How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When hiring a pest control company, you want to be sure to find the best one to meet your needs. You might take into consideration a company's qualifications, methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and service prices.
Below, we dive into detail on each factor.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established minimum competency standards for pesticide applicators, but licensure is handled at the state level. All pesticide applicators and their supervisors in California need to be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
One optional certification that might be worth looking for is the GreenPro Service Certification. To earn this certification, a pest control company must both show that its practices are more environmentally friendly and maintain certain technician training standards. Companies can also earn other certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations to further back up their work.
Pest control companies can also belong to certain professional organizations. When a company obtains membership in an organization like the National Pest Management Association(NPMA) (or a state-level organization), it receives access to education, resources, and a network of other pest control professionals with whom to compare treatment methods. This can give you additional peace of mind that a company is following industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Generally, a company will list information like its specialities and years of experience on its website. Online reviews can also inform you as to whether a company has experience dealing with a specific pest. If you can't get the information you need online, you can contact a company representative directly to get your questions answered.
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 verify the status of a company's license.
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 find out whether a company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget) and what kind of guarantees it provides. 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 preferences regarding safety for yourself, any children or pets, and the environment might influence which provider and treatment methods you choose.
Your pest control provider should be using low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides whenever possible. If they plan to use pesticides that don't fall into one of these categories, your technician should explain what safety precautions will be used to protect your family, your pets, and you. Any pesticides that pose more than a minimum risk should be registered with the EPA.
Many companies are using options for more environmentally friendly methods of pest control before moving to harsh pesticides.
One popular method for making pest control safer and greener is Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify problem pests and assess whether immediate action is required.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of physical, cultural, biological, and mechanical controls.
- Use chemical controls only when required, and always in combination with other solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and continue with additional pest control as needed.