How To Choose a Pest Control Company
Choosing the best pest control company for you is important. Along with a company's qualifications and treatment methods, you may also look into how long it has been in business and what the reviews are like. Finally, you'll likely want to consider the cost of services.
Below, we discuss each of these factors in more detail.
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 California pesticide applicators must be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Obtaining additional optional certifications can help prove that a pest control company is reputable. One of these is the GreenPro Service Certification. To obtain this certification, a company must show that its methods are more environmentally friendly and that its employees receive up-to-date training. Other certifications can be earned through trade organizations like QualityPro.
A pest control company can also belong to certain professional organizations. Companies can belong to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), or state-level organizations. NPMA membership provides companies with access to resources, education, and a network of other pest professionals. While not mandatory, membership in professional organizations helps demonstrate a company's reputability.
Professional Experience and Specialties
A company's website can tell you how long it has been in operation and what species of pests it specializes in exterminating. Local reviews can also offer some insight into a company's experience dealing with a certain type of pest. If you can't find this information online, you can try reaching out to the company directly.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can browse reviews and recommendations on social media or local review sites, verify a company's rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), or check the status of its license through the California licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is important 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.
A pest control company may offer a free on-site estimate to help you match services to your budget. You can also look at whether it offers a satisfaction guarantee.
Safety and Treatment Methods
When it comes to choosing a pest control provider, you want to choose one that will keep you, your family, and your pets safe. You may also prefer a provider that is environmentally-conscious.
You can ask your pest control provider if they are going to use low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides—if not, ask what precautionary measures they plan to use. Any pesticide that has been deemed above minimum risk should be registered with the EPA. Your pest control company should supply information about all pesticides that will be used in your home, as well as how safe they are around people and pets.
Many companies have started offering options for more environmentally friendly pest control techniques before employing harsh pesticides.
One common way of making pest control safer and greener is Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify problem pests and determine if immediate action is required.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Use a combination of biological, cultural, mechanical, and physical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Use chemical controls only if needed, and always along with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and provide additional pest control as needed.