How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When choosing a pest control company, you want to be sure to find the right one for you. You might take into consideration a company's qualifications and treatment methods as well as its customer reviews and years of experience. And of course, there's the cost of services to consider.
Below, we discuss each of these factors in more detail.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
All pesticide applicators, as well as those that supervise them, must be licensed via the appropriate California regulatory agencies. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established minimum standards of competency, while issuing, maintaining, and revoking licensing is handled at the state level.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies can optionally obtain additional certifications like the GreenPro Service Certification. This certification is given once a company has proven that its treatment methods are more environmentally friendly and demonstrated that it also maintains certain other standards, such as up-to-date employee training. A pest control company can also earn other certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations to further back up its methods and practices.
There are several professional organizations that a pest control company can be a member of. While not required, membership in organizations such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations help demonstrate a company's reputability. Organizations like the NPMA provide access to education, resources, and a network of other professionals with whom to discuss best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
The number of years that a company has been in business can give you some insight into its experience dealing with the pests that live in Lake Forest. Customer reviews or the company's own website can also inform you whether it has the skills and experience needed to handle your specific pest problem. If you cannot find the answers to your questions online, reaching out to the company directly is an easy way to learn more.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can view a company's rating and reviews on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), read social media and local review sites to hear what others in your area have to say, or verify its license standing via the California licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Pest control costs can vary based on things like the size of your house, the type of pest being treated, your location, and other factors.
When thinking about the cost of services, you should first look into 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 look into what guarantees a company offers: If the problem is not resolved, or if it returns, does the company provide additional treatment until the problem 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 employs more natural, environmentally friendly methods.
Your pest control technician should be able to explain the safety precautions of any and all pesticides that will be used in your home. They should be able to explain whether the pesticides are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not what safety precautions they plan to use to protect you, your family, and your pets. Any pesticides that pose above a minimum risk are required to be registered with the EPA.
Many companies are now exploring cleaner and greener pest management that can be implemented before (or instead of) chemical pesticides. Many follow the practice of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which goes as follows:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and assess whether immediate action is required.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of mechanical, cultural, biological, and physical controls.
- Employ chemical controls only if needed, and always with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and provide additional pest control as needed.