How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When hiring a pest control company, there are a number of factors you can consider to be sure that you're choosing the best one for you. Some things you might consider include licensing and qualifications, treatment methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and cost.
Below, we dive into detail on 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 those that supervise them must be licensed at the state level. The EPA has established minimum standards of competency, and the Ohio regulatory agencies handle the issuing, maintaining, and revoking of licenses.
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 employees receive up-to-date training. Additional certifications can be obtained through trade organizations like QualityPro.
Pest control companies can also belong to professional organizations. When a company becomes a member of an organization such as the National Pest Management Association(NPMA) (or a state-level organization), it receives access to resources, education, and a network of other pest professionals with whom to compare treatment methods. This can offer added peace of mind that a company follows industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Browsing a company's website can tell you how long it has been in operation and what kind of pests it specializes in exterminating. Online reviews can also give you some insight into a company's experience dealing with a certain type of pest. If this information isn't available online, you can try contacting the company directly.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look at a company's rating and reviews on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), check out social media and local review sites to see what other people are saying, or verify its license standing through the Ohio licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Things like the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, your location, and other factors can all affect the price of pest control.
You can look into whether a company provides free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget) and what kind of guarantees it provides. Often, a company will provide a guarantee that if it does not resolve your pest problem, it will keep coming back until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Keeping yourself, your family and your pets safe is an important concern when picking a pest control provider. You may also prefer one that uses environmentally-friendly methods.
It's important to understand the precautions around pesticides used around your house, for the sake of you, your family, and your pets. Your pest control technician should be able to supply information about the pesticides they intend to use, whether they are low toxicity or non-toxic, and (if not) what safety measures will be in place. All pesticides (except minimum-risk ones) need to 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 use 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 needed.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of biological, cultural, mechanical, and physical controls.
- Employ chemical controls only when required, and always with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and provide additional pest control as needed.