How To Choose a Pest Control Company
There are several things you can weigh when selecting the best pest control company for you. You might take into consideration a company's qualifications, methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and service prices.
Below, we dive into detail on each factor.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
All pesticide applicators (and those that supervise them) need to be certified at the state level. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established minimum standards of competency, but all pesticide applicators working in Tennessee should be licensed via the necessary 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 needs to both show that its practices are more environmentally friendly and maintain certain training standards for its technicians. Companies can also obtain other certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations to further support their work.
Pest control companies can also belong to certain professional organizations. Companies can be members of the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), or state-level organizations. NPMA membership provides companies with access to resources, education, and a network of other pest control companies. While not required, membership in professional organizations helps demonstrate a company's reputability.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Looking at a company's website can tell you how long it has been in business and what type of pests it specializes in eliminating. Local reviews can also offer some insight into a company's experience dealing with specific pests. If you can't find this information online, you can try calling the company directly.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can check a company's rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), read reviews on local review sites or social media, or check the standing of its license via the Tennessee licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is important when hiring a pest control company. Cost can be affected influenced by the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, your location, and other factors.
Companies will often offer free on-site estimates before starting work, to help you determine whether it fits into your budget. You can also ask whether if your company has a satisfaction guarantee, meaning that if your pest problem is not solved by the initial treatment, it will continue returning until it is.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Keeping yourself, your family and your pets safe is an important concern when picking a pest control provider. You may also prefer one that uses environmentally-friendly methods.
Your pest technician should use pesticides that are low toxicity or non-toxic whenever possible. If any pesticides they intend to use don't fit into one of these categories, your technician should explain what safety precautions they plan to use to protect you, your family, and your pets. All pesticides that pose more than a minimum risk are required to be registered with the EPA.
Many companies are now 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 determine if immediate action is needed.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Use a combination of physical, cultural, biological, and mechanical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Employ chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always with other techniques for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and implement additional pest control as needed.
Common Household Pests in Memphis
Not all pests are equally pervasive in Memphis. Some species that you should be on the lookout for are these:
- Ticks: Tick infestations can be dangerous because they might bring diseases like Lyme into your home. You may be at increased risk of these infestations if your home is near a body of water, a forest, or an area of dense vegetation.
- Flies: You might spot flies around sinks or in areas where food is kept. Flies might get into your Memphis home year-round, but they're especially common in warmer weather.
- Fleas: In general, fleas tend to prefer warmer weather (which can make them a particular problem in Memphis) and can often be brought in by pets.
- Mice: Some telltale signs of mice include chewed wires and droppings around your house. Frequently, mice can be found in attics or in areas where you keep food.
- Spiders: These pests prefer damp and dark places and are commonly found in basements or attics.
- Bed bugs: Bed bug infestations are often very hard to eliminate, so we strongly recommend calling a local exterminator as soon as possible. Bed bugs can be found throughout Tennessee, and can infest not only your bedsheets, but also other furniture and even your wallpaper.
Memphis Pest Control FAQ
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Pests come into your house looking for one of three things: food, water, or shelter. Some pests will enter your home simply because they have the opportunity to do so, through a broken screen or foundation crack. Some are drawn by food, either actual food sitting out or trash left out in the open. Others are searching for water, either standing water outside or puddles inside from leaky pipes.
One thing you can do to prevent pest infestations is seal off potential entrances into your house. This includes things like cracks in your foundation or siding. Second, avoid leaving food out for pests. This includes keeping food in sealed containers and not leaving trash out. Third, reduce standing water in and around your house. Try to reduce places where water collects outside, and fix leaks inside.
When you notice signs of pests in your Memphis home--things like droppings, nests, signs of damage, or the pests themselves--you should call your local pest professional. If your home has had seasonal or recurrent pest infestations, we suggest contacting a local pest control company to request annual pest management services.
The majority of pesticides last about 30 to 90 days after application. Chemicals applied outdoors may not last as long as those applied indoors due to precipitation. Some other things that can affect how long pesticide application lasts include what chemicals are used, the application method, what pests are present, and the extent of your pest problem.
Your pest control technician will inform you how far your pets need to be kept away from treated areas, and for how long. Some pesticides are non-toxic or have low toxicity, but generally you'll be asked to keep pets out of the area during and for some time after application.