How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When choosing a pest control company, there are several things that you can consider to be sure you choose the right one for you. Some things you might consider include qualifications and licensing, 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?
Per the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), all pesticide applicators and those that supervise them are required to be certified at the state level. The EPA sets minimum standards of competency, but all pesticide applicators in Arizona should be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies also have the option to obtain additional certifications like the GreenPro Service Certification. This certification is awarded once a company has proven its methods to be more environmentally friendly and demonstrated that it also maintains certain other standards, such as up-to-date training for employees. A company can also earn other certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro to further back up its practices and methods.
Pest control companies can also join various professional organizations. While not required, membership in organizations like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations help to prove a company's reputability. After joining an organization like the NPMA, a company receives access to education, resources, and a network of professionals with whom to share best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
You can get some insight into a company's experience level by finding out how long it has been in operation. The company's website and local reviews can also inform you whether a certain company has the experience needed to deal with the specific species of pests that are afflicting your home. You can always call the company directly to learn this information if it is not available online.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can check a company's Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, read reviews on local review sites or social media, or check the standing of its license via the Arizona licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is important when picking a pest control company. Cost may be determined by the size of your house, the type of pest being treated, your location, and other factors.
A pest control company may offer a free on-site estimate to help you match services to your budget. You can also see if it offers a satisfaction guarantee.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Safety is an important consideration when deciding on a pest control provider. You might also prefer a provider who uses more natural, environmentally friendly methods.
Your pest control technician should be able to discuss the safety of any pesticides they plan to use. They should be able to clarify whether the pesticides are low toxicity or non-toxic; if they are not, they should explain what safety precautions they plan to use to protect you, your family, and your pets. Pesticides that pose more than a minimum risk are required to be registered with the EPA.
Many companies are making the switch to using more natural treatment methods before (or instead of) harsh chemical pesticides. Some use a program called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and determine if immediate action is required.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Use a combination of physical, cultural, biological, and mechanical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Employ chemical controls only if needed, and always in combination with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and continue with additional pest control as needed.