How To Choose a Pest Control Company
There are a number of factors you can consider when choosing the right pest control company for you. The qualifications of and treatment methods used by a company are important to consider, as are its years of experience and reputation in customer reviews. Of course, you also want to consider cost.
Below, we dive into detail on each of these factors.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
All pesticide applicators (and those that supervise them) are required to be certified at the state level. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established minimum standards of competency, but all pesticide applicators working in California should be licensed via the necessary state regulatory agencies.
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 given once a company has shown that its treatment methods are more environmentally friendly and demonstrated that it also maintains 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 verify its practices and methods.
Pest control companies can also belong to various professional organizations. When a company obtains membership in an organization like the National Pest Management Association(NPMA) (or a state-level organization), it gains access to education, resources, and a network of other pest experts with whom to compare methods. This can offer additional peace of mind that a company is following industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
The number of years that a company has been in business can shed some light on 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, speaking with a representative is a great way to learn about the company's areas of expertise.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can browse reviews and recommendations on local review sites or social media, view 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 main deciding factors when looking for pest control. Cost can be affected by factors like the size of your house, your location, and the type of pest being treated.
You can look into whether a certain company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget), and what sort of guarantees are provided. 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
Keeping yourself, your family and your pets safe is an important consideration when picking a pest control provider. You may also prefer a provider that employs environmentally friendly practices.
Be sure to ask your pest control technician if they plan to use low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides, and if not, what precautionary measures they are going to use. Any pesticides that are not minimum-risk chemicals should be registered with the EPA. Your pest control provider will be able to provide you with information about all chemicals that they plan on using.
Pest professionals looking to reduce their reliance on chemical pesticides often follow practices such as Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Using IPM involves a series of steps:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and determine if immediate action is needed.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Use a combination of biological, cultural, mechanical, and physical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Use chemical controls only when required, and always in combination with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and provide additional pest control as needed.