How To Choose a Pest Control Company
Choosing the best pest control company for you is key. You might take into consideration a company's qualifications, 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 maintains minimum competency standards, and the California regulatory agencies take care of the issuing, maintaining, and revoking of licenses.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies also have the option to obtain additional certifications such as the GreenPro Service Certification. This certification is granted once a company has proven its methods to be more environmentally friendly and demonstrated that it also holds itself up to certain other standards, such as up-to-date training for employees. A pest control company can also earn other certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro to further verify its practices and methods.
A pest control company can also belong to professional organizations. Holding membership in organizations such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations is not mandatory, but helps verify a company's reputability. When a pest control company joins the NPMA, it gains access to resources, education, and a network of other professionals with whom to discuss practices and methods.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Looking at a company's website can tell you how long it has been in operation and what type of pests it specializes in eliminating. Online reviews can also provide some insight into a company's experience dealing with a specific pest. If you're unable to find this information online, you can try reaching out to the company directly.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look up a company's rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), explore reviews on local review sites or social media, or check the standing of its license via the California licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is probably high on your list of priorities when hiring someone for pest control. Cost can be affected influenced by the size of your house, your location, the type of pest being treated, and other factors.
Often, companies will offer free on-site estimates at the beginning of their process, to help you determine whether it fits into your budget. You can also ask whether a company offers a satisfaction guarantees, meaning that if your pest problem is not solved by the initial treatment, it will continue returning until it is.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your choice of pest control company might be affected by how environmentally-friendly a provider's practices are, in addition to how safe its methods are around your family and pets.
Your pest control provider should be able to discuss the safety of any pesticides they plan to use. They should be able to explain whether the pesticides are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not what safety precautions they will put in place to protect your family, your pets, and you. All pesticides that pose above a minimum risk should be registered with the EPA.
Nowadays, many companies are 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:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and determine whether immediate action is required.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Use a combination of physical, cultural, biological, and mechanical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Use chemical controls only if needed, and always with other techniques for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and provide additional pest control as needed.