How To Choose a Pest Control Company
The first step is picking the best pest control company for the job. You may consider a company's qualifications and treatment methods as well as its customer reviews and years of experience. Of course, there is also the cost of services to consider.
Below, we explore the details of each of these factors.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), all pesticide applicators and their supervisors need to be certified at the state level. The EPA sets minimum standards of competency, but all pesticide applicators in California must be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
There are additional optional certifications that can help prove that a pest control company is reputable. One example is the GreenPro Service Certification. To receive this certification, a company must prove that its methods are more environmentally friendly and that its employees receive up-to-date training. Other certifications can be earned through QualityPro and similar trade organizations.
Pest control companies can also belong to certain 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, plus a professional network to compare best practices with. Membership in organizations like these is not mandatory, but it can help show that a company follows industry 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 business. The company's website and local reviews can also let you know whether a company has experience dealing with the specific species of pests that are afflicting your home. You can always contact a representative directly to learn this information if it is not available online.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look up a company's rating and reviews on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), explore social media and local review sites to hear what other people are saying, or verify its license standing through the California licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
It's important to think about cost when hiring a pest control company. Cost can be affected influenced by your location, the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, and other factors.
Companies will often offer free on-site estimates as part of their process, to help you determine whether it fits into your budget. You can also ask whether if your company has a satisfaction guarantee, meaning that it will continue to treat your pest problem until it is solved.
Safety and Treatment Methods
When choosing a pest control provider, you want to select one that will help keep you, your family, and your pets safe. You may also prefer a provider that is environmentally-conscious.
All pesticides that will be used (except those that are classified as minimum-risk) must be registered with the EPA. Your pest control technician should provide you with information on all the pesticides that they plan to use. They should inform you whether the pesticides are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not, what safety precautions they plan to take.
Pest professionals looking to reduce their use of chemical pesticides often implement procedures such as Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Using IPM involves a series of steps:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and determine if immediate action is required.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of physical, cultural, biological, and mechanical controls.
- Employ chemical controls only if needed, and always with other techniques for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and continue with additional pest control as needed.