How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When selecting a pest control company, there are a number of factors you can consider to make sure you choose the best one for you. Important factors include the 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?
All pesticide applicators, as well as those that supervise them, must be licensed via the appropriate Texas regulatory agencies. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established minimum standards of competency, while providing, maintaining, and revoking licensing is handled at the state level.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
A pest control company can optionally apply for additional certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro in order to support 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. These companies also need to maintain certain training standards for employees.
Pest control companies can also hold membership in various professional organizations. When a company joins an organization like the National Pest Management Association(NPMA) (or a state-level organization), it gains access to education, resources, and a network of other pest control experts with whom to compare methods. This can offer extra peace of mind that a company follows industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Generally, a company will list information like its 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 locate the information you need online, you can contact a company representative directly to get your questions answered.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can verify a company's legitimacy using the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and local review sites or social media. You can also check with Texas' licensing board to see the status of a company's license.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
For many people, cost is one of the most important factors when hiring for pest control. Cost can be determined by factors like the type of pest being treated, your location, and the size of your house.
You can take into consideration whether a certain company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget), and what kind of guarantees it provides. Often, a company will guarantee that if its treatment doesn't resolve your pest problem, it will continue to come back until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
When picking a pest control provider, you want to choose a company that will help keep you, your family, and your pets safe. You may also prefer a provider that is environmentally-conscious.
All pesticides (except those that are classified as minimum-risk) should be registered with the EPA. Your pest control provider should supply information on each pesticide they plan to use. They should be able to tell you whether the pesticides are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not, what safety precautions will be taken.
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 the source of the pest problem and assess whether immediate action is needed.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of mechanical, physical, biological, and cultural controls.
- Use chemical controls only if needed, and always along with other techniques for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and provide additional pest control as needed.