How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When picking a pest control company, you want to find the right one for you. You may consider a company's qualifications, methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and price of services.
Below, we discuss each factor in more detail.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
All pesticide applicators (and those that supervise them) are required to be certified at the state level. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established minimum standards of competency, but any pesticide applicators working in the state of California should be licensed via the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
There are additional optional certifications that can help demonstrate that a pest control company is reputable. One example is the GreenPro Service Certification. For this certification, a company must show that its methods are more environmentally friendly and that its employees receive up-to-date training. Additional certifications can be earned through QualityPro and similar trade organizations.
Pest control companies can also belong to various professional organizations. A pest control company can obtain membership in state-level organizations in addition to national organizations like 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 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 at how long 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 invading your home. You can always reach out to a representative directly to learn this information if you can't find it online.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look up a company's reviews and rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), read local review sites and social media to learn what other people are saying, or verify its license standing via the California licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Things like the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, your location, and other factors can all affect the cost of pest control.
You can look into whether a company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget), as well as what kind of guarantees it provides. Often, a company will guarantee that if it does not resolve your pest problem, it will continue treatment until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your choice of pest control provider might be influenced by how environmentally friendly a company's practices are, as well as how safe its methods are around your family and pets.
All pesticides that will be used (except those that are classified as minimum-risk) need to be registered with the EPA. Your pest control technician should be able to supply information on all the pesticides that they will be using. They should be able to tell you whether these chemicals are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not, what safety precautions will be taken.
Many companies are making the switch to using more natural treatment methods before, or instead of, harsh chemical pesticides. Some use a program called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify problem pests and determine if immediate action is required.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of physical, biological, mechanical, and cultural controls.
- Employ chemical controls only when required, and always along with other techniques for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and continue with additional pest control as needed.