How To Choose a Pest Control Company
Choosing the best pest control company for you is important. The qualifications of and treatment methods used by a company are important to consider, as are its years of experience and what other customers have said. Of course, you also want to think about cost.
Below, we explore the details of each of these factors.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established minimum standards of competency for pesticide applicators, but licensing 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?
Obtaining additional optional certifications can help show that a pest control company is reputable. One of these is the GreenPro Service Certification. To receive this certification, a company must prove that its methods are more environmentally friendly and that its employee training is up to date. Additional certifications can be earned through QualityPro and similar trade organizations.
Pest control companies can also become members of various professional organizations. Membership in an organization such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or a state-level organization grants a pest control company access to education and resources, as well as a professional network to compare best practices with. Joining one of these organizations is not required, but it can help show 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 taking care of pests in your area. You can also look at its website or peruse customer reviews to determine whether it has adequate experience with the type of pests you are dealing with. If you cannot find this information online, getting in touch with a company representative is a great way to learn more.
Reviews and Recommendations
Resources you can use to check a company's reputation include social media, local review sites, and the Better Business Bureau (BBB). You can also check the status of a company's license via the California licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Things like the size of your house, your location, the type of pest being treated, and other factors can all influence the price 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
Keeping yourself, your family and your pets safe is an important consideration when choosing a pest control provider. You may also prefer a provider that employs environmentally-friendly practices.
You want to ensure that you understand the precautions around pesticides used around your home, for the sake of your family, your pets, and yourself. Your pest control provider should be able to provide information about all pesticides they plan to use, whether they are low toxicity or non-toxic, and (if not) what safety measures they plan to take. All pesticides (except minimum-risk ones) must be registered with the EPA.
Companies often begin with more environmentally friendly options before employing pesticides, following a framework called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). When using IPM, the following steps are taken:
- Identify problem pests and determine if immediate action is needed.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of biological, cultural, physical, and mechanical controls.
- Employ chemical controls only when required, and always in combination with other techniques for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and provide additional pest control as needed.