How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When picking a pest control company, there are several things you can consider to be sure you choose the best one for you. You might consider a company's qualifications and treatment methods, in addition to its customer reviews and years of experience. And of course, there's the cost of services to consider.
Below, we dive into detail on each of these factors.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
While the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets the minimum standards of competency for pesticide applicators, licensure is taken care of at the state level. All pesticide applicators (and their supervisors) in Texas should be licensed by all the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies also have the option to obtain additional certifications such as the GreenPro Service Certification. This certification is granted once a company has proven that its treatment methods are more environmentally friendly and demonstrated that it also maintains certain other standards, such as up-to-date employee training. A company can also earn other certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro to further support its practices and methods.
Pest control companies can also be members of various professional organizations. Membership in an organization such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or a state-level organization grants a pest control company access to resources and education, in addition to a professional network to compare best practices with. Belonging to one of these organizations is not mandatory, but it can help indicate that a company follows industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
For the most part, a company displays information like years of experience and specialities on its website. Local reviews can also help you figure out if a company has experience dealing with a particular pest in your area. If you're unable to find the information you need online, you can speak with a company representative directly to get your questions answered.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can check a company's reputation using local review sites or social media as well as the Better Business Bureau (BBB). You can also check with Texas' licensing board to verify the status of a company's license.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is an important consideration 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.
A pest control company may offer a free on-site estimate to help you figure out if it fits into your budget. You can also check to see if it offers a guarantee of satisfaction.
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.
You can ask your pest control technician if they plan on using low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides--if not, ask about what precautionary measures they plan to use. Any pesticide that poses greater than minimum risk needs to be registered with the EPA. Your pest control company should supply information about all of the pesticides that will be used in your home, in addition to how safe they are around people and pets.
You can ask if your technician will begin with more natural and lower-toxicity options before employing harsher chemicals.
Many companies are using Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to treat pest infestations with minimal personal or environmental risk. The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify problem pests and determine whether immediate action is required.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Use a combination of biological, cultural, physical, and mechanical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Employ chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always along with other techniques for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and provide additional pest control as needed.