How To Choose a Pest Control Company
There are several factors you can weigh when choosing the right pest control company for you. You may consider a company's qualifications, treatment methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and cost of services.
Below, we dive into detail on each factor.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
All pesticide applicators, as well as those that supervise them, should be licensed via the appropriate California regulatory agencies. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established minimum standards of competency, but providing, maintaining, and revoking licensing is handled at the state level.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
One certification that pest control companies can earn is the GreenPro Service Certification, which requires a company to show that its practices are more environmentally friendly and that its employees receive up-to-date training. QualityPro and similar trade organizations also offer other certifications. These are not required, but can help show that a pest control company is reputable.
There are several professional organizations that a pest control company can belong to. A pest control company can join state-level organizations in addition to national organizations like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). While not mandatory, membership in these organizations helps prove a company's reputability and gives it access to resources, education, and a network of other professionals to compare best practices with.
Professional Experience and Specialties
The amount of time that a company has been in business can tell you something about its experience dealing with the pests that live in Bakersfield. Online reviews or the company's own website can also help you figure out whether it has the skills and experience needed to deal with your particular pests. If you can't find the information you need online, speaking with a representative is a great way to learn about the company's areas of expertise.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can verify a company's legitimacy using the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and social media or local review sites. You can also check with California's licensing board to verify the status of a company's license.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Things like the size of your house, your location, the type of pest being treated, and other factors can all influence the price of pest control.
You can find out whether a company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget), as well as what type of guarantees it offers. Often, a company will guarantee that if it does not take care of your pest problem, it will continue treatment until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Safety is an important consideration when deciding on a pest control provider. You might also prefer a provider who uses more natural, environmentally-friendly methods.
Your pest technician should use low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides when possible. If any pesticides used don't fit into one of these categories, your technician should explain what safety precautions will be in place to protect you, your family, and your pets. Any pesticides that pose more than a minimum risk should be registered with the EPA.
It is now common for companies to begin with more environmentally friendly options before employing harsh pesticides, following a technique called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). When using IPM, the following steps are taken:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and assess whether immediate action is needed.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of biological, cultural, physical, and mechanical controls.
- Use chemical controls only when required, and always in combination with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and provide additional pest control as needed.