How To Choose a Pest Control Company
It's important to choose the best pest control company for you. You might take into consideration a company's qualifications, treatment methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and cost of services.
Below, we dive into detail on each factor.
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 those that supervise them must be licensed at the state level. The EPA maintains minimum standards of competency, and the Texas regulatory agencies take care of the granting, maintaining, and revoking of licenses.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
An optional certification that may be worth looking for is the GreenPro Service Certification. To get this certification, a pest control company must both show that its practices are more environmentally friendly and maintain certain technician training standards. Companies can also obtain other certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations to further back up their work.
A pest control company can also belong to professional organizations. Companies can belong to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), or state-level organizations. Membership in the NPMA 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
The number of years that a company has been in business can tell you something about its experience dealing with the pests that live in Corpus Christi. Online reviews or the company's website itself can also help you figure out whether it has the skills and experience needed to handle your specific pest problem. If the answers to your questions aren't available online, speaking with a representative is an easy way to learn about the company's areas of expertise.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look at a company's rating and reviews on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), check out social media and local review sites to hear what others in your area have to say, or verify its license standing 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 influenced by factors like the size of your house, the type of pest being treated, and your location.
You can think about whether a specific 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.
All pesticides (except those that are classified as minimum-risk) should be registered with the EPA. Your pest control technician should supply information on all the pesticides that they are using. They should be able to tell you whether these chemicals are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not, what safety precautions will be in place.
Many companies have started offering options for more environmentally friendly methods of pest control before jumping into using harsh pesticides.
One popular way of making pest control safer and greener is Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and assess whether immediate action is needed.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of biological, cultural, physical, and mechanical controls.
- Employ chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and implement additional pest control as needed.
Common Household Pests in Corpus Christi
In Corpus Christi, there are some pests that are more common than others. This list of pests includes the following:
- Mosquitoes: You're at greater risk of a mosquito infestation if your home is in a wetter area. They're also more common when the weather is warmer. Mosquitoes can be more than just a nuisance--they can cause itchy bites and even spread diseases.
- Termites: Termites can often enter your house from nearby piles of firewood, mulch, or rotting wood. If left untreated, they can cause a significant amount of damage and cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars in repairs.
- Snakes: Snakes prefer dark, cool, and damp areas and often come into a home looking for food. While most species of snakes are harmless, this is not a risk that you and your family want to take.
- Mice: Some telltale signs of mouse activity include chewed wires and droppings around your house. Mice tend to frequent attics or areas where food is kept.
- Bed bugs: Bed bug infestations are often very hard to eliminate, so we strongly recommend calling a professional as soon as possible. Bed bugs can be found throughout Texas, and can infest not only your bedsheets, but also other furniture and even your wallpaper.
- Spiders: You may encounter spiders in your attic or other moist, dark areas. Most spiders are harmless and pose no threat to humans, but you still don't want an infestation of them in your house.
Corpus Christi Pest Control FAQ
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Pest infestations occur when pests come into your home looking for something, normally food, water, or shelter. Pests may come looking for food or trash left sitting out. Some might also be drawn by standing water collecting outside (from rain collecting in a particular area) or inside (from leaky pipes). Pests may also come into your home simply looking for shelter. They can get in through places such as broken screens or foundation cracks.
There are a number of things you can do to help prevent pest infestations. First, avoid leaving food out. Keep your food stored in sealed containers, and avoid leaving trash sitting around.
Next, avoid having standing water in or around your home. Repair leaks inside and eliminate standing water sites outside. Lastly, seal off possible pest entrances into your home, including siding or foundation cracks.
When you see signs of pest activity in your Corpus Christi home--things like nests, droppings, signs of damage, or the pests themselves--you should contact your local pest professional. If your home has had seasonal or recurrent pest infestations, we suggest getting in touch with a local pest control company to set up annual pest management services.
How long pest control takes to work depends on the problem and treatment. For example, if your technician removes a wasp nest, you should see the results immediately. In other cases, it could take anywhere from one to two days to up to six weeks to see significant results from pest control. Some pest issues may require your technician to make multiple trips to your home.
It's usually a good idea to keep your pets away from treated areas during and for some time after application. Some pest control chemicals are non-toxic or have low toxicity, but generally they should not be ingested by pets. Your pest control technician will tell you how far to keep your pets away from treated areas, and for how long.