How To Choose a Pest Control Company
It's important to choose the right pest control company for you. You might take into consideration a company's qualifications, methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and price of services.
Below, we discuss each factor in more detail.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
While the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established minimum competency standards for pesticide application, licensure is handled at the state level. All pesticide applicators (and their supervisors) in California must be licensed by all the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies have the option to obtain certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro. These are not required, but can help you assess the quality of a company's products. For example, the GreenPro Service Certification indicates comprehensive and effective pest control treatment that is safer for people and the environment.
Pest control companies can also hold membership in various professional organizations. Holding membership in organizations such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations is not mandatory, but helps confirm that a company follows industry best practices. The NPMA gives companies access to resources, education, and a network of professionals with whom to discuss methods and practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
You can look at a company's years in business to help determine how much experience it has handling pests in your area. You can also browse its website or peruse customer reviews to determine whether it has adequate experience with the species of pests you are struggling with. If you cannot find this information online, calling the company directly is a great way to learn more.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can view a company's rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), explore 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
For many people, cost is one of the most important factors when picking a company for pest control. Cost can be affected by factors like the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, and your location.
You can take into consideration whether a company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget), and what kind of guarantees it provides. 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
When picking a pest control provider, you want to choose a company that will help keep you, your family, and your pets safe. You may also prefer a provider that is environmentally-conscious.
Your pest control provider should be using pesticides that are low toxicity or non-toxic whenever possible. If any pesticides they intend to use don't fall into one of these categories, your technician should explain what safety precautions will be in place to protect your family, your pets, and you. Any pesticides that pose more than a minimum risk must be registered with the EPA.
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:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and assess whether immediate action is needed.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of mechanical, physical, biological, and cultural controls.
- Use chemical controls only when required, and always in combination with other techniques for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and continue with additional pest control as needed.