How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When picking a pest control company, you want to make sure that you find the best one for you. You may consider a company's qualifications, methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and service prices.
Below, we discuss each factor 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, while providing, maintaining, and revoking licensure is handled at the state level.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies also have the option to obtain additional certifications like the GreenPro Service Certification. This certification is awarded once a company has proven its methods to be more environmentally friendly and demonstrated that it also holds itself up to certain other standards, such as up-to-date employee training. A pest control company can also earn other certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro to further back up its methods and practices.
Pest control companies can also be members of certain professional organizations. Pest control companies can obtain membership in both state-level organizations and national organizations like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). While not mandatory, membership in these organizations helps prove a company's reputability and gives it access to resources, education, and a network of other professionals with whom to compare best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Generally, a company provides information like its years of experience and specialities on its website. Local reviews can also help you determine if a company has experience dealing with a particular pest in your area. If you're unable to find the information you need online, you can call the company directly to get the answers to your questions.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can check a company's reputation using the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and social media or local review sites. You can also check with California's licensing board to see the status of a company's license.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
For many people, cost is one of the most important factors when hiring for pest control. Cost can be determined by factors like the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, and your location.
You can consider whether a specific company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits your budget), and what kind 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
Your preferences regarding safety for yourself, your children, your pets, and the environment might influence the provider and the treatment methods you choose.
You can ask your pest control provider if they plan on using low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides—if not, ask what precautionary measures will be in place. Any pesticide that poses greater than minimum risk should be registered with the EPA. Your pest control company should supply information about all of the pesticides to be used, as well as how safe they are around people and pets.
Many companies have started offering options for more environmentally friendly methods of pest control before employing harsh pesticides.
One popular method for making pest control safer and greener is Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and determine whether immediate action is needed.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of biological, cultural, mechanical, and physical controls.
- Employ chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always in combination with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and implement additional pest control as needed.