How To Choose a Pest Control Company
It's important to choose the right pest control company for you. You may consider a company's qualifications and treatment methods, in addition to its years of experience and customer reviews. And of course, there's the cost of services to consider.
Below, we discuss each of these factors in more detail.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set minimum competency standards for pesticide applicators, but licensing is regulated at the state level. All pesticide applicators and supervisors in Wisconsin need to be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies can optionally obtain additional certifications like the GreenPro Service Certification. This certification is granted once a company has shown its methods to be more environmentally friendly and demonstrated that it also maintains certain other standards, such as up-to-date employee training. A company can also earn other certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro to further back up its methods and practices.
Pest control companies can also belong to various professional organizations. A pest control company can join state-level organizations as well as national organizations like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). By being a member of these optional organizations, a company helps support its reputability and gains access to education, resources, and a network of professionals to compare best practices with.
Professional Experience and Specialties
You can look at a company's years in business to help determine how much experience it has handling various pests. You can also explore its website or read 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, getting in touch with a company representative is a great way to learn more.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can check a company's reputation using the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and social media or local review sites. You can also check with Wisconsin's licensing board to see the status of a company's license.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is an important consideration when picking a pest control company. Cost may be determined by the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, your location, and other factors.
A pest control company may offer a free on-site estimate to help you determine if it fits into your budget. You can also see if it offers a satisfaction guarantee.
Safety and Treatment Methods
When it comes to choosing a pest control provider, you want to select one that will help keep you, your family, and your pets safe. You might also prefer a provider that is environmentally-conscious.
All pesticides that will be used (except those that are determined to be of minimal risk) are required to be registered with the EPA. Your pest control provider should provide information on every pesticide they are using. They should inform you whether the pesticides are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not, what safety precautions will be in place.
Many companies are making the switch to using more natural treatment methods before, or in place of, harsh chemical pesticides. Some utilize a program called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). 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.
- Use a combination of biological, cultural, physical, and mechanical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Use chemical controls only if needed, and always along with other solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and implement additional pest control as needed.
Common Household Pests in Milwaukee
Not all pests are equally common in Milwaukee. Some species that you should be wary of are these:
- Ticks: If your home is near a forest or an area with dense vegetation, or close to a body of water, you might be at greater risk of a tick infestation. Ticks can spread diseases like Lyme to you or your pets.
- Flies: Flies can be a year-round nuisance in your Milwaukee home, but they are especially common in warmer weather. You might find flies around sinks or in areas where you keep food.
- Mice: Some telltale signs of mice include chewed wires and droppings around your house. Mice are often found in attics or in areas where you keep food.
- Bed bugs: Infestations of bed bugs are often very hard to eliminate, so we recommend hiring an exterminator as soon as possible. Bed bugs are found throughout Wisconsin, and can infest not only your bedsheets, but also other furniture and even your wallpaper.
- Spiders: Spiders usually prefer dark and moist places and are often found in attics.
Milwaukee Pest Control FAQ
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Pest infestations occur when pests enter your house looking for something, generally food, water, or shelter. Pests might seek out and eat food or trash that is left out. Some might also be drawn to standing water outside (from rain collecting in one spot) or inside (from leaky pipes). They might also come into your home looking for shelter. They can get in through weak spots like broken screens or foundation cracks.
One method for preventing pest infestations is to seal off potential entrances into your house. This includes things like cracks in your foundation or siding. Also try to avoid leaving out food for pests. This means keeping food in sealed containers as well as not leaving trash out. Third, eliminate standing water in and around your house. Work to reduce places where water collects outside, and fix leaks inside.
Any time you notice signs of pests in your Milwaukee home--things like nests, droppings, signs of damage, or the pests themselves--you should reach out to your local pest professional. If you've had seasonal or recurrent pest infestations, we recommend contacting a local pest control company to request annual pest management services.
Before a pest professional comes to your home, check and see if they want you to clean around your home, including in areas where there have been signs of pests. Some pest technicians may prefer to see your home as-is.
If you are asked to clean, focus on making sure all trash and paper goods are out of the affected areas (as pests like to hide in these items), and that food is stored away so that it does not get contaminated by pesticides. You might also want to remove plants from the area. Also make sure to block off areas to be treated to keep children and pets out until it is safe. If the problem requires more intensive pest control, such as fumigation, follow your pest professional's instructions closely.