How To Choose a Pest Control Company
The most important step is hiring the right pest control company for the job. Important decision-making factors can include the company's qualifications, its treatment methods, experience and reviews, and of course 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?
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set minimum standards of competency for pesticide applicators, but licensure is taken care of at the state level. All pesticide applicators and supervisors in Arizona need to be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Obtaining additional optional certifications can help demonstrate that a pest control company is reputable. One example is the GreenPro Service Certification. For this certification, a company must prove that its methods are more environmentally friendly and that its employees receive up-to-date training. Other various certifications can be earned through trade organizations like QualityPro.
Pest control companies can also hold membership in various professional organizations. While not mandatory, membership in organizations such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations help demonstrate a company's reputability. After joining an organization like the NPMA, a company receives access to resources, education, and a network of professionals with whom to compare best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Browsing a company's website can tell you how long it has been in operation and what kind of pests it specializes in eliminating. Online reviews can also offer 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 check a company's reputation using the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and social media or local review sites. You can also check with Arizona's licensing board to see the status of a company's license.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is important when hiring someone for pest control. Cost can be affected influenced by your location, the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, and other factors.
Companies will often offer free on-site estimates before starting work, 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
Your preferences regarding safety for yourself, your children, your pets, and the environment can affect the provider and the treatment methods you choose.
Be sure to ask your pest control technician if they plan to use low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides, and if not, what kind of precautionary measures they plan to take. All pesticides that are not considered minimum-risk chemicals should be registered with the EPA. Your pest technician will be able to supply you with information about all pesticides that they plan on using.
Many companies are using options for more environmentally friendly pest control techniques before relying on harsh pesticides.
One popular way of making pest control safer and greener is Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify problem pests and determine if 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.
- Employ chemical controls only if needed, and always with other solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and provide additional pest control as needed.