How To Choose a Pest Control Company
Choosing the best pest control company for you is key. The qualifications of and treatment methods used by a company are important to consider, as well as its years of experience and customer reviews. Of course, you will also want to think about cost.
Below, we explore the details of each of these factors.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
Per the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), all pesticide applicators and their supervisors need to be certified at the state level. The EPA sets minimum standards of competency, but all pesticide applicators in California must be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
There are additional optional certifications that can help demonstrate that a pest control company is reputable. One example is the GreenPro Service Certification. To earn this certification, a company must show that its methods are more environmentally friendly and that its employee training is up to date. Other various certifications can be earned through QualityPro and similar trade organizations.
Pest control companies can also hold membership in various professional organizations. Joining an organization such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or a state-level organization grants a pest control company access to resources and education, as well as a professional network to compare best practices with. Membership in one of these organizations is not required, but it can help indicate that a company follows industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Looking at how long a company has been in business can help determine how much experience it has handling pests in your area. You can also browse its website or look through customer reviews to decide whether it has the right kind of experience handling the species of pests you are looking to get rid of. If this information can't be found online, calling the company directly is a great way to learn more.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can view a company's rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), browse reviews on local review sites or social media, or check the standing of its license via the California licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is often a deciding factor when choosing a pest control company. Cost may be determined by your location, the size of your house, the type of pest being treated, and other factors.
Certain pest control companies offer a free on-site estimate to help you decide if it fits into your budget. You can also see if it offers a guarantee of satisfaction.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your preferences regarding safety for yourself, any children or pets, and the environment may affect the provider and the treatment methods you choose.
Your pest control provider should be using pesticides that are low toxicity or non-toxic any time they can. If any pesticides they intend to use don't fall into one of these categories, your technician should explain what safety precautions they will put in place to protect you, your family, and your pets. Any pesticides that pose more than a minimum risk need to be registered with the EPA.
Companies looking to reduce their use of 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 assess whether immediate action is required.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of mechanical, cultural, biological, and physical controls.
- Employ chemical controls only if needed, and always in combination with other solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and implement additional pest control as needed.