How To Choose a Pest Control Company
It's important to choose the right pest control company for you. You might take into consideration a company's qualifications, methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and price of services.
Below, we dive into detail on each factor.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), all pesticide applicators and their supervisors are required to be certified at the state level. The EPA sets minimum standards of competency, but all pesticide applicators in California must be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
One certification that pest control companies can earn is 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 additional certifications. While not required, these can help show that a company is reputable.
Pest control companies can also be members of certain professional organizations. Companies can obtain membership in the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), or state-level organizations. Membership in the NPMA provides companies with access to education, resources, and a network of other pest professionals. While not mandatory, membership in professional organizations helps back up a company's reputability.
Professional Experience and Specialties
You can gain some insight into a company's level of pest management experience by seeing how long it has been in business. The company's website and local reviews can also let you know whether the company has experience dealing with the specific species of pests that are afflicting your home. You can always reach out to a representative directly to learn this information if you can't find it online.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can read reviews and recommendations on social media or local review sites, verify a company's rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), or check the status of its license through the California licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Things like the size of your house, the type of pest being treated, your location, and other factors can all affect the cost of pest control.
You can learn whether a company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget) and what type of guarantees it has. Often, a company will provide a guarantee that if it does not eliminate your pest problem, it will keep coming back until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your choice of pest control provider might be influenced by how environmentally friendly a provider's practices are, as well as how safe its methods are around your family and pets.
Your pest control provider should use low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides when possible. If any pesticides used don't fit into one of these categories, your technician should explain what safety precautions will be in place to protect you, your family, and your pets. Any pesticides that pose more than a minimum risk need to be registered with the EPA.
Organizations looking to reduce their reliance on chemical pesticides often implement procedures 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 required.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Use a combination of physical, biological, mechanical, and cultural controls to manage the pest problem.
- Use chemical controls only when required, and always with other solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and continue with additional pest control as needed.