How To Choose a Pest Control Company
There are a number of things that you can weigh when selecting the best pest control company for you. Some things you may consider include licensing and qualifications, treatment methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and cost.
Below, we discuss each of these factors in more detail.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
All pesticide applicators, as well as those that supervise them, must be licensed via the appropriate California regulatory agencies. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established minimum standards of competency, while providing, maintaining, and revoking licensure is handled at the state level.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies can optionally obtain additional certifications like the GreenPro Service Certification. This certification is granted once a company has shown its methods to be more environmentally friendly and demonstrated that it also maintains certain other standards, such as up-to-date employee training. A pest control company can also earn other certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro to further verify its methods and practices.
Pest control companies can also belong to 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 resources and education, in addition to a network of professionals with whom to compare best practices. Belonging to organizations like these is not required, but it can help show that a company follows industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Looking at how long a company has been in business can help determine how much experience it has taking care of various pests. You can also browse its website or read customer reviews to figure out whether it has experience eliminating the type of pests you are dealing with. If this information can't be found online, calling the company directly is a great way to learn more.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can view a company's rating and reviews on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), read local review sites and social media to find out what others in your area have to say, or verify its license standing through the California licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
For many people, cost is one of the main deciding factors when hiring for pest control. Cost can be affected by factors like your location, the size of your house, and the type of pest being treated.
You can think about whether a company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget), and what kind of guarantees are provided. Often, a company will guarantee that if its treatment doesn't resolve your pest problem, it will continue to come back until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Safety is an important consideration when selecting a pest control provider, and you might prefer a provider who employs more natural, environmentally friendly methods.
Your pest control technician should be able to discuss the safety of the pesticides that they're going to use. They should be able to clarify whether the pesticides are low toxicity or non-toxic; if they are not, they should explain what safety precautions they plan to use to protect you, your family, and your pets. Pesticides that pose above a minimum risk need to be registered with the EPA.
Organizations looking to reduce their use of chemical pesticides often follow practices such as Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Using IPM involves a series of steps:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and determine whether immediate action is needed.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Use a combination of physical, cultural, biological, and mechanical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Use chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always along with other solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and continue with additional pest control as needed.