How To Choose a Pest Control Company
Choosing the best pest control company for you is key. You may take into consideration 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?
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set minimum competency standards for pesticide applicators, but licensure is overseen at the state level. All pesticide applicators and their supervisors in California must be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
An optional certification that might be worth looking for is the GreenPro Service Certification. To receive this certification, a pest control company must both show that its practices are more environmentally friendly and maintain certain technician training standards. Companies can also earn other certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations to further back up their work.
Pest control companies can also belong to certain professional organizations. When a company becomes a member of an organization like the National Pest Management Association(NPMA) (or a state-level organization), it gains access to education, resources, and a network of other pest control experts with whom to compare methods. This can give you extra peace of mind that a company follows industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
You can look at a company's years in business to help determine how much experience it has handling various pests. You can also browse its website or look through customer reviews to figure out whether it has experience eliminating the species of pests you are dealing with. If you cannot find this information online, contacting a representative directly is a good way to learn more.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can read reviews and recommendations on social media or local review sites, view 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
Pest control costs can vary based on things like your location, the size of your house, the type of pest being treated, and other factors.
When thinking about the cost of services, you should confirm whether a company includes free on-site estimates as part of its process. This can inform you whether the company fits into your budget. Also take into account what guarantees a company offers: If the problem is not fixed, or if it returns, does the company promise to offer additional treatment until the issue is handled satisfactorily?
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your choice of pest control company might be affected by how environmentally friendly a provider's practices are, as well as how safe its methods are around your family and pets.
Your pest technician should be using pesticides that are low toxicity or non-toxic when possible. If any pesticides they intend to use don't fit into one of these categories, your technician should explain what safety precautions they plan to use to protect you, your family, and your pets. Any pesticides that pose more than a minimum risk should be registered with the EPA.
Many companies are now trialing options for more environmentally friendly pest control techniques before jumping into using harsh pesticides.
One popular way of making pest control safer and greener is Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and determine if immediate action is required.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Use a combination of biological, cultural, physical, and mechanical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Employ chemical controls only when required, and always along with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and provide additional pest control as needed.