How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When hiring a pest control company, there are several things that you can consider to make sure that you're choosing the best one for you. The qualifications of and treatment methods used by a company are important to consider, as well as its years of experience and reputation in customer reviews. Of course, you also want to think about cost.
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, as well as those that supervise them, must be licensed via the appropriate California regulatory agencies. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established minimum standards of competency, while issuing, maintaining, and revoking licensing is handled at the state level.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
An optional certification that may be worth looking for is the GreenPro Service Certification. To receive this certification, a pest control company needs to both demonstrate that its practices are more environmentally friendly and uphold certain technician training standards. Companies can earn other certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro to further back up their work.
Pest control companies can also belong to various professional organizations. Companies can be members of the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), or state-level organizations. NPMA membership gives companies access to resources, education, and a network of other pest professionals. While not required, membership in professional organizations helps back up a company's reputability.
Professional Experience and Specialties
For the most part, a company will list information like its specialities and years of experience on its website. Local reviews can also inform you as to whether a company has experience dealing with a specific pest. If you're unable to locate the information you need online, you can contact a company representative directly to get your questions answered.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can check a company's Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, browse reviews on social media or local review sites, or check the standing of its license via the California licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is often a deciding factor when choosing a pest control company. Cost may be determined by the type of pest being treated, your location, the size of your house, and other factors.
Certain pest control companies offer a free on-site estimate to help you match services to your budget. You can also see if it offers a guarantee of satisfaction.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your choice of pest control provider might be affected by how environmentally friendly a company's practices are, in addition to how safe its methods are around your family and pets.
All pesticides that will be used (except those that pose only a minimum risk) are required to be registered with the EPA. Your pest control technician should be able to provide you with information on all the pesticides that they will be using. They should inform you whether the pesticides are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not, what safety precautions will be in place.
You can ask if your technician will start with more natural and lower-toxicity options before using harsher chemicals.
Many companies have begun to use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to reduce personal or environmental risk when treating pest infestations. The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and determine whether immediate action is needed.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Use a combination of mechanical, cultural, biological, and physical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Employ chemical controls only when required, and always in combination with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and continue with additional pest control as needed.