How To Choose a Pest Control Company
It's important to choose the best pest control company for you. You may take into consideration a company's qualifications, treatment methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and service prices.
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 those that supervise them need to be certified at the state level. The EPA sets minimum standards of competency, but all California pesticide applicators need to be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
A pest control company can receive optional certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations in order to support its standards and methods. One particular certification is the GreenPro Service Certification, which is given when a company can demonstrate that its methods are more environmentally friendly. These companies also need to maintain certain employee training standards.
There are certain professional organizations in which pest control companies can hold membership. Membership in organizations like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations is not required, but helps show that a company is reputable. The NPMA gives companies access to education, resources, and a network of other professionals with whom to discuss methods and practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
The number of years that a company has been in business can tell you something about its experience dealing with various pests. Online reviews or the company's own website can also inform you whether it has the experience necessary to eliminate the particular pests that are plaguing you. If the answers to your questions aren't available online, contacting the company directly is an easy way to learn about its areas of expertise.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can view a company's rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), browse reviews on local review sites or social media, or check the standing of its license via the California licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Things like your location, the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, and other factors can all affect the cost of pest control.
You can learn whether a company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget) and what kind of guarantees it provides. Often, a company will guarantee that if it does not resolve your pest problem, it will keep coming back until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
It's important to consider safety when selecting a pest control provider. You might also prefer a provider who employs more natural, environmentally friendly methods.
Your pest control provider should be able to explain the safety precautions of the pesticides that will be used in your home. They should be able to explain whether the pesticides are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not what safety precautions will be in place to protect your family, your pets, and you. All pesticides that pose more than a minimum risk should be registered with the EPA.
Many companies have started offering options for more environmentally friendly pest control techniques before relying on harsh pesticides.
One common 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 whether immediate action is needed.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of biological, cultural, mechanical, and physical controls.
- Use chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always in combination with other solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and implement additional pest control as needed.