How To Choose a Pest Control Company
The most important step is picking the best pest control professional for the job. You may take into consideration a company's qualifications, treatment methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and price 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) maintains minimum standards of competency for pesticide applicators, but licensing is handled at the state level. All pesticide applicators and their supervisors in California need to be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies also have the option to obtain additional certifications such as the GreenPro Service Certification. This certification is awarded 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 company can also earn other certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro to further back up its practices and methods.
There are several professional organizations that a pest control company can belong to. When a company obtains membership in an organization like the National Pest Management Association(NPMA) (or a state-level organization), it receives access to education, resources, and a network of other pest control experts with whom to compare methods. This can offer added peace of mind that a company is following industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
The amount of time that a company has been in business can shed some light on its experience dealing with the pests that live in Porterville. Online reviews or the company's website itself can also help you figure out whether it has the experience needed to deal with your particular pests. If the answers to your questions aren't available online, reaching out to the company directly is an easy way to learn more.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look for reviews and recommendations on local review sites or social media, verify 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
Cost is probably high on your list of priorities when hiring a pest control company. Cost can be affected influenced by your location, the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, and other factors.
Many companies offer free on-site estimates at the beginning of their process, to help you determine whether it fits into your budget. You can also ask whether a company offers a satisfaction guarantees, meaning that if your pest problem is not solved by the initial treatment, it will continue returning until it is.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Keeping yourself, your family and your pets safe is an important concern when choosing a pest control provider. You may also prefer a provider that uses environmentally friendly methods.
All pesticides that will be used (except those that pose only a minimum risk) must be registered with the EPA. Your pest control technician should be able to provide information on all the pesticides that they plan to use. They should inform you whether the pesticides are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not, what safety precautions will be in place.
You can ask if your technician will begin with more natural and lower-toxicity options before employing harsher chemicals.
Many companies are now using Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to reduce personal or environmental risk when treating pest infestations. The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and assess whether immediate action is required.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of physical, cultural, biological, and mechanical controls.
- Use chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and continue with additional pest control as needed.