How To Choose a Pest Control Company
There are a number of factors that you can weigh when choosing the right pest control company for you. Factors you may consider include licensing and qualifications, treatment methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and cost.
Below, we dive into detail on each of these factors.
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) has established minimum standards of competency, but all pesticide applicators working in the state of Arizona must be licensed via the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
There are additional optional certifications that can help demonstrate that a pest control company is reputable. One of these is the GreenPro Service Certification. For this certification, a company must show that its methods are more environmentally friendly and that its employee training is up to date. Additional certifications can be earned through QualityPro and similar trade organizations.
Pest control companies can also belong to certain professional organizations. Companies can belong to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), or state-level organizations. NPMA membership gives companies access to resources, education, and a network of other pest control companies. While not required, membership in professional organizations helps back up a company's reputability.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Looking at how long a company has been in business can help determine how much experience it has dealing with pests in your area. You can also explore its website or look through customer reviews to determine whether it has adequate experience with the type of pests you are looking to get rid of. If you cannot find this information online, contacting a representative directly is a good way to learn more.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can view a company's rating and reviews on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), read local review sites and social media to find out what homeowners near you think, or verify its license standing via the Arizona licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Things like the size of your house, the type of pest being treated, your location, and other factors can all affect the price of pest control.
You can find out whether a company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget), as well as what sort of guarantees it offers. Often, a company will provide a guarantee that if it does not solve your pest problem, it will keep coming back until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
When it comes to choosing a pest control provider, you want to select one that will keep you, your family, and your pets safe. You may also prefer a provider that is environmentally-conscious.
Ask your pest control technician if they will be using low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides, and if not, ask what precautionary measures they will take. Any pesticide that presents above a minimum risk needs to be registered with the EPA. Your pest technician should be able to supply information about all pesticides used, as well as how safe they are around people and pets.
Many companies are now trialing options for more environmentally friendly pest control techniques before moving to harsh pesticides.
One popular way of making pest control safer and greener is Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and determine whether immediate action is needed.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of biological, cultural, physical, and mechanical controls.
- Use chemical controls only when required, and always along with other solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and continue with additional pest control as needed.