How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When hiring a pest control company, you want to be sure to find the best one to meet your needs. The qualifications of and treatment methods used by a company are important to consider, as well as its years of experience and customer reviews. Of course, you also want to think about cost.
Below, we explore the details of each of these factors.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
According to 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 does set minimum standards of competency, but all Arizona pesticide applicators 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 in order to back up 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. Companies that receive this certification also need to maintain certain employee training standards.
Pest control companies can also belong to certain professional organizations. When a company becomes a member of an organization like the National Pest Management Association(NPMA) (or a state-level organization), it gets access to education, resources, and a network of other pest professionals with whom to compare methods. This can offer additional peace of mind that a company follows industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
You can look at a company's years in business to help determine how much experience it has handling pests in your area. You can also browse its website or peruse customer reviews to figure out whether it has experience eliminating the type of pests you are dealing with. If this information can't be found online, contacting a representative directly is a good way to learn more.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can browse reviews and recommendations on social media or local review sites, look up a company's Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, or check its licensure status through the Arizona licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is often a deciding factor when picking a pest control company. Cost may be determined by your location, the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, and other factors.
Certain pest control companies offer a free on-site estimate to help you figure out if it fits into your budget. You can also see if it offers a guarantee of satisfaction.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your preferences regarding safety for yourself, your children, your pets, and the environment might influence the provider and the treatment methods you choose.
Make sure to 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 control provider will be able to provide information about all of the pesticides they plan on using.
You can ask if your technician will start with more natural and lower-toxicity options before trying harsher chemicals.
Many companies are using Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to reduce personal or environmental risk when treating pest infestations. The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and assess whether 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.
- Employ chemical controls only if needed, and always in combination with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and implement additional pest control as needed.