How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When picking a pest control company, there are a number of things you can consider to make sure you choose the right one for you. Important factors can include the company's qualifications, its treatment methods, experience and reviews, and of course the cost of services.
Below, we explore the details of each of these factors.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), all pesticide applicators and their supervisors need to be licensed at the state level. The EPA sets minimum competency standards, and the California regulatory agencies handle the granting, maintaining, and revoking of licenses.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies can optionally obtain additional certifications like the GreenPro Service Certification. This certification is awarded once a company has shown 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 QualityPro or similar trade organizations to further support its methods and practices.
There are certain professional organizations that a pest control company can be a member of. Companies can be members of the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), or state-level organizations. NPMA membership provides companies with access to resources, education, and a network of other pest professionals. While not required, membership in professional organizations helps demonstrate a company's reputability.
Professional Experience and Specialties
You can gain some insight into a company's level of pest management experience by seeing how long it has been in business. The company's website and local reviews can also clue you in as to whether the company has the experience needed to deal with the specific species of pests invading your home. You can always contact a representative directly to learn this information if it is not available online.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look for reviews and recommendations on social media or local review sites, verify a company's Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, or check its licensure status through the California licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Things like your location, the size of your house, the type of pest being treated, and other factors can all influence the cost of pest control.
You can look into whether a company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget), as well as what sort of guarantees it provides. Often, a company will guarantee that if it does not resolve your pest problem, it will continue treatment until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your choice of pest control provider might be affected by how environmentally friendly a company's practices are, in addition to how safe its methods are around your family and pets.
Make sure to ask your pest control provider if they plan to use low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides, and if not, what sort of precautionary measures they are going to use. Any pesticides that are not minimum-risk chemicals should be registered with the EPA. Your pest technician should be able to supply information about all of the pesticides they plan on using.
Companies looking to reduce their use of chemical pesticides often follow practices such as Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Using IPM involves a series of steps:
- Identify problem pests and determine whether immediate action is needed.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Use a combination of biological, cultural, mechanical, and physical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Employ chemical controls only when required, and always in combination with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and implement additional pest control as needed.