How To Choose a Pest Control Company
It's important to choose the right pest control company for you. Things you may consider include qualifications and licensing, treatment methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and cost.
Below, we discuss each of these factors in more detail.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), all pesticide applicators and their supervisors must be licensed at the state level. The EPA sets minimum standards of competency, and the Pennsylvania regulatory agencies take care of the issuing, maintaining, and revoking of licenses.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies can optionally obtain certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro. While not required, they can help you evaluate the quality of a company's products. For example, the GreenPro Service Certification is given to companies that use comprehensive and effective pest control treatment that is safer for people and the environment.
Pest control companies can also belong to certain professional organizations. While not mandatory, membership in organizations like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations help demonstrate a company's reputability. Organizations like the NPMA provide access to education, resources, and a network of other professionals with whom to compare best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
A company's website can tell you how long it has been in business 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 you can't find this information online, you can try contacting the company directly.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can browse reviews and recommendations on local review sites or social media, view a company's Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, or check the status of its license through the Pennsylvania licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
For many people, cost is one of the most important factors when picking a company for pest control. Cost can be affected by factors like your location, the size of your house, and the type of pest being treated.
You can consider whether a certain company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in 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 picking a pest control provider, you want to choose a company that will keep you, your family, and your pets safe. You'll likely also prefer a provider that is environmentally-conscious.
Your pest control provider should be able to discuss the safety of any and all pesticides they plan to use. They should be able to explain 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 greater than a minimum risk are required to be registered with the EPA.
Many companies have started offering options for more environmentally friendly methods of pest control before jumping into using harsh pesticides.
One popular method for making pest control safer and greener is Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify problem pests and determine whether immediate action is required.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Use a combination of physical, biological, mechanical, and cultural controls to manage the pest problem.
- Employ chemical controls only when required, and always along with other solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and continue with additional pest control as needed.