How To Choose a Pest Control Company
There are several factors you can take into consideration when selecting the best pest control company for you. You may consider a company's qualifications, methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and price of services.
Below, we dive into detail on each factor.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established minimum standards of competency for pesticide applicators, but licensing 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?
A pest control company can obtain optional certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro to support its methods and standards. One particular certification is the GreenPro Service Certification, which is given when a company can demonstrate that its methods are more environmentally friendly. A company that receives this certification also needs to maintain certain employee training standards.
Pest control companies can also become members of professional organizations. Companies can belong to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), or state-level organizations. Membership in the NPMA provides companies with access to resources, education, and a network of other pest professionals. While not mandatory, membership in professional organizations helps back up a company's reputability.
Professional Experience and Specialties
The amount of time that a company has been in business can tell you something about its experience dealing with various pests. Customer reviews or the company's own website can also inform you whether it has the skills and experience needed to handle your specific pest problem. If the answers to your questions aren't available online, reaching out to the company directly is an excellent way to learn more.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can verify a company's legitimacy using the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and local review sites or social media. 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 looking for pest control services. Cost can be influenced by factors like the type of pest being treated, your location, and the size of your house.
You can consider whether a specific company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget), and what kind of guarantees are provided. Often, a company will guarantee that if your pest problem isn't fixed by its treatment, it will continue to treat until it is.
Safety and Treatment Methods
It's important to consider safety when selecting a pest control provider, and you might prefer a provider who employs more natural, environmentally friendly methods.
Ask your pest control provider if they plan to use low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides, and if not, what sort of precautionary measures they are going to use. Any pesticides that are not minimum-risk chemicals should be registered with the EPA. Your pest technician should be able to provide you with information about all of the pesticides that they plan on using.
It is now common for companies to start with more environmentally friendly options before employing pesticides, following a framework called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). When using IPM, the following steps are taken:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and determine if immediate action is needed.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Use a combination of biological, cultural, mechanical, and physical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Employ chemical controls only if needed, and always along with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and provide additional pest control as needed.