How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When choosing a pest control company, you want to be sure to find the best one to meet your needs. Things you may consider include qualifications and licensing, treatment methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and cost.
Below, we explore the details of each of these factors.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
Per the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), all pesticide applicators and their supervisors need to be licensed at the state level. The EPA sets minimum competency standards, and the California regulatory agencies handle the granting, maintaining, and revoking of licenses.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
An optional certification that might be worth looking for is the GreenPro Service Certification. In order to receive this certification, a pest control company needs to both demonstrate that its practices are more environmentally friendly and maintain certain technician training standards. Companies can also obtain other certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro to further support their work.
There are certain professional organizations that pest control companies can be members of. When a company becomes a member of an organization like the National Pest Management Association(NPMA) (or a state-level organization), it gets access to education, resources, and a network of other pest professionals with whom to compare treatment methods. This can give you additional peace of mind that a company follows industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
How long 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 enlighten you about whether it has the experience needed to eliminate the particular pests that are plaguing you. If you can't find the information you need online, reaching out to the company directly is an easy way to learn more.
Reviews and Recommendations
Resources that can help you verify a company's reputation include the Better Business Bureau (BBB), local review sites, and social media. You can also confirm the status of a company's license through the California licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Pest control costs can vary based on things like your location, the size of your house, the type of pest being treated, and other factors.
When considering the cost of services, you should first look into whether a company includes free on-site estimates as part of its process. This can inform you whether the company fits into your budget. Also consider a company's guarantees: If the problem is not fixed, or returns, does the company promise to offer additional treatments until the issue is satisfactorily resolved?
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your choice of pest control company might be affected by how environmentally friendly a provider's practices are, as well as how safe its methods are around your family and pets.
Be sure to ask your pest control provider if the chemicals they're using are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not, what kind of precautionary measures they plan to take. All pesticides that are not considered minimum-risk chemicals need to be registered with the EPA. Your pest control provider should be able to provide information about all of the pesticides that they plan on using.
You can ask if your technician will begin with more natural and lower-toxicity options before employing harsher chemicals.
Many companies are now using Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to eliminate pests while reducing personal and environmental risks. The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and assess whether immediate action is needed.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Use a combination of biological, cultural, physical, and mechanical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Employ chemical controls only when required, and always with other techniques for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and provide additional pest control as needed.