How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When hiring a pest control company, there are a number of things you can consider to be sure you choose the best one for you. You may take into consideration a company's qualifications, treatment methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and service prices.
Below, we dive into detail on each factor.
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 overseen at the state level. All pesticide applicators and their supervisors in Texas must 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 demonstrate that a pest control company is reputable. One of these is the GreenPro Service Certification. To earn this certification, a company must prove that its methods are more environmentally friendly and that its employee training is up to date. Additional certifications can be obtained through trade organizations like QualityPro.
A pest control company can also belong to various professional organizations. Companies can obtain membership in the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), or state-level organizations. Membership in the NPMA provides companies with access to education, resources, and a network of other pest control companies. While not mandatory, membership in professional organizations helps back up a company's reputability.
Professional Experience and Specialties
You can get some insight into a company's experience level by looking at how many years it has been in operation. The company's website and local reviews can also let you know whether a certain company has experience dealing with the specific species of pests that are afflicting your home. You can reach out to a representative directly to learn this information if you can't find it online.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look up a company's Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, explore reviews on social media or local review sites, or check the standing of its license via the Texas licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Things like the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, your location, and other factors can all affect the cost of pest control.
You can look into whether a company provides free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget), as well as what type of guarantees it has. Often, a company will guarantee that if it does not resolve your pest problem, it will continue treatment until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Keeping yourself, your family and your pets safe is an important consideration when picking a pest control provider. You may also prefer one that uses environmentally-friendly methods.
Your pest control provider should be using pesticides that are low toxicity or non-toxic when possible. If they plan to use pesticides that don't fall into one of these categories, your technician should explain what safety precautions they plan to use to protect your family, your pets, and you. Any pesticides that pose more than a minimum risk must be registered with the EPA.
Many companies are now exploring cleaner and greener pest solutions that can be used before (or instead of) chemical pesticides. Many are following the practice of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which goes as follows:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and determine whether immediate action is needed.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Use a combination of mechanical, physical, biological, and cultural controls to manage the pest problem.
- Use chemical controls only when required, and always with other techniques for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and implement additional pest control as needed.