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 licensing and qualifications, 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?
All pesticide applicators, as well as those that supervise them, should be licensed via the appropriate California regulatory agencies. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets minimum standards of competency, but providing, maintaining, and revoking licensing is handled at the state level.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
An optional certification that may be worth looking for is the GreenPro Service Certification. To receive 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 obtain other certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro to further support their work.
Pest control companies can also become members of professional organizations. A pest control company can join state-level organizations as well as national organizations like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). By being a member of these optional organizations, a company helps support its reputability and gains access to education, resources, and a network of professionals with whom to compare best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
You can get some insight into a company's level of experience by finding out how long it has been in operation. Local reviews and the company's own website can also let you know whether a company has experience dealing with the specific species of pests invading 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 view a company's rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), read 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
Things like your location, the size of your house, the type of pest being treated, and other factors can all influence the price of pest control.
You can find out whether a company provides free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget) and what kind of guarantees it offers. Often, a company will guarantee that if it does not resolve your pest problem, it will continue treatment until it does.
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.
You can ask your pest control technician if they plan to use low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides—if not, ask about what precautionary measures they will take. Any pesticide that has been deemed above minimum risk should be registered with the EPA. Your pest control company should provide information about all of the pesticides used, in addition to how safe they are around people and pets.
Many companies are now exploring cleaner and greener pest solutions that can be used before (or in place of) chemical pesticides. Many are following the practice of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which goes as follows:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and determine if immediate action is required.
- Determine the best and 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 methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and provide additional pest control as needed.