How To Choose a Pest Control Company
The most important step is picking the best pest control company for the job. A company's qualifications and treatment methods are important to consider, as are its years of experience and reputation in customer reviews. Of course, you also want to consider 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 (and those who supervise them) are required to be certified at the state level. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets minimum standards of competency, but all pesticide applicators working in California should be licensed via the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
A pest control company can optionally apply for certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations to verify its methods and standards. One particular certification is the GreenPro Service Certification, which is granted when a company can demonstrate that its methods are more environmentally friendly. A company that receives this certification also needs to maintain certain employee training standards.
Pest control companies can also join various professional organizations. Membership in organizations like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations is not mandatory, but helps show that a company is reputable. Membership in the NPMA gives companies access to resources, education, and a network of professionals with whom to discuss methods and practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Typically, a company provides information like its specialities and years of experience on its website. Online reviews can also help you determine if a company has experience dealing with a specific pest. If you're unable to locate the information you need online, you can call the company directly to get your questions answered.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can browse reviews and recommendations on social media or local review sites, look up a company's rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), or check the status of its license through the California licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is important when picking 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 match services to your budget. You can also check to see if it offers a guarantee of satisfaction.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Keeping yourself, your family and your pets safe is an important concern when choosing a pest control provider. You may also prefer one that employs environmentally friendly practices.
Your pest control provider should be able to explain the safety precautions of any and all pesticides that will be used in your home. They should be able to clarify whether the pesticides are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not what safety precautions will be used to protect you, your family, and your pets. All pesticides that pose greater than a minimum risk must be registered with the EPA.
Companies often begin with more environmentally friendly options before using pesticides, using a framework called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). When using IPM, the following steps are taken:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and determine if immediate action is needed.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Use a combination of mechanical, physical, biological, and cultural controls to manage the pest problem.
- Employ chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always along with other solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and provide additional pest control as needed.