How To Choose a Pest Control Company
The most important step in the pest control process is hiring the right company for you. You may consider a company's qualifications, methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and cost of services.
Below, we dive into detail on each factor.
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) has established minimum standards of competency, while issuing, maintaining, and revoking licensure is handled at the state level.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies can obtain optional certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations. These certifications can help you assess the quality of a company's products. For example, the GreenPro Service Certification is given to companies that use comprehensive and effective pest control treatment that is safer for people and the environment.
A pest control company can also obtain membership in professional organizations. Pest control companies can obtain membership in state-level organizations in addition to national organizations such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). By being a member of these optional organizations, a company helps support its reputability and gains access to resources, education, and a network of other professionals to compare best practices with.
Professional Experience and Specialties
You can get some insight into a company's level of pest management experience by looking into how many years it has been in business. The company's website and local reviews can also inform you whether a company has experience dealing with the specific species of pests that are afflicting your home. You can reach out to a representative directly to learn this information if you can't find it online.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can verify a company's legitimacy using the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and social media or local review sites. You can also check with California's licensing board to see the status of a company's license.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is probably high on your list of priorities when hiring a pest control company. Cost can be affected influenced by the type of pest being treated, your location, the size of your house, and other factors.
Many companies offer free on-site estimates as part of their process, to help you decide whether it fits into your budget. You can also ask whether a provider offers a satisfaction guarantee, meaning that it will continue to treat your pest problem until it is solved.
Safety and Treatment Methods
When picking a pest control provider, you want to choose a company that will keep you, your family, and your pets safe. You might also prefer an environmentally-conscious provider.
All pesticides (except those that are determined to be of minimal 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 they plan to take.
Many companies will start with more environmentally friendly options before employing pesticides, following a framework called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). When using IPM, the following steps are taken:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and determine whether immediate action is required.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of biological, cultural, physical, and mechanical controls.
- Employ chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and provide additional pest control as needed.