How to Choose a Pest Control Company
By Chris Williams on January 27, 2013.
This is free advice from the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources. Their Pesticide Program Enforcement Section licenses pesticide applicators. Part of their role is to investigate complaints of alleged pesticide misuse, including complaints of unlicensed applicators. They offer useful advice on how to find a qualified pest control professional to handle your pest problems.
Shop around. Ask friends, neighbors, or business associates for names of firms that they have dealt with and with whom they have had positive experiences.
Get estimates from several companies but try to make a selection based on the value of their service, not on the price.
Make sure the company is currently licensed and that the PMPs (pest management professionals) are certified, with the appropriate tools and training to handle your pest problems. For companies in the state of Massachusetts, you can contact the MA Pesticide Program office at 617-626-1776 to determine their licensing status.
Look for knowledgeable and competent professionals who take the time to explain your pest problems, options, and the best way to achieve control of your pests.
Be wary of special deals and high-pressure sales tactics. Avoid any treatments that include the use of “secret” chemicals or are marketed as a special discount if you have the work done immediately. The lowest price may not be the best value if the PMP is cutting corners on your safety.
Choose a company that meets your pest control needs. Competent PMPs will outline a program that identifies pests to be controlled, the extent of the infestation, the pesticides intended for use, and the steps you can take to minimize future infestation. The initial inspection may even indicate that pesticides are not necessary.
Ask the company to discuss Integrated Pest Management (IPM) options. IPM techniques may involve the use of monitoring devices, formulations, insect growth regulators (IGRs), sanitation, cultural practices, and other physical steps that you can take to avoid or reduce pest problems.
Check on the firm’s reliability. Contact the Better Business Bureau and your local Chamber of Commerce to get information on the firm’s reputation. You can call the state of Massachusetts’s Pesticide Program office (617-626-1776) to see if any complaints have been filed or any enforcement actions taken against a company or applicator.
Ask if the company is affiliated with professional organizations. Membership in a professional organization reflects responsibility and a commitment to integrity. Membership organizations offer members ongoing training and often require that members follow best management practices.