How To Choose a Pest Control Company
The first step is selecting the best pest control professional for the job. The qualifications of and treatment methods used by a company are important to consider, as well as its years of experience and reputation in customer reviews. Of course, you also want to consider cost.
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, as well as those that supervise them, must be licensed via the appropriate Pennsylvania regulatory agencies. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets minimum standards of competency, but providing, maintaining, and revoking licensure is handled at the state level.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
A pest control company can obtain optional certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro to back up its standards and methods. One particular certification is the GreenPro Service Certification, which is given when a company can demonstrate that its methods are more environmentally friendly. Companies that receive this certification also need to maintain certain employee training standards.
Pest control companies can also join various professional organizations. When a company joins an organization like the National Pest Management Association(NPMA) (or a state-level organization), it receives access to education, resources, and a network of other pest control experts with whom to compare treatment methods. This can give you added peace of mind that a company follows industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
You can get some insight into a company's level of experience by looking at how many years it has been in operation. Local reviews and the company's own website can also let you know whether the 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 view a company's rating and reviews on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), check out social media and local review sites to see what others in your area have to say, or verify its license standing through the Pennsylvania licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Things like the size of your house, your location, the type of pest being treated, and other factors can all influence the price of pest control.
You can find out whether a company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget), as well as what sort of guarantees it has. Often, a company will guarantee that if it does not resolve your pest problem, it will keep coming back until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Safety is an important consideration when selecting a pest control provider, and you might prefer a provider who employs more natural, environmentally-friendly methods.
Your pest control provider should be able to discuss the safety of 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 they plan to use to protect you, your family, and your pets. Pesticides that pose more than a minimum risk must be registered with the EPA.
Nowadays, many companies are exploring greener and cleaner pest management that can be implemented before (or instead of) chemical pesticides. Many are following the practice of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which goes as follows:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and assess whether immediate action is needed.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Use a combination of mechanical, physical, biological, and cultural controls to manage the pest problem.
- Use chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and implement additional pest control as needed.