How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When picking a pest control company, you want to find the best one for you. You may take into consideration a company's qualifications, 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?
All pesticide applicators (and those that supervise them) are required to be certified at the state level. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets minimum standards of competency, but any pesticide applicators working in the state of California should be licensed via 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. QualityPro and similar trade organizations also offer other certifications. These are not required, but can help demonstrate that a company is reputable.
Pest control companies can also join various professional organizations. A pest control company can join state-level organizations in addition to 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 professionals with whom to compare best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Looking at a company's website can tell you how many years it has been in business and what species of pests it specializes in exterminating. Local reviews can also offer some insight into a company's experience dealing with a specific pest. If this information isn't available online, you can try calling the company directly.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can check a company's reputation using social media or local review sites as well as the Better Business Bureau (BBB). You can also check with California's licensing board to see the status of a company's license.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Things like the type of pest being treated, your location, the size of your house, and other factors can all influence the cost of pest control.
You can learn whether a company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget), as well as what kind of guarantees it offers. 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
Keeping yourself, your family and your pets safe is an important consideration when selecting a pest control provider. You may also prefer one that uses environmentally friendly methods.
Ask your pest control provider if the chemicals they're using are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not, what sort of precautionary measures they plan to take. All pesticides that are not considered minimum-risk chemicals must be registered with the EPA. Your pest control provider will be able to provide information about all chemicals they plan on using.
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:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and determine if immediate action is required.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Use a combination of biological, cultural, physical, and mechanical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Employ chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always along with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and continue with additional pest control as needed.