How To Choose a Pest Control Company
Hiring the best company for you is the most important step in the pest control process. You may consider a company's qualifications, treatment methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and service prices.
Below, we discuss each factor in more detail.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
Per the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), all pesticide applicators and their supervisors must be licensed at the state level. The EPA sets minimum standards of competency, and the California regulatory agencies handle the granting, maintaining, and revoking of licenses.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies can obtain optional certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro. These certifications can help you evaluate the quality of a company's products. For example, the GreenPro Service Certification recognizes comprehensive and effective pest control methods that are safer for humans and the environment.
A pest control company can also obtain membership in professional organizations. Membership in an organization such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or a state-level organization gives companies access to education and resources, in addition to a professional network to compare best practices with. Joining organizations like these is not mandatory, but it can help show that a company follows industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
You can gain some insight into a company's level of experience by looking at how many years it has been in business. The company's website and local reviews can also tell you whether a certain company has the experience needed to deal with the specific species of pests invading your home. You can always contact the company directly to learn this information if it is not available online.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can read reviews and recommendations on local review sites or social media, look up 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
For many people, cost is one of the most important factors when looking for pest control services. Cost can be influenced by factors like the size of your house, the type of pest being treated, and your location.
You can look into whether a specific company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits your budget), and what kind of guarantees are provided. Often, a company will guarantee that if its treatment doesn't resolve your pest problem, it will continue to come 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, in addition to how safe its methods are around your family and pets.
Be sure to ask your pest control provider if they plan to use low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides—if not, ask what precautionary measures will be in place. Any pesticide that presents above a minimum risk must be registered with the EPA. Your pest control company should be able to provide information about all pesticides that will be used in your home, in addition to how safe they are around people and pets.
Nowadays, many companies are exploring greener and cleaner pest management that can be implemented before (or instead of) chemical pesticides. Many are following the practice of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which goes as follows:
- Identify problem pests and assess whether immediate action is needed.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of biological, cultural, mechanical, and physical controls.
- Employ chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always along with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and continue with additional pest control as needed.