How To Choose a Pest Control Company
Choosing the best pest control company for you is key. Along with a company's qualifications and treatment methods, you may also look into how long it has been in business and what the reviews look like. Finally, you'll likely want to consider the cost of services.
Below, we explore the details of each of these factors.
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) sets minimum standards of competency, but any pesticide applicators working in the state of Tennessee must be licensed via the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies can optionally obtain certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations. While not required, they can help you evaluate the quality of a company's products. For example, the GreenPro Service Certification recognizes comprehensive and effective pest control methods that are safer for people and the environment.
Pest control companies can also obtain membership in professional organizations. Membership in organizations such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations is not mandatory, but helps verify a company's reputability. Membership in the NPMA gives companies access to education, resources, and a network of other professionals with whom to discuss practices and methods.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Looking at a company's website can tell you how many years it has been in operation and what type of pests it specializes in exterminating. Online reviews can also give you some insight into a company's experience dealing with a specific pest. If this information isn't available online, you can try calling the company directly.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can browse reviews and recommendations on social media or local review sites, verify a company's rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), or check its licensure status through the Tennessee licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is an important consideration when picking a pest control company. Cost may be determined by the size of your house, the type of pest being treated, your location, 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 see if it offers a guarantee of satisfaction.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your choice of pest control provider might be affected by how environmentally-friendly a company's practices are, as well as how safe its methods are around your family and pets.
It's important to understand the precautions around pesticides being used in your house, for the sake of you, your family, and your pets. Your pest control technician should be capable of providing information about the pesticides they will be using, whether they are low toxicity or non-toxic, and (if not) what safety measures will be used. All pesticides (except minimum-risk ones) need to be registered with the EPA.
It is now common for companies to start with more environmentally friendly options before employing pesticides, using a technique called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). When using IPM, the following steps are taken:
- Identify problem pests and determine whether immediate action is required.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Use a combination of biological, cultural, mechanical, and physical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Employ chemical controls only if needed, and always in combination with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and continue with additional pest control as needed.