How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When choosing a pest control company, you want to make sure that you find the best one for you. 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 will also want to consider cost.
Below, we discuss each of these factors in more detail.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set minimum standards of competency for pesticide applicators, but licensure is taken care of 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?
Pest control companies can also obtain optional certifications such as the GreenPro Service Certification. This certification is given once a company has proven that its treatment methods are more environmentally friendly and demonstrated that it also holds itself up to 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 back up its methods and practices.
Pest control companies can also hold membership in various professional organizations. When a company joins an organization like the National Pest Management Association(NPMA) (or a state-level organization), it gains access to education, resources, and a network of other pest control professionals with whom to compare treatment methods. This can give you additional peace of mind that a company is following 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 peruse customer reviews to decide whether it has the right kind of experience handling the type of pests you are dealing with. If this information can't be found online, calling the company directly is a good way to learn more.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look up a company's rating and reviews on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), read local review sites and social media to see what others in your area have to say, or verify its license standing through the California licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is an important consideration when picking a pest control company. Cost may be determined by the type of pest being treated, your location, the size of your house, and other factors.
Certain pest control companies offer a free on-site estimate to help you match services to your budget. You can also look at whether it offers a satisfaction guarantee.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your choice of pest control company 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.
Your pest technician should use low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides when possible. If any pesticides used don't fall into one of these categories, your technician should explain what safety precautions will be in place to protect your family, your pets, and you. All pesticides that pose more than a minimum risk must be registered with the EPA.
Many companies have started offering options for more environmentally friendly methods of pest control before jumping into using harsh pesticides.
One popular method for making pest control safer and greener is Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify problem pests and determine if immediate action is needed.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of physical, biological, mechanical, and cultural controls.
- Use chemical controls only if needed, and always in combination with other techniques for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and implement additional pest control as needed.