How To Choose a Pest Control Company
There are a number of factors that you can weigh when choosing 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?
All pesticide applicators, as well as those that supervise them, must be licensed via the appropriate California regulatory agencies. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established minimum standards of competency, but issuing, maintaining, and revoking licensure is handled at the state level.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies also have the option to obtain additional certifications like the GreenPro Service Certification. This certification is granted once a company has shown its methods to be more environmentally friendly and demonstrated that it also holds itself up to certain other standards, such as up-to-date training for employees. A pest control company can also earn other certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro to further back up its practices and methods.
Pest control companies can also belong to professional organizations. Companies can obtain membership in the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), or state-level organizations. Membership in the NPMA gives companies access to education, resources, and a network of other pest professionals. While not mandatory, membership in professional organizations helps demonstrate a company's reputability.
Professional Experience and Specialties
In general, a company will list information like its years of experience and specialities on its website. Local reviews can also inform you as to whether a company has experience dealing with a particular pest in your area. If you're unable to find the information you need online, you can call the company directly to get your questions answered.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can view a company's reviews and rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), check out local review sites and social media to find out what homeowners near you think, or verify its license standing via the California licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is an important consideration when picking a pest control company. Cost may be determined by the type of pest being treated, your location, the size of your house, and other factors.
A pest control company may offer a free on-site estimate to help you figure out if it fits into your budget. You can also check to see if it offers a guarantee of satisfaction.
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'll likely also prefer an environmentally-conscious provider.
Be sure to ask your pest control provider if they plan on using low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides, and if not, ask about what precautionary measures they will take. Any pesticide that presents above a minimum risk must be registered with the EPA. Your pest control company should supply information about all pesticides used, in addition to how safe they are around people and pets.
You can ask if your technician will begin with lower-toxicity, more natural options before trying harsher chemicals.
Many companies have started to use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to reduce personal or environmental risk when treating pest infestations. The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and determine if immediate action is required.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of mechanical, cultural, biological, and physical controls.
- Employ chemical controls only if needed, and always with other solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and implement additional pest control as needed.