How To Choose a Pest Control Company
Choosing the best pest control company for you is important. A company's qualifications and treatment methods are important to consider, as well as its years of experience and what other customers have said. Of course, you also want to think about cost.
Below, we explore the details of 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, need to 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 licensing is handled at the state level.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies can earn the GreenPro Service Certification, which requires that a company show that its practices are environmentally friendly and that its employee training is up to date. Trade organizations such as QualityPro offer other certifications. While not required, these can help demonstrate that a pest control company is reputable.
Pest control companies can also belong to various professional organizations. While not required, membership in organizations such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations help demonstrate a company's reputability. In the NPMA and other organizations, pest control companies have access to education, resources, and a network of professionals with whom to share best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
How long a company has been in business can give you some insight into its experience dealing with the pests that live in Fontana. Customer 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 you can't find the information you need online, calling a representative is an excellent way to learn about the company's areas of expertise.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can check a company's rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), explore reviews on social media or local review sites, or check the standing of its license via the California licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
The cost of pest control can vary based on things like the size of your house, your location, the type of pest being treated, and other factors.
When thinking about the cost of services, you should confirm whether a company includes free on-site estimates as part of its process. This can help determine whether the company fits into your budget. Also consider a company's guarantees: If the problem is not fixed, or if it returns, will the company provide additional treatments until the problem is resolved satisfactorily?
Safety and Treatment Methods
It's important to consider safety when deciding on a pest control provider, and you might prefer a provider who employs more natural, environmentally friendly methods.
You can ask your pest control technician if they will be using low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides—if not, ask what precautionary measures they will take. Any pesticide that has been deemed above minimum risk must be registered with the EPA. Your pest technician should be able to provide information about all pesticides used, and how safe they are around people and pets.
Many companies have begun using more natural treatment methods before (or instead of) harsh chemical pesticides. Some utilize a program called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify problem pests and assess whether immediate action is needed.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of mechanical, cultural, biological, and physical controls.
- Use chemical controls only if needed, and always in combination with other solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and implement additional pest control as needed.