How To Choose a Pest Control Company
Hiring the best company for you is the most important step in the pest control process. Important decision-making factors include a company's qualifications, its treatment methods, experience and reviews, and of course 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?
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) maintains minimum standards of competency for pesticide applicators, but licensing is regulated at the state level. All pesticide applicators and supervisors in California need to be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
There are additional optional certifications that can help show that a pest control company is reputable. One of these is the GreenPro Service Certification. To receive this certification, a company must prove that its methods are more environmentally friendly and that its employee training is up to date. Additional certifications can be earned through QualityPro and similar trade organizations.
Pest control companies can also join certain professional organizations. When a company becomes a member of an organization like the National Pest Management Association(NPMA) (or a state-level organization), it gets access to resources, education, and a network of other pest control experts with whom to compare treatment methods. This can offer added peace of mind that a company follows industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
You can get some insight into a company's level of pest management experience by finding out how long it has been in operation. Local reviews and the company's own website can also inform you whether a certain company has experience dealing with the specific species of pests that are afflicting your home. You can reach out to a representative directly to learn this information if it is not available online.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can read reviews and recommendations on local review sites or social media, look up a company's Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, or check its licensure status through the California licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is an important consideration when choosing 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.
A pest control company may offer a free on-site estimate to help you determine if it fits into your budget. You can also look at whether it offers a satisfaction guarantee.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your choice of pest control provider might be affected 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 pesticides that are low toxicity or non-toxic when possible. If they plan to use pesticides that don't fall into one of these categories, your technician should explain what safety precautions they will put in place 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 using options for more environmentally friendly methods of pest control before employing harsh pesticides.
One common way of making pest control safer and greener is Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify problem pests and assess whether immediate action is required.
- 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 if needed, and always along with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and implement additional pest control as needed.