How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When selecting a pest control company, there are a number of factors you can consider to be sure you choose the right one for you. You may consider a company's qualifications, treatment methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and price of services.
Below, we discuss each factor in more detail.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
While the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets the minimum competency standards for pesticide applicators, licensure is taken care of at the state level. All pesticide applicators (and those who supervise them) in Tennessee should be licensed by all the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies have the option to 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 humans and the environment.
Pest control companies can also become members of certain professional organizations. While not required, membership in organizations like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations help show a company's reputability. In the NPMA and other organizations, pest control companies have access to education, resources, and a network of other professionals with whom to share best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
You can gain some insight into a company's level of experience by finding out how many years it has been in business. The company's website and local reviews can also inform you whether a company has the experience needed to deal with the specific species of pests that are afflicting your home. You can always contact the company directly to learn this information if you can't find it online.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can check a company's reputation using local review sites or social media as well as the Better Business Bureau (BBB). You can also check with Tennessee's licensing board to see the status of a company's license.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
For many people, cost is one of the main deciding factors when hiring 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 company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits your budget), and what kind of guarantees it provides. Often, a company will guarantee that if its treatment doesn't resolve your pest problem, it will continue to come back until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
It's important to consider safety when choosing a pest control provider, and you might prefer a provider who uses more natural, environmentally-friendly methods.
Your pest control provider should be able to discuss the safety of all pesticides that will be used in your home. They should be able to clarify whether the pesticides are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not what safety precautions they will put in place to protect you, your family, and your pets. Any pesticides that pose greater than a minimum risk should be registered with the EPA.
Nowadays, many companies are exploring greener and cleaner pest management that can be implemented before (or in place of) chemical pesticides. Many are following the practice of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which goes as follows:
- Identify problem pests and determine whether immediate action is needed.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of physical, cultural, biological, and mechanical controls.
- Use chemical controls only if needed, and always along with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and continue with additional pest control as needed.