How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When choosing a pest control company, you want to make sure that you find the right one to meet your needs. Along with a company's qualifications and treatment methods, you may also look into how long it has been in business and what the reviews look like. Finally, you'll likely want to look at 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?
All pesticide applicators (and those who supervise them) need to be certified at the state level. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established minimum standards of competency, but any pesticide applicators working in the state of Texas should be licensed via the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
A pest control company can optionally apply for certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations in order to verify its methods and standards. One particular certification is the GreenPro Service Certification, which is given to any company that 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 certain professional organizations in which pest control companies can hold membership. A pest control company can obtain membership in state-level organizations in addition to national organizations such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). While not mandatory, membership in these organizations helps prove a company's reputability and gives it access to resources, education, and a network of professionals to compare best practices with.
Professional Experience and Specialties
You can look at a company's years in business to help determine how much experience it has dealing with various pests. You can also explore its website or look through customer reviews to decide whether it has the right kind of experience handling the species of pests you are looking to get rid of. If you cannot find this information online, contacting a representative directly is a great way to learn more.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can view a company's rating and reviews on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), explore social media and local review sites to find out what homeowners near you think, or verify its license standing via the Texas licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is an important consideration when choosing a pest control company. Cost may be determined by the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, your location, and other factors.
A pest control company may offer a free on-site estimate to help you match services to your budget. You can also see if it offers a satisfaction guarantee.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Safety is an important consideration when selecting a pest control provider, and you might prefer a provider who employs more natural, environmentally-friendly methods.
You want to ensure that you understand the precautions for the pesticides being used in your house, for the sake of your family, your pets, and yourself. Your pest control provider should be able to supply information about all pesticides they intend to use, whether they are low toxicity or non-toxic, and (if not) what safety measures they plan to take. All pesticides (except minimum-risk ones) need to be registered with the EPA.
Many companies are using options for more environmentally friendly methods of pest control before relying on 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 determine if immediate action is needed.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Use a combination of physical, cultural, biological, and mechanical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Use chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always in combination with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and implement additional pest control as needed.
Common Household Pests in Laredo
Certain pests are more common than others. In Laredo, common pests to be on the lookout for include the following:
- Ants: Ants are common in basically all of Texas. Large carpenter ants can be an even bigger problem than regular soil ants, as they can cause structural damage to your house.
- Spiders: You may encounter spiders in your attic or other damp, dark areas. Most spiders are harmless and pose no threat to humans, but you still don't want an infestation of them in your home.
- Bed bugs: Infestations of bed bugs are often very difficult to quash, so we recommend hiring an exterminator as soon as possible. Bed bugs can be found throughout Texas, and can infest not just your bedsheets, but also other furniture and even wallpaper.
- Mice: Some common signs of mouse activity include chewed wires and droppings around your house. Frequently, mice can be found in attics or in areas where food is kept.
Laredo Pest Control FAQ
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Pest infestations happen when pests come into your home looking for something, usually food, water, or shelter. Pests may seek out and eat food or trash left sitting out. Some could also be drawn by standing water collecting outside (from rain collecting in one spot) or inside (from leaky pipes). They may also come into your house looking for shelter and get in through places such as foundation cracks or broken screens.
There are certain 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, avoid having standing water in or around your home. Repair leaks inside and eliminate places where standing water collects outside. Finally, seal off any potential pest entrances into your home, including siding or foundation cracks.
When you notice signs of pests in your Laredo home--things like nests, droppings, signs of damage, or the pests themselves--you should contact your local pest professional. If you've had seasonal or recurrent infestations, we suggest getting in touch with a local pest control company to request annual pest management services.
Most pesticides last around 30 to 90 days after application. If there is rain, chemicals applied outside may wash away sooner than those applied inside. Some other things that can affect how long pesticide application lasts include the extent of the pest problem, what specific pests are present, the chemicals used, and the application method.