How To Choose a Pest Control Company
Choosing the best pest control company for you is key. You might take into consideration a company's qualifications and treatment methods in addition to its customer reviews and years of experience. And of course, there's the cost of services to consider.
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 (and those that supervise them) must be certified at the state level. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets minimum standards of competency, but all pesticide applicators working in California should be licensed via the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies can also obtain optional certifications like the GreenPro Service Certification. This certification is given once a company has proven that its treatment methods are 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 verify its practices and methods.
There are various professional organizations that a pest control company can be a member of. While not mandatory, membership in organizations like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations help to prove a company's reputability. Organizations like the NPMA provide access to resources, education, and a network of other professionals with whom to compare best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
How long 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 enlighten you about whether it has the experience needed to deal with your particular pests. If the answers to your questions aren't available online, speaking with a representative is a great way to learn about the company's areas of expertise.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can read reviews and recommendations on local review sites or social media, view a company's Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, or check its licensure status through the California licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Things like the type of pest being treated, your location, the size of your house, and other factors can all influence the cost of pest control.
You can find out whether a company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget) and what sort of guarantees it offers. Often, a company will provide a guarantee that if it does not take care of your pest problem, it will keep coming back until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
When it comes to picking 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.
Be sure to ask your pest control technician if they plan on using low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides, and if not, ask what precautionary measures they will take. Any pesticide that has been deemed above minimum risk should be registered with the EPA. Your pest technician should provide information about all of the pesticides used, as well as how safe they are around people and pets.
Many companies are now trialing options for more environmentally friendly pest control techniques before relying on harsh pesticides.
One popular method for making pest control safer and greener is 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 needed.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of physical, cultural, biological, and mechanical controls.
- Use chemical controls only if needed, and always along with other solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and provide additional pest control as needed.