How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When hiring a pest control company, there are several things that you can consider to make sure that you're choosing the best one for you. The qualifications of and treatment methods used by a company are important to consider, as well as its years of experience and reputation in customer reviews. 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?
All pesticide applicators (and those who supervise them) must be certified at the state level. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets minimum standards of competency, but any pesticide applicators working in the state of California must be licensed via the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
There are additional optional certifications that can help demonstrate that a pest control company is reputable. One example is the GreenPro Service Certification. To earn this certification, a company must show that its methods are more environmentally friendly and that its employee training is up to date. Additional certifications can be earned through trade organizations like QualityPro.
Pest control companies can also belong to various professional organizations. When a company obtains membership in an organization like the National Pest Management Association(NPMA) (or a state-level organization), it gets access to education, resources, and a network of other pest control professionals with whom to compare methods. This can offer extra peace of mind that a company is following industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
A company's website can tell you how many years it has been in operation and what species of pests it specializes in exterminating. Online reviews can also give you some insight into a company's experience dealing with a certain type of pest. If this information isn't available online, you can try reaching out to the company directly.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look up 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
Things like the type of pest being treated, your location, the size of your house, and other factors can all affect the price of pest control.
You can find out whether a company provides 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 provide a guarantee that if it does not take care of your pest problem, it will keep coming back until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Keeping yourself, your family and your pets safe is an important consideration when selecting a pest control provider. You might also prefer one that employs environmentally friendly practices.
It's important to understand the precautions around pesticides being used in your house, for the sake of your family, your pets, and yourself. Your pest control provider should be capable of providing information about all pesticides they will be using, whether they are low toxicity or non-toxic, and (if not) what safety measures will be used. All pesticides (except minimum-risk ones) need to be registered with the EPA.
Many companies are now exploring greener and cleaner pest management that can be implemented before (or in place of) chemical pesticides. Many are following the practice of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which goes as follows:
- 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.
- Employ chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always in combination with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and provide additional pest control as needed.