How To Choose a Pest Control Company
Choosing the best pest control company for you is key. Important factors can include the company's qualifications, its treatment methods, experience and reviews, and of course the cost of services.
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, 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 providing, maintaining, and revoking licensing is handled at the state level.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
There are additional optional certifications that can help prove that a pest control company is reputable. One example is the GreenPro Service Certification. For this certification, a company must show that its methods are more environmentally friendly and that its employees receive up-to-date training. Other various certifications can be earned through trade organizations like QualityPro.
There are various professional organizations that pest control companies can be members of. Companies can belong to 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 control companies. While not required, membership in professional organizations helps back up a company's reputability.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Looking at how long a company has been in business can help determine how much experience it has taking care of various pests. You can also look at its website or peruse customer reviews to figure out whether it has experience eliminating the species of pests you are struggling with. If you cannot find this information online, speaking with a company representative is a great way to learn more.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can read reviews and recommendations on local review sites or social media, look up a company's Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, or check its licensure status through 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 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
It's important to consider safety when deciding on a pest control provider. You might also prefer a provider who employs more natural, environmentally friendly methods.
Your pest control provider should use low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides any time they can. If any pesticides they intend to use don't fit into one of these categories, your technician should explain what safety precautions they plan to use to protect you, your family, and your pets. Any pesticides that pose more than a minimum risk are required to be registered with the EPA.
Many companies have begun using more natural treatment methods before (or instead of) harsh chemical pesticides. Some employ a program called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify problem pests and determine if immediate action is required.
- Decide on the 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 solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and provide additional pest control as needed.