How To Choose a Pest Control Company
Choosing the best pest control company for you is key. You might consider a company's qualifications and treatment methods as well as its customer reviews and years of experience. Of course, there is also the cost of services to consider.
Below, we dive into detail on each of these factors.
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 those that supervise them need to be licensed at the state level. The EPA maintains 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?
One optional certification that could be worth looking for is the GreenPro Service Certification. To receive this certification, a pest control company must both demonstrate that its practices are more environmentally friendly and maintain certain training standards for its technicians. Companies can also obtain other certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro to further support their work.
A pest control company can also obtain membership in professional organizations. Being a member of organizations such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations is not required, but helps show that a company is reputable. When a pest control company joins the NPMA, it gains access to education, resources, and a network of pest professionals with whom to discuss methods and practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
A company's years in business can indicate how much experience it has handling pests in your area. You can also browse its website or look through customer reviews to determine whether it has adequate experience with the type of pests you are dealing with. If this information is not available online, speaking with a company representative is a great way to learn more.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can check a company's reputation using the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and local review sites or social media. You can also check with California's licensing board to see the status of a company's license.
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 thinking about the cost of services, you should verify whether a company offers free on-site estimates as part of its services. 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 handled?
Safety and Treatment Methods
It's important to consider safety when choosing a pest control provider, and you might prefer a provider who uses more natural, environmentally friendly methods.
All pesticides (except those that pose only a minimum risk) need to be registered with the EPA. Your pest control technician should provide you with information on each pesticide they are using. They should inform you whether the pesticides are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not, what safety precautions will be in place.
Pest professionals looking to reduce their use of chemical pesticides often implement procedures such as Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Using IPM involves a series of steps:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and determine whether immediate action is needed.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of mechanical, physical, biological, and cultural controls.
- Employ chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always with other solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and continue with additional pest control as needed.