How To Choose a Pest Control Company
It's important to choose the right pest control company for you. You might consider a company's qualifications, treatment 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?
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), all pesticide applicators and their supervisors must be licensed at the state level. The EPA sets minimum standards of competency, and the California regulatory agencies take care of the issuing, maintaining, and revoking of licenses.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies can obtain optional certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro. These certifications can help you assess the quality of a company's products. For example, the GreenPro Service Certification is given to companies that use comprehensive and effective pest control methods that are safer for people and the environment.
A pest control company can also be a member of various professional organizations. Companies can belong to 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 demonstrate a company's reputability.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Looking at how long a company has been in business can help determine how much experience it has handling pests in your area. You can also explore its website or look through customer reviews to decide whether it has the right kind of experience handling the type of pests you are dealing with. If this information is not available online, contacting a representative directly is a good way to learn more.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can read 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 California licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
For many people, cost is one of the most important factors when hiring for pest control. Cost can be determined by factors like your location, the type of pest being treated, and the size of your house.
You can consider whether a company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget), and what sort of guarantees it provides. Often, a company will guarantee that if its treatment doesn't resolve your pest problem, it will continue to come back until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your preferences regarding safety for yourself, any children or pets, and the environment may influence which provider and treatment methods you choose.
Your pest technician should be using low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides when possible. If any pesticides used don't fall into one of these categories, your technician should explain what safety precautions will be in place to protect you, your family, and your pets. All pesticides that pose more than a minimum risk need to be registered with the EPA.
Nowadays, many companies are exploring greener and cleaner pest solutions that can be used before (or instead of) chemical pesticides. Many are following the practice of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which goes as follows:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and determine if immediate action is required.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Use a combination of biological, cultural, physical, and mechanical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Employ chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always in combination with other techniques for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and continue with additional pest control as needed.