How To Choose a Pest Control Company
There are several factors that you can consider when selecting the right pest control company for you. Things you may consider include qualifications and licensing, treatment methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and cost.
Below, we dive into detail on each of these factors.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets minimum standards of competency for pesticide applicators, but licensure is handled at the state level. All pesticide applicators and supervisors 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 prove that a pest control company is reputable. One of these is the GreenPro Service Certification. To earn this certification, a company must prove that its methods are more environmentally friendly and that its employee training is up to date. Other various certifications can be earned through trade organizations like QualityPro.
Pest control companies can also be members of certain professional organizations. Becoming a member of an organization like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or a state-level organization grants a pest control company access to education and resources, as well as a professional network to compare best practices with. Joining organizations like these is not mandatory, but it can help show that a company follows industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
You can get some insight into a company's level of experience by seeing how many years it has been in business. Local reviews and the company's own website can also let you know whether a company has experience dealing with the specific species of pests that are afflicting your home. You can call the company directly to learn this information if it is not available online.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can read reviews and recommendations on local review sites or social media, view a company's Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, or check the status of its license through the California licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is important when hiring someone for pest control. Cost can be affected influenced by the size of your house, the type of pest being treated, your location, and other factors.
Companies will often offer free on-site estimates at the beginning of their process, to help you determine whether it fits into your budget. You can also ask whether a company offers a satisfaction guarantees, meaning that if your pest problem is not solved by the initial treatment, it will continue returning until it is.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Keeping yourself, your family and your pets safe is an important concern when selecting a pest control provider. You might also prefer one that uses environmentally friendly methods.
All pesticides (except those that pose only a minimum risk) should be registered with the EPA. Your pest control technician should provide information on every pesticide they are using. They should inform you whether the pesticides are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not, what safety precautions will be in place.
Many companies are making the switch to using more natural treatment methods before, or instead of, harsh chemical pesticides. Some follow a program called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and determine if immediate action is needed.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of mechanical, physical, biological, and cultural controls.
- Employ chemical controls only if needed, and always in combination with other techniques for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and continue with additional pest control as needed.