How To Choose a Pest Control Company
There are several factors you can take into consideration when choosing the best pest control company for you. You may take into consideration a company's qualifications, methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and service prices.
Below, we discuss each factor in more detail.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
All pesticide applicators (and those that supervise them) are required to be certified at the state level. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets 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?
Pest control companies can also obtain optional certifications such as the GreenPro Service Certification. This certification is given once a company has proven its methods to be more environmentally friendly and demonstrated that it also holds itself up to certain other standards, such as up-to-date training for employees. A pest control company can also earn other certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations to further verify its methods and practices.
There are various professional organizations that a pest control company can belong to. Membership in organizations like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations is not required, but helps confirm that a company follows industry best practices. The NPMA gives companies access to education, resources, and a network of pest professionals with whom to discuss methods and practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Looking at how long a company has been in business can help determine how much experience it has handling pests in your area. You can also browse its website or peruse customer reviews to decide whether it has the right kind of experience handling the species of pests you are dealing with. If this information can't be found online, contacting a representative directly is a great way to learn more.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look up a company's rating and reviews on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), explore social media and local review sites to learn what other people are saying, or verify its license standing via the Texas licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
For many people, cost is one of the main deciding factors when hiring for pest control services. Cost can be determined by factors like the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, and your location.
You can look into whether a specific company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits your budget), and what kind of guarantees are provided. 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
Your choice of pest control provider might be affected by how environmentally-friendly a company's practices are, in addition to how safe its methods are around your family and pets.
All pesticides (except those that are classified as minimum-risk) are required to be registered with the EPA. Your pest control provider should be able to supply information on all the pesticides that they will be using. They should inform you whether these chemicals 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 have started to use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to reduce personal or environmental risk when treating pest infestations. 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 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.