How To Choose a Pest Control Company
There are a number of things you can weigh when selecting the best pest control company for you. In addition to 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. Last but not least, you'll likely want to consider the cost of services.
Below, we explore the details of each of these factors.
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 licensure is handled at the state level.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
A pest control company can receive optional certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations in order to back up its standards and methods. One particular certification is the GreenPro Service Certification, which is awarded to any company that can demonstrate that its methods are more environmentally friendly. A company that receives this certification also needs to maintain certain training standards for employees.
A pest control company can also hold membership in professional organizations. Being a member of organizations such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations is not mandatory, but helps show that a company is reputable. When a pest control company joins the NPMA, it gains access to resources, education, and a network of professionals with whom to discuss methods and practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
You can get some insight into a company's level of experience by looking at how long it has been in operation. The company's website and local reviews can also let you know whether a certain company has experience dealing with the specific species of pests that are afflicting your home. You can call the company directly to learn this information if you can't find it online.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look up a company's reviews and rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), read local review sites and social media to see what other people are saying, or verify its license standing through the California licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is important 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 figure out if it fits into your budget. You can also look at whether it offers a guarantee of satisfaction.
Safety and Treatment Methods
When picking a pest control provider, you want to select one that will keep you, your family, and your pets safe. You'll likely also prefer a provider that is environmentally-conscious.
Ask your pest control technician if they are going to use low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides, and if not, ask about what precautionary measures they plan to use. Any pesticide that poses greater than minimum risk needs to be registered with the EPA. Your pest control company should be able to supply information about all pesticides that will be used in your home, in addition to how safe they are around people and pets.
Many companies are making the switch to using more natural treatment methods before, or in place of, harsh chemical pesticides. Some employ a program called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and determine if immediate action is required.
- 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 required, and always in combination with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and continue with additional pest control as needed.