How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When selecting a pest control company, there are several factors you can consider to make sure that you're choosing the right one for you. In addition to a company's qualifications and treatment methods, you might also consider how long it has been in business and what the reviews look like. Finally, you'll likely want to look at 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?
Per the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), all pesticide applicators and those that supervise them must be certified at the state level. The EPA does set minimum standards of competency, but all pesticide applicators in Texas must be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies can earn the GreenPro Service Certification, which requires a company to show that its practices are environmentally friendly and that its employee training is up to date. QualityPro and similar trade organizations also offer other certifications. These are not required, but can help demonstrate that a company is reputable.
Pest control companies can also belong to certain professional organizations. When a company joins an organization such as the National Pest Management Association(NPMA) (or a state-level organization), it gains access to resources, education, and a network of other pest experts with whom to compare methods. This can offer extra peace of mind that a company is following industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Browsing a company's website can tell you how long it has been in business and what species of pests it specializes in exterminating. Local reviews can also provide some insight into a company's experience dealing with specific pests. If this information isn't available online, you can try contacting the company directly.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can view a company's reviews and rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), read local review sites and social media to learn what homeowners near you think, or verify its license standing through the Texas licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is often a deciding factor when choosing a pest control company. Cost may be determined by your location, the size of your house, the type of pest being treated, and other factors.
A pest control company may offer a free on-site estimate to help you match services to your budget. You can also check to see if it offers a satisfaction guarantee.
Safety and Treatment Methods
When choosing a pest control provider, you want to select one that will help keep you, your family, and your pets safe. You'll likely also prefer a provider that is environmentally-conscious.
You should ask your pest control technician if the chemicals they're using are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not, what kind of precautionary measures they will have in place. All pesticides that are not considered minimum-risk chemicals need to be registered with the EPA. Your pest control provider should be able to supply information about all chemicals they are going to use.
Organizations looking to reduce their use of chemical pesticides often follow practices such as Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Using IPM involves a series of steps:
- Identify problem pests and determine whether immediate action is required.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of mechanical, cultural, biological, and physical controls.
- Use chemical controls only if needed, and always along with other solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and continue with additional pest control as needed.