How To Choose a Pest Control Company
It's important to choose the right pest control company for you. Along with a company's qualifications and treatment methods, you might also look into how long it has been in business and what the reviews are like. Finally, you'll likely want to look at 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?
All pesticide applicators, as well as those that supervise them, should be licensed via the appropriate Virginia 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?
One optional certification that may be worth looking for is the GreenPro Service Certification. To receive this certification, a pest control company needs to both show that its practices are more environmentally friendly and maintain certain training standards for its technicians. Companies can also earn other certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations to further back up their work.
Pest control companies can also obtain membership in professional organizations. Companies can be members of the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), or state-level organizations. Membership in the NPMA gives companies access to resources, education, and a network of other pest control companies. While not mandatory, membership in professional organizations helps demonstrate a company's reputability.
Professional Experience and Specialties
A company's years in business can indicate how much experience it has handling various pests. You can also explore its website or look through customer reviews to decide whether it has the right kind of experience handling the species of pests you are dealing with. If you cannot find this information online, speaking with a company representative is a great way to learn more.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look up a company's Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, browse reviews on local review sites or social media, or check the standing of its license via the Virginia licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is probably high on your list of priorities when hiring a pest control company. Cost can be affected influenced by the size of your house, your location, the type of pest being treated, and other factors.
Many companies offer free on-site estimates at the beginning of their process, to help you decide whether it fits into your budget. You can also ask whether if your company has a satisfaction guarantee, meaning that if your pest problem is not solved by the initial treatment, it will continue returning until it is.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Keeping yourself, your family and your pets safe is an important concern when picking a pest control provider. You might also prefer one that employs environmentally-friendly practices.
Be sure to ask your pest control provider if the chemicals they're using are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not, what precautionary measures they are going to use. All pesticides that are not considered minimum-risk chemicals should be registered with the EPA. Your pest control provider should be able to provide information about all of the pesticides they are going to use.
Many companies have started offering options for more environmentally friendly methods of pest control before jumping into using harsh pesticides.
One popular method for making pest control safer and greener is Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and assess whether immediate action is required.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Use a combination of mechanical, cultural, biological, and physical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Employ chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and implement additional pest control as needed.
Common Household Pests in Norfolk
Some pests are more common in Norfolk, and these pests are the ones to keep an eye out for. Some of these include the following:
- Flies: Flies can be a nuisance in your Norfolk home year-round, but they may be especially common when the weather is warmer. Flies might be found around sinks or in areas where you keep food.
- Spiders: Spiders usually prefer dark and damp places and are often found in basements or attics.
- Bed bugs: Bed bugs are found throughout Virginia, and they can lead to serious problems if left untreated. Because bed bug infestations are often difficult to get rid of, we recommend getting professional extermination as soon as you discover the problem. Bed bugs can infest bedsheets, wallpaper, furniture, and more.
- Mice: Some telltale signs of mouse activity include chewed wires and droppings around your home. Frequently, mice can be found in attics or in areas where you keep food.
Norfolk Pest Control FAQ
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Pests come into your house looking for one of three things: food, water, or shelter. Some pests will enter your home simply because they have the opportunity to do so, via a broken screen or foundation crack. Some are attracted to food, either actual food left out or trash sitting out in the open. Others are searching for water, either standing water on your property or puddles inside from leaky pipes.
There are a number of steps you can take to help prevent pest infestations. First, avoid leaving food out. Make sure food is stored in sealed containers, and avoid leaving trash sitting around.
Second, try not to have standing water in or around your home. Fix leaks indoors and eliminate standing water sites outside. Finally, seal off any possible pest entrances into your home, including siding or foundation cracks.
You should consider hiring a pest control professional any time you identify signs of pests in your Norfolk home. These signs can include nests, droppings, damage, or even the pests themselves. If your home has recurrent or seasonal pest infestations, we recommend setting up annual preventive pest management.
We recommend discussing this question with your pest technician while they are in your home, as the answer can vary depending on the treatments used. After pesticide application, you may notice a lingering smell that should dissipate over time.
In many cases, vacuuming, dusting, and wiping down certain surfaces will be appropriate after pest control. However, make sure to not wipe away chemical barriers, and avoid touching any traps unless you are explicitly told to do so. After the pest control process, continue keeping your home clean. Avoid letting trash pile up, take care of spills and leaks promptly, and so on. This helps discourage pests from returning.