How To Choose a Pest Control Company
Choosing the best pest control company for you is key. Along with a company's qualifications and treatment methods, you might also look into how long it has been in business and what the reviews are like. Finally, you'll likely want to consider the cost of services.
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, need to be licensed via the appropriate California regulatory agencies. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets 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?
One certification that pest control companies can earn is the GreenPro Service Certification, which requires that a company show that its practices are more environmentally friendly and that its employees receive up-to-date training. Trade organizations such as QualityPro offer other certifications. These are not required, but can help show that a company is reputable.
Pest control companies can also belong to certain professional organizations. Membership in an organization like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or a state-level organization grants a pest control company access to education and resources, as well as a professional network to compare best practices with. Belonging to one of these organizations is not required, but it can help indicate that a company follows industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Typically, a company will list information like its years of experience and specialities 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 call the company directly to get your questions answered.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can view a company's Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, browse reviews on social media or local review sites, or check the standing of its license via the California licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is often a deciding factor 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 preferences regarding safety for yourself, any children or pets, and the environment can influence which provider and treatment methods you choose.
Your pest technician should use pesticides that are low toxicity or non-toxic whenever possible. If they plan to use pesticides that don't fall into one of these categories, your technician should explain what safety precautions will be used to protect your family, your pets, and you. Any pesticides that pose more than a minimum risk should be registered with the EPA.
Many companies are now exploring cleaner and greener pest solutions that can be used before (or in place of) chemical pesticides. Many are following the practice of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which goes as follows:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and determine whether immediate action is needed.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Use a combination of biological, cultural, mechanical, and physical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Use chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and implement additional pest control as needed.