depending on what treatments are done. After application of pesticides, you may notice a lingering smell that will dissipate over time.
Generally, vacuuming, dusting, and wiping down certain surfaces are all appropriate after pest control. However, you'll want to avoid wiping away chemical barriers, and avoid touching any traps unless you are explicitly told to do so. After the problem is taken care of, continue keeping 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.