How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When hiring a pest control company, you want to make sure that you find the right one for you. You might take into consideration 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 discuss each of these factors in more detail.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
While the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets the minimum standards of competency for pesticide application, licensure is handled at the state level. All pesticide applicators (and their supervisors) in California should be licensed by all the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
An optional certification that may be worth looking for is the GreenPro Service Certification. In order to earn this certification, a pest control company must both show that its practices are more environmentally friendly and uphold certain training standards for its technicians. Companies can also earn other certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations to further back up their work.
Pest control companies can also obtain membership in professional organizations. Being a member of organizations like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations is not mandatory, but helps verify a company's reputability. The NPMA gives companies access to resources, education, and a network of pest professionals with whom to discuss practices and methods.
Professional Experience and Specialties
For the most part, a company displays information like its specialities and years of experience on its website. Local reviews can also help you figure out if a company has experience dealing with a particular pest in your area. If you're unable to locate the information you need online, you can call the company directly to get the answers to your questions.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can check a company's Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, look for 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
For many people, cost is one of the main deciding factors when looking for pest control. Cost can be influenced by factors like the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, 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 sort of guarantees it provides. Often, a company will guarantee that if your pest problem isn't fixed by its treatment, it will continue to treat until it is.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your preferences regarding safety for yourself, your children, your pets, and the environment can affect the provider and the treatment methods you choose.
Your pest technician should be using low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides when possible. If any pesticides used don't fit into one of these categories, your technician should explain what safety precautions will be used to protect you, your family, and your pets. All pesticides that pose more than a minimum risk need to be registered with the EPA.
Many companies are using options for more environmentally friendly methods of pest control before jumping into using harsh pesticides.
One common method for making pest control safer and greener is Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and determine whether immediate action is required.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of mechanical, physical, biological, and cultural controls.
- Use chemical controls only when required, and always along with other techniques for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and provide additional pest control as needed.