How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When picking a pest control company, you want to find the right one to meet your needs. Things you may consider include qualifications and licensing, treatment methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and cost.
Below, we dive into detail on each of these factors.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets minimum standards of competency for pesticide applicators, but licensure is handled at the state level. All pesticide applicators and their supervisors in Tennessee must be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies can obtain optional certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro. These are not required, but 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 methods that are safer for people and the environment.
A pest control company can also belong to certain professional organizations. Joining an organization like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or a state-level organization gives companies access to education and resources, and a network of professionals with whom to compare best practices. Joining organizations like these is not mandatory, but it can help indicate that a company follows industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
You can gain some insight into a company's level of experience by looking at how many years it has been in operation. The company's website and local reviews can also tell you whether the company has the experience needed to deal with the specific species of pests that are afflicting your home. You can call the company directly to learn this information if you can't find it online.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look up a company's rating and reviews on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), explore local review sites and social media to learn what other people are saying, or verify its license standing through the Tennessee licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is often a deciding factor when choosing a pest control company. Cost may be determined by your location, the size of your house, the type of pest being treated, and other factors.
A pest control company may offer a free on-site estimate to help you determine if it fits into your budget. You can also check to see if it offers a satisfaction guarantee.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Safety is an important consideration when deciding on a pest control provider. You might also prefer a provider who uses more natural, environmentally-friendly methods.
You will want to understand the precautions around pesticides used in your house, for the sake of you, your family, and your pets. Your pest control technician should provide information about all pesticides they will be using, whether they are low toxicity or non-toxic, and (if not) what safety measures they plan to take. All pesticides (except minimum-risk ones) need to be registered with the EPA.
Many companies are using options for more environmentally friendly pest control techniques before employing harsh pesticides.
One common 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.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of mechanical, physical, biological, and cultural controls.
- Employ chemical controls only when required, and always in combination with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and provide additional pest control as needed.