How To Choose a Pest Control Company
The first step is picking the best pest control company for the job. You may take into consideration a company's qualifications, methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and service prices.
Below, we explore the details of each factor.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
All pesticide applicators (and those that supervise them) need to be certified at the state level. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets minimum standards of competency, but any pesticide applicators working in the state of California must be licensed via the necessary 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 granted to any company that can demonstrate that its methods are more environmentally friendly. Companies that receive this certification also need to maintain certain employee training standards.
There are several professional organizations that a pest control company can be a member of. Companies can belong to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), or state-level organizations. Membership in the NPMA gives companies access to resources, education, and a network of other pest professionals. While not mandatory, membership in professional organizations helps demonstrate a company's reputability.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Generally, a company displays information like specialities and years of experience on its website. Online reviews can also inform you as to whether a company has experience dealing with a specific pest. If you can't get the information you need online, you can call the company directly to get your questions answered.
Reviews and Recommendations
Resources that can help you verify a company's reputation include the Better Business Bureau (BBB), social media, and local review sites. Additionally, you can verify the status of a company's license via the California licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is often a deciding factor when picking a pest control company. Cost may be determined by your location, the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, and other factors.
Certain pest control companies offer a free on-site estimate to help you match services to your budget. You can also check to see if it offers a guarantee of satisfaction.
Safety and Treatment Methods
When it comes to choosing a pest control provider, you want to select one that will help keep you, your family, and your pets safe. You may also prefer an environmentally-conscious provider.
All pesticides that will be used (except those that are classified as minimum-risk) should be registered with the EPA. Your pest control technician should be able to provide you with information on all the pesticides that they will be using. They should inform you whether the pesticides are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not, what safety precautions will be taken.
Many companies are now exploring cleaner and greener pest management that can be implemented before (or in place 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 physical, biological, mechanical, and cultural controls to manage the pest problem.
- Employ chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always in combination with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and implement additional pest control as needed.