How To Choose a Pest Control Company
The first step is hiring the best pest control company for the job. Factors you may consider include licensing and qualifications, treatment methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and cost.
Below, we discuss each of these factors in more detail.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
Per 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 pesticide applicators in Texas need to be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
There are additional optional certifications that can help show that a pest control company is reputable. One of these is the GreenPro Service Certification. For this certification, a company must prove that its methods are more environmentally friendly and that its employees receive up-to-date training. Additional certifications can be earned through QualityPro and similar trade organizations.
There are several professional organizations in which pest control companies can hold membership. When a company joins an organization like the National Pest Management Association(NPMA) (or a state-level organization), it receives access to education, resources, and a network of other pest professionals with whom to compare methods. This can give you additional peace of mind that a company follows industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Typically, a company provides information like years of experience and specialities on its website. Local reviews can also inform you as to whether a company has experience dealing with a specific pest. If you're unable to locate the information you need online, you can speak with a company representative directly to get the answers to your questions.
Reviews and Recommendations
Resources that can be used to verify a company's legitimacy include the Better Business Bureau (BBB), social media, and local review sites. You can also confirm the status of a company's license via 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 considering the cost of services, you should verify 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 take into account what guarantees a company offers: If the problem is not resolved, or returns, will the company provide additional treatment until the problem is satisfactorily handled?
Safety and Treatment Methods
Keeping yourself, your family and your pets safe is an important consideration when choosing a pest control provider. You may also prefer one that uses environmentally-friendly methods.
It's important to understand the precautions for the pesticides used around your house, for the sake of your family, your pets, and yourself. Your pest control provider should be able to supply information about any pesticides they intend to use, whether they are low toxicity or non-toxic, and (if not) what safety measures they have in place. All pesticides (except minimum-risk ones) need to be registered with the EPA.
Nowadays, many companies are exploring greener and cleaner pest management that can be implemented before (or instead of) chemical pesticides. Many follow 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.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Use a combination of physical, cultural, biological, and mechanical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Use chemical controls only when required, and always along with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and provide additional pest control as needed.
Common Household Pests in El Paso
Not all pests are equally prevalent in El Paso. Some species that you should be on the lookout for are these:
- Moths: If you're noticing holes in your clothing or linens, you may have moths in your house. Moths are often found in dark places like closets, and are more commonly found in warmer places (like El Paso).
- Termites: Termites often come into your home from nearby piles of firewood, rotting wood, or mulch. If left uncontrolled, they can do a significant amount of damage and cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars in repairs.
- Flies: You might spot flies around sinks or in areas where food is kept. Flies might get into your El Paso home year-round, but they're particularly common when the weather gets warmer.
- Mice: If there are mice in your home, you might notice droppings around your house, or things like chewed wires. You can often find mice in attics or in places where food is stored.
- Spiders: You may encounter spiders in your attic or other damp, dark places. While most spiders are harmless and pose no threat to humans, you don't want a spider infestation in your home.
- Bed bugs: Bed bugs can be found throughout Texas and can lead to serious problems if left untreated. Because bed bug infestations are often difficult to get rid of, we recommend hiring a professional exterminator as soon as you discover the problem. Bed bugs can infest bedsheets, wallpaper, furniture, and more.
El Paso Pest Control FAQ
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Pests enter your home looking for one of three things: food, water, or shelter. Some pests will opportunistically enter your home through a foundation crack or broken screen. Some are attracted to food, either actual food sitting out or trash left out in the open. Others look for water, either standing water on your property or puddles inside from leaky pipes.
One thing you can do to prevent pest infestations is seal off possible entrances into your home. These include things like cracks in your foundation or siding. Next, try to avoid leaving food out for pests. This means keeping food in sealed containers as well as not leaving trash out. Lastly, eliminate standing water in and around your home. Find ways to reduce places where water collects outside, and repair leaks inside.
You should consider hiring a pest control professional any time you identify signs of pests in your El Paso home. You might see nests, droppings, damage caused by pests, or even the pests themselves. If your home has recurrent or seasonal pest infestations, we recommend yearly preventive pest management.
We recommend checking in with your pest control technician while they are in your home, as the answer can vary depending on the treatments used. After application of pesticides, you may notice a lingering smell that will dissipate over time.
Typically, dusting, vacuuming, and wiping down certain surfaces will be appropriate after pest control. However, make sure that you don't wipe away chemical barriers, and avoid touching any traps unless explicitly told to do so. After the problem is taken care of, continue to keep your home clean. Avoid letting trash pile up, take care of spills and leaks promptly, and so on. This helps discourage pests from returning.