How To Choose a Pest Control Company
There are several factors that you can consider when selecting the right pest control company for you. The qualifications of and treatment methods used by a company are important to consider, as well as its years of experience and reputation in customer reviews. Of course, you will also want to think about 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 competency standards for pesticide applicators, but licensing is handled at the state level. All pesticide applicators and their supervisors in Texas need to be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies can optionally obtain additional certifications like the GreenPro Service Certification. This certification is given once a company has proven its methods to be more environmentally friendly and demonstrated that it also maintains certain other standards, such as up-to-date training for employees. A pest control company can also earn other certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro to further support its methods and practices.
There are certain professional organizations that pest control companies can be members of. When a company joins an organization such as the National Pest Management Association(NPMA) (or a state-level organization), it gets access to education, resources, and a network of other pest control experts with whom to compare methods. This can offer extra peace of mind that a company follows industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
You can get some insight into a company's level of pest management experience by finding out how long it has been in operation. Local reviews and the company's own website can also inform you whether a company has experience dealing with the specific species of pests that are afflicting your home. You can contact a representative directly to learn this information if you can't find it online.
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 the status of its license through the Texas licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
The cost of pest control can vary based on things like the size of your house, your location, the type of pest being treated, and other factors.
When thinking about the cost of services, you should try to determine whether a company provides free on-site estimates as part of its services. This can help determine whether the company fits into your budget. Also consider what guarantees a company offers: If the problem is not fixed, or if it returns, will the company provide additional treatments until the issue is satisfactorily handled?
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your choice of pest control company might be influenced by how environmentally-friendly a company's practices are, in addition to how safe its methods are around your family and pets.
It's important to understand the precautions around pesticides used in your house, for the sake of you, your family, and your pets. Your pest control provider should be able to supply information about any 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) must be registered with the EPA.
Companies looking to reduce their use of chemical pesticides often follow practices such as Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Using IPM involves a series of steps:
- Identify problem pests and determine whether immediate action is required.
- 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 required, and always with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and continue with additional pest control as needed.
Common Household Pests in Dallas
Some pests are more common than others. In Dallas, common pests to be watchful for include the following:
- Mosquitoes: On top of being annoying, a mosquito infestation can lead to itchy bites and possibly even put you and your family at risk of diseases. Mosquitoes are most common in wetter climates and in warmer months.
- Beetles: Across the U.S. and in Dallas, there are a diverse array of beetles that could create problems. Many beetles are harmless, but others can cause damage to your home by eating wood, carpeting, and more.
- Bees: Having bees around your home can be a nuisance, particularly if someone in your household is allergic. Your local pest control company can help get rid of bees, and some may even have the resources to safely relocate hives.
- Mice: If there are mice in your home, you might notice droppings or things like chewed wires. You can often find mice in attics or in places where food is stored.
- Bed bugs: Bed bug infestations can be very hard to quash, so we recommend calling a local exterminator as soon as possible. Bed bugs can be found throughout Texas, and can infest not only your bedsheets, but also other furniture and even wallpaper.
Dallas Pest Control FAQ
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Pests make their way into your home looking for one of three things: food, water, or shelter. Some pests will opportunistically enter your home through a broken screen or foundation crack. Some are attracted to food, either actual food sitting out or trash left out in the open. Others are searching for water, either standing water on your property or puddles inside from leaky pipes.
There are a number of things you can do to help prevent pest infestations. First, don't leave food out. Make sure food is stored in sealed containers, and don't leave trash sitting around.
Next, try not to have standing water in or around your home. Repair leaks inside and eliminate places where standing water collects outdoors. Finally, seal off any possible pest entrances into your home, including siding or foundation cracks.
In general, it's recommended that your house is treated for pests about once annually, more frequently if you have an active infestation. Your pest control professional will ultimately be the one best equipped to recommend a treatment schedule for you.
It's normally 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 as a general rule they should not be ingested by pets. Your pest control company will tell you how far to keep your pets out of treated areas, and for how long.