How To Choose a Pest Control Company
It's important to choose the best pest control company for you. The qualifications of and treatment methods used by a company are important to consider, as are its years of experience and customer reviews. Of course, you will also want to consider cost.
Below, we dive into detail on 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) has established minimum standards of competency, while issuing, maintaining, and revoking licensure is handled at the state level.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies can obtain optional certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro. These certifications can help you evaluate the quality of a company's products. For example, the GreenPro Service Certification is given to companies that use comprehensive and effective pest control methods that are safer for humans and the environment.
Pest control companies can also hold membership in professional organizations. Pest control companies can obtain membership in both state-level organizations and national organizations such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). By being a member of these optional organizations, a company helps support its reputability and gains access to education, resources, and a network of professionals to compare best practices with.
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 eliminating. Local 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 contacting the company directly.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can browse reviews and recommendations on local review sites or social media, look up a company's Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, or check the status of its license through the California licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
For many people, cost is one of the most important factors when hiring for pest control services. Cost can be influenced by factors like the size of your house, your location, and the type of pest being treated.
You can look into whether a particular company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget), and what sort of guarantees are provided. Often, a company will guarantee that if your pest problem isn't fixed by its treatment, it will continue to treat until it is.
Safety and Treatment Methods
It's important to consider safety when selecting a pest control provider, and you might prefer a provider who uses more natural, environmentally friendly methods.
You want to ensure that you understand the precautions for the pesticides being used in your house, for the sake of you, your family, and your pets. Your pest control provider should be able to supply information about all pesticides they plan on 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 using options for more environmentally friendly methods of pest control before moving to harsh pesticides.
One common method for making pest control safer and greener is Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify problem pests and determine if immediate action is required.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Use a combination of mechanical, cultural, biological, 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.
- Evaluate outcomes and provide additional pest control as needed.