How To Choose a Pest Control Company
It's important to choose the right pest control company for you. You might consider a company's qualifications, treatment methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and cost of services.
Below, we explore the details of each factor.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
While the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established minimum standards of competency for pesticide applicators, licensure is taken care of at the state level. All pesticide applicators (and those who supervise them) in California should be licensed by all the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies can earn the GreenPro Service Certification, which requires a company to show that its practices are more environmentally friendly and that its employee training is up to date. Trade organizations such as QualityPro offer additional certifications. While not required, these can help demonstrate that a company is reputable.
Pest control companies can also be members of certain professional organizations. Membership in organizations such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations is not mandatory, but helps show that a company is reputable. When a pest control company joins the NPMA, it gains access to education, resources, and a network of other professionals with whom to discuss methods and practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
For the most part, a company will list information like its specialities and years of experience on its website. Local reviews can also inform you as to whether a company has experience dealing with a specific pest. If you're unable to find the information you need online, you can call the company directly to get your questions answered.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can verify a company's legitimacy using the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and local review sites or social media. You can also check with California's licensing board to verify the status of a company's license.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is an important consideration when choosing a pest control company. Cost may be determined by your location, the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, 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
Your choice of pest control company might be affected by how environmentally-friendly a company's practices are, as well as how safe its methods are around your family and pets.
All pesticides (except those that are classified as minimum-risk) should be registered with the EPA. Your pest control provider should provide you with information on each pesticide they will be using. They should inform you whether these chemicals are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not, what safety precautions they plan to take.
Many companies are now exploring cleaner and greener pest management that can be implemented before (or in place of) chemical pesticides. Many are following the practice of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which goes as follows:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and assess 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 with other techniques for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and provide additional pest control as needed.