How To Choose a Pest Control Company
The first step is hiring the right pest control professional for the job. You may take into consideration a company's qualifications, methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and service prices.
Below, we discuss each factor 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 overseen at the state level. All pesticide applicators and their supervisors in Arizona need to be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies can obtain optional certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro. While not required, they can help you assess the quality of a company's products. For example, the GreenPro Service Certification indicates comprehensive and effective pest control methods that are safer for humans and the environment.
There are various professional organizations in which pest control companies can hold membership. Companies can be members of the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), or state-level organizations. Membership in the NPMA gives companies access to education, resources, and a network of other pest professionals. While not required, membership in professional organizations helps demonstrate a company's reputability.
Professional Experience and Specialties
In general, a company displays information like specialities and years of experience on its website. Local reviews can also help you determine if a company has experience dealing with a specific pest. If you're unable to find the information you need online, you can speak with a company representative directly to get the answers to your questions.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can check a company's reputation using local review sites or social media as well as the Better Business Bureau (BBB). You can also check with Arizona's licensing board to see the status of a company's license.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
For many people, cost is one of the main deciding factors when picking a company for pest control. Cost can be affected by factors like your location, the size of your house, and the type of pest being treated.
You can look into whether a particular company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits your budget), and what kind of guarantees are provided. Often, a company will guarantee that if its treatment doesn't resolve your pest problem, it will continue to come back until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
It's important to consider safety when selecting a pest control provider. You might also prefer a provider who employs more natural, environmentally friendly methods.
All pesticides (except those that pose only a minimum risk) need to be registered with the EPA. Your pest control technician should be able to provide you with information on all the pesticides that they plan to use. They should inform you whether these chemicals are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not, what safety precautions will be taken.
You can ask if your technician will begin with more natural and lower-toxicity options before trying harsher chemicals.
Many companies now use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to treat pest infestations with minimal personal or environmental risk. The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify problem pests and determine whether immediate action is required.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of mechanical, physical, biological, and cultural controls.
- Employ chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and implement additional pest control as needed.