How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When choosing a pest control company, you want to be sure to find the right one to meet your needs. You may consider a company's qualifications, treatment methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and service prices.
Below, we explore the details of each factor.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
All pesticide applicators, as well as those that supervise them, need to be licensed via the appropriate California regulatory agencies. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets minimum standards of competency, but issuing, maintaining, and revoking licensing is handled at the state level.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
A pest control company can receive optional certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro in order to back up its methods and standards. One particular certification is the GreenPro Service Certification, which is awarded to any company that can demonstrate that its methods are more environmentally friendly. These companies also need to maintain certain training standards for employees.
Pest control companies can also belong to certain professional organizations. While not required, membership in organizations like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations help show a company's reputability. Organizations like the NPMA provide access to resources, education, and a network of professionals with whom to compare best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Generally, a company displays information like its specialities and years of experience on its website. Local reviews can also help you determine if a company has experience dealing with a particular pest in your area. If you're unable to find the information you need online, you can contact a company representative directly to get the answers to your questions.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can view a company's Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, look for reviews on local review sites or social media, or check the standing of its license via the California licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is important when hiring someone for pest control. Cost can be affected influenced by the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, your location, and other factors.
Companies will often offer free on-site estimates before starting work, to help you decide whether it fits into your budget. You can also ask whether a company offers a satisfaction guarantees, meaning that it will continue to treat your pest problem until it is solved.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your preferences regarding safety for yourself, your children, your pets, and the environment might influence the provider and the treatment methods you choose.
Your pest control provider should be using low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides any time they can. If they plan to use pesticides that don't fit into one of these categories, your technician should explain what safety precautions will be in place to protect you, your family, and your pets. All pesticides that pose more than a minimum risk are required to be registered with the EPA.
You can ask if your technician will begin with lower-toxicity, more natural options before using harsher chemicals.
Many companies have started to use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to eliminate pests while reducing personal and environmental risks. The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and assess whether immediate action is needed.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of biological, cultural, mechanical, and physical controls.
- Employ chemical controls only when required, and always in combination with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and provide additional pest control as needed.