How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When picking a pest control company, there are a number of things you can consider to be sure you choose the best one for you. In addition to a company's qualifications and treatment methods, you might also look into how long it has been in business and what the reviews look like. Last but not least, you'll likely want to consider the cost of services.
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, should be licensed via the appropriate Oklahoma regulatory agencies. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established minimum standards of competency, but 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 prove that a pest control company is reputable. One of these is the GreenPro Service Certification. For this certification, a company must prove that its methods are more environmentally friendly and that its employees receive up-to-date training. Other various certifications can be earned through trade organizations like QualityPro.
Pest control companies can also become members of professional organizations. Companies can be members of the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), or state-level organizations. Membership in the NPMA provides companies with access to education, resources, and a network of other pest control companies. While not required, membership in professional organizations helps demonstrate a company's reputability.
Professional Experience and Specialties
For the most part, a company will list information like specialities and years of experience on its website. Local reviews can also inform you as to whether a company has experience dealing with a specific pest. If you're unable to find the information you need online, you can speak with a company representative directly to get your questions answered.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can browse reviews and recommendations on social media or local review sites, verify a company's Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, or check the status of its license through the Oklahoma 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 the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, and your location.
You can look into whether a particular company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits your budget), and what sort 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
When choosing a pest control provider, you want to choose one that will help keep you, your family, and your pets safe. You might also prefer a provider that is environmentally-conscious.
Your pest control technician should be able to discuss the safety of any pesticides that they're going to use. They should be able to clarify whether the pesticides are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not what safety precautions will be used to protect you, your family, and your pets. Pesticides that pose more than a minimum risk should be registered with the EPA.
You can ask if your technician will begin with lower-toxicity, more natural options before employing harsher chemicals.
Many companies are now using Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to reduce personal or environmental risk when treating pest infestations. The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify problem pests and determine if immediate action is needed.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Use a combination of biological, cultural, mechanical, and physical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Employ chemical controls only if needed, and always along with other techniques for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and implement additional pest control as needed.
Common Household Pests in Oklahoma City
Certain pests are more common than others. In Oklahoma City, common pests to be watchful for include the following:
- Fleas: Fleas tend to prefer warmer weather (which can make them a particular problem in Oklahoma City) and are frequently brought inside by pets.
- Bed bugs: Infestations of bed bugs are often very difficult to quash, so we recommend calling a professional as soon as possible. Bed bugs are found throughout Oklahoma, and can infest not only your bedsheets, but also other furniture and even wallpaper.
- Spiders: You may encounter spiders in your attic or other moist, dark places. Most spiders are harmless and pose no threat to humans, but you still don't want an infestation of them in your home.
Oklahoma City 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 opportunistically enter your home via a broken screen or foundation crack. Some are drawn by food, either actual food sitting out or trash left out in the open. Others look for water, whether it be standing water on your property or puddles inside from leaky pipes.
There are certain things you can do to help prevent pest infestations. First, don't leave food out. Keep your food stored in sealed containers, and don't leave trash sitting around.
Second, avoid having standing water in or around your house. Fix leaks inside and eliminate standing water sites outside. Lastly, seal off potential pest entrances into your house, including siding or foundation cracks.
Generally, it's recommended that you get your home treated for pests about once annually, more often if you have an active infestation. Your pest professional will ultimately be the best person to recommend a treatment schedule for you.
Whether you can clean your home after pest control services will depend on the type of treatment(s) used. Make sure that you ask your pest control technician before they leave. Generally, you will be able to dust, vacuum, and wipe down certain surfaces, but you should avoid wiping away chemical barriers or touching any traps unless you have been explicitly told to do so. You might notice a lingering smell after the application of some pesticides.
Following pest control, it is important to maintain a clean home to avoid encouraging pests to return.