How To Choose a Pest Control Company
There are several things that you can weigh when selecting the right pest control company for you. Important factors include a company's qualifications, its treatment methods, experience and reviews, and of course the cost of services.
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 their supervisors need to be certified at the state level. The EPA does set minimum standards of competency, but all Texas pesticide applicators must be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
A pest control company can receive optional certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations to support its methods and standards. One particular certification is the GreenPro Service Certification, which is given when a company can demonstrate that its methods are more environmentally friendly. A company that receives this certification also needs to maintain certain training standards for employees.
There are several professional organizations that a pest control company can belong to. Companies can obtain membership in the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), or state-level organizations. Membership in the NPMA provides companies with access to education, resources, and a network of other pest professionals. While not required, membership in professional organizations helps back up a company's reputability.
Professional Experience and Specialties
The amount of time that a company has been in business can shed some light on its experience dealing with the pests that live in Beaumont. Customer reviews or the company's website itself can also help you figure out whether it has the skills and experience necessary to handle your specific pest problem. If you can't find the information you need online, calling a representative is an easy way to learn about the company's areas of expertise.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look up a company's Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, browse reviews on social media or local review sites, or check the standing of its license via the Texas licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
For many people, cost is one of the main deciding factors when looking for pest control services. Cost can be determined by factors like the type of pest being treated, your location, and the size of your house.
You can take into consideration whether a particular company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget), and what sort 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
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.
Your pest control technician should be able to explain the safety precautions of any and all pesticides they plan to use. They should be able to explain whether the pesticides are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not what safety precautions they plan to use to protect you, your family, and your pets. Pesticides that pose above a minimum risk need to be registered with the EPA.
Many companies are now trialing options for more environmentally friendly methods of pest control 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:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and assess whether immediate action is required.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of biological, cultural, mechanical, and physical controls.
- Use chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and implement additional pest control as needed.