How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When picking a pest control company, you want to be sure to find the best one to meet your needs. You might take into consideration a company's qualifications and treatment methods, in addition to its years of experience and customer reviews. And of course, there's the cost of services to consider.
Below, we dive into detail on each of these factors.
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 those that supervise them must be certified at the state level. The EPA sets minimum standards of competency, but all South Dakota pesticide applicators must be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
One optional certification that may be worth looking for is the GreenPro Service Certification. To get this certification, a pest control company must both demonstrate that its practices are more environmentally friendly and maintain certain training standards for its technicians. Companies can also earn other certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations to further back up their work.
Pest control companies can also become members of professional organizations. Being a member of organizations such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations is not mandatory, but helps show that a company is reputable. Membership in the NPMA gives companies access to resources, education, and a network of pest professionals with whom to discuss practices and methods.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Typically, a company provides information like its specialities and years of experience on its website. Online reviews can also help you figure out if a company has experience dealing with a specific pest. If you're unable to locate the information you need online, you can contact a company representative directly to get the answers to your questions.
Reviews and Recommendations
Resources you can use to check a company's reputation include local review sites, social media, and the Better Business Bureau (BBB). You can also verify the status of a company's license via the South Dakota licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
The cost of pest control can vary based on things like your location, the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, and other factors.
When thinking about the cost of services, you should verify whether a company offers free on-site estimates as part of its process. This can help determine whether the company fits into your budget. Also look into a company's guarantees: If the problem is not resolved, or returns, does the company promise to offer additional treatment until the issue is handled satisfactorily?
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your preferences regarding safety for yourself, your children, your pets, and the environment might affect which provider and treatment methods you choose.
Make sure to ask your pest control technician if they plan to use low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides, and if not, what precautionary measures they will have in place. All pesticides that are not considered minimum-risk chemicals should be registered with the EPA. Your pest technician will be able to supply you with information about all chemicals they plan to use.
Many companies are making the switch to using more natural treatment methods before (or in place of) harsh chemical pesticides. Some follow a program called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and determine if immediate action is needed.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Use a combination of mechanical, cultural, biological, and physical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Employ chemical controls only if needed, and always with other techniques for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and continue with additional pest control as needed.