How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When hiring a pest control company, you want to find the best one to meet your needs. Things you may consider include qualifications and licensing, treatment methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and 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, as well as those that supervise them, must be licensed via the appropriate California regulatory agencies. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established minimum standards of competency, but providing, maintaining, and revoking licensing is handled at the state level.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
There are additional optional certifications that can help prove 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. Other certifications can be earned through QualityPro and similar trade organizations.
Pest control companies can also belong to various professional organizations. Becoming a member of an organization like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or a state-level organization gives companies access to education and resources, plus a professional network to compare best practices with. Membership in organizations like these is not required, but it can help show that a company follows industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
The number of years that a company has been in business can tell you something about its experience dealing with the pests that live in Santa Barbara. Online reviews or the company's own website can also inform you whether it has the experience needed to deal with your particular pests. If you can't find the information you need online, speaking with a representative is a great way to learn about the company's areas of expertise.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look at a company's rating and reviews on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), check out local review sites and social media to learn what other people are saying, or verify its license standing through 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, the size of your house, your location, and other factors.
Certain pest control companies offer a free on-site estimate to help you determine if it fits into your budget. You can also check to see if it offers a satisfaction guarantee.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Keeping yourself, your family and your pets safe is an important consideration when picking a pest control provider. You may also prefer a provider that uses environmentally friendly methods.
Ask your pest control provider if they plan to use low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides, and if not, what kind of precautionary measures they are going to use. All pesticides that are not considered minimum-risk chemicals should be registered with the EPA. Your pest control provider will be able to provide you with information about all pesticides that they plan to use.
Pest professionals looking to reduce their reliance on chemical pesticides often implement procedures such as Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Using IPM involves a series of steps:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and determine if immediate action is required.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of biological, cultural, mechanical, and physical controls.
- Use chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and provide additional pest control as needed.