How To Choose a Pest Control Company
The most important step in the pest control process is hiring the right company for you. Important factors include a company's qualifications, its treatment methods, experience and reviews, and of course the cost of services.
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 who supervise them) need to be certified at the state level. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets minimum standards of competency, but any 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?
Pest control companies can earn the GreenPro Service Certification, which requires a company to show that its practices are more environmentally friendly and that its employees receive up-to-date training. QualityPro and similar trade organizations also offer other certifications. While not required, these can help demonstrate that a company is reputable.
Pest control companies can also become members of certain professional organizations. Joining an organization such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or a state-level organization gives companies access to education and resources, plus a network of professionals with whom to compare best practices. Belonging to one of these organizations is not required, but it can help indicate that a company follows industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
You can gain some insight into a company's level of pest management experience by seeing how many years it has been in business. Local reviews and the company's own website can also let you know whether a company has experience dealing with the specific species of pests that are afflicting your home. You can call the company directly to learn this information if it is not available online.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can check a company's reputation using social media or local review sites 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
It's important to think about cost when hiring a pest control company. Cost can be affected influenced by the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, your location, and other factors.
Often, companies will offer free on-site estimates as part of their process, to help you decide whether it fits into your budget. You can also ask whether a provider offers a satisfaction guarantee, meaning that it will continue to treat your pest problem until it is solved.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Keeping yourself, your family and your pets safe is an important consideration when selecting a pest control provider. You might also prefer one that employs environmentally friendly practices.
You will want to understand the precautions for the pesticides used around your house, for the sake of you, your family, and your pets. Your pest control technician should supply information about any pesticides they will be using, whether they are low toxicity or non-toxic, and (if not) what safety measures they plan to take. All pesticides (except minimum-risk ones) must be registered with the EPA.
Organizations looking to reduce their reliance on chemical pesticides often implement procedures such as Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Using IPM involves a series of steps:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and determine if immediate action is needed.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Use a combination of biological, cultural, mechanical, and physical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Use chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always with other solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and implement additional pest control as needed.