How To Choose a Pest Control Company
The first step is selecting the best pest control company for the job. Important factors include a company's qualifications, its treatment methods, experience and reviews, and of course the cost of services.
Below, we discuss each of these factors in more detail.
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 sets minimum standards of competency, and the Texas regulatory agencies handle the issuing, maintaining, and revoking of licenses.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies have the option to obtain certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro. While not required, they can help you evaluate the quality of a company's products. For example, the GreenPro Service Certification indicates comprehensive and effective pest control treatment that is safer for humans and the environment.
A pest control company can also belong to professional organizations. Becoming a member of an organization like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or a state-level organization grants a pest control company access to resources and education, plus a network of professionals with whom to compare best practices. Belonging to one of these organizations is not required, but it can help show 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 looking into how many years it has been in business. 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 call the company directly to learn this information if you can't find it online.
Reviews and Recommendations
Resources that can be used to verify a company's legitimacy include local review sites, social media, and the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Additionally, you can confirm the status of a company's license via the Texas licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is important when choosing a pest control company. Cost may be determined by the size of your house, your location, the type of pest being treated, and other factors.
Certain pest control companies offer a free on-site estimate to help you match services to your budget. You can also check to see if it offers a satisfaction guarantee.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Safety is an important consideration when choosing a pest control provider. You might also prefer a provider who uses more natural, environmentally-friendly methods.
Your pest technician should be using pesticides that are low toxicity or non-toxic any time they can. If they plan to use pesticides that don't fit into one of these categories, your technician should explain what safety precautions they plan to use to protect your family, your pets, and you. All pesticides that pose more than a minimum risk need to be registered with the EPA.
Organizations looking to reduce their reliance on chemical pesticides often follow practices such as Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Using IPM involves a series of steps:
- Identify problem pests and assess whether immediate action is needed.
- 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 when required, and always in combination with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and provide additional pest control as needed.
Common Household Pests in Fort Worth
You might run into some pests more often in Fort Worth. Some pests to keep an eye out for include these:
- Termites: If a termite infestation is left untreated, they could cause hundreds or thousands of dollars in damage. Often, termites get inside via nearby piles of firewood, mulch, or rotting wood.
- Snakes: Snakes prefer cool, damp, and dark places 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.
- Bed bugs: Bed bugs are found throughout Texas, and they can cause major problems if left untreated. Because bed bug infestations can be difficult to get rid of, we recommend getting professional extermination as soon as you discover the problem. These pests can infest bedsheets, furniture, wallpaper, and more.
- Mice: If you have a mouse infestation, you may start noticing droppings or things like chewed wires. Frequently, mice are found in attics or in places where food is kept.
- Spiders: Spiders usually prefer dark and moist places and are often found in attics.
Fort Worth Pest Control FAQ
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Pests come into your house 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 drawn by food, either actual food sitting out or trash left out in the open. Others are searching for water, whether it be standing water on your property or puddles inside from leaky pipes.
There are a number of steps you can take to help prevent pest infestations. First, avoid leaving food out. Make sure food is stored in sealed containers, and avoid leaving trash sitting around.
Next, try not to have standing water in or around your home. Repair leaks indoors and eliminate standing water sites outdoors. Lastly, seal off any possible pest entrances into your home, including siding or foundation cracks.
When you see signs of pest activity in your Fort Worth home--which could include nests, droppings, signs of damage, or the pests themselves--you should reach out to an exterminator. If you've had recurrent or seasonal pest infestations, we suggest getting in touch with a local pest control company to request annual pest management services.
We strongly suggest that you ask your pest professional if they want you to clean around your home. This can help them find, identify, and treat all pests present. However, some technicians may want to see your home as-is.
If you are asked to clean, focus on getting paper goods and trash out of affected areas, as some pests like to hide in these items. Also be sure to put all food away so that it does not get contaminated by pesticides. You may want to also remove any plants in the area to avoid contamination with chemicals. Finally, if necessary, block off areas that you expect will be treated so that pets and children do not enter until it is safe. If you require a more intensive process like fumigation, be sure to closely follow your pest professional's instructions.