How To Choose a Pest Control Company
Hiring the best company for you is the most important step in the pest control process. In addition to a company's qualifications and treatment methods, you might also look into how long it has been in business and what the reviews look like. Finally, you'll likely want to consider the cost of services.
Below, we explore the details of 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 handled at the state level. All pesticide applicators (and those who supervise them) in Texas should be licensed by all the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
An optional certification that may be worth looking for is the GreenPro Service Certification. To earn this certification, a pest control company needs to both show that its practices are more environmentally friendly and maintain certain technician training standards. Companies can also obtain other certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro to further back up their work.
Pest control companies can also join certain professional organizations. Membership in organizations like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations is not mandatory, but helps confirm that a company follows industry best practices. When a pest control company joins the NPMA, it gains access to resources, education, and a network of pest professionals with whom to discuss methods and practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
In general, a company provides information like its specialities and years of experience on its website. Online reviews can also help you figure out if a company has experience dealing with a particular pest in your area. If you can't get the information you need online, you can contact a company representative directly to get your questions answered.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can read reviews and recommendations on local review sites or social media, verify a company's Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, or check its licensure status through the Texas licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Things like your location, the size of your house, the type of pest being treated, and other factors can all influence the cost of pest control.
You can learn whether a company provides free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget) and what type of guarantees it offers. Often, a company will provide a guarantee that if it does not solve your pest problem, it will keep coming back until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
When it comes to picking a pest control provider, you want to choose a company that will keep you, your family, and your pets safe. You'll likely also prefer a provider that is environmentally-conscious.
It's important to understand the precautions for the pesticides used in your house, for the sake of you, your family, and your pets. Your pest control provider should supply information about all pesticides they plan 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 have begun using more natural treatment methods before, or instead of, harsh chemical pesticides. Some use a program called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and determine whether 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 required, and always in combination with other solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and provide additional pest control as needed.