How To Choose a Pest Control Company
The most important step is hiring the right pest control company for the job. Important decision-making factors can include the company's qualifications, its treatment methods, experience and reviews, and of course the cost of services.
Below, we discuss each of these factors in more detail.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
All pesticide applicators, as well as those that supervise them, must be licensed via the appropriate California regulatory agencies. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets minimum standards of competency, but providing, maintaining, and revoking licensure is handled at the state level.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
An optional certification that could be worth looking for is the GreenPro Service Certification. To receive this certification, a pest control company must both show that its practices are more environmentally friendly and uphold certain technician training standards. Companies can earn other certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations to further back up their work.
Pest control companies can also belong to various professional organizations. Membership in organizations like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations is not mandatory, but helps confirm that a company follows industry best practices. The NPMA gives companies access to education, resources, and a network of professionals with whom to discuss practices and methods.
Professional Experience and Specialties
For the most part, a company will list information like years of experience and specialities on its website. Local reviews can also inform you as to whether a company has experience dealing with a particular pest in your area. If you can't get the information you need online, you can reach out to the company directly to get your questions answered.
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 an important consideration when choosing a pest control company. Cost may be determined by the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, your location, and other factors.
A pest control company may offer a free on-site estimate to help you figure out if it fits into your budget. You can also look at whether it offers a guarantee of satisfaction.
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.
Make sure to ask your pest control technician if the chemicals they're using are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not, what sort of precautionary measures they will have in place. Any pesticides that are not minimum-risk chemicals must be registered with the EPA. Your pest control provider will be able to provide information about all chemicals that they are going to use.
Organizations 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 problem pests and determine whether immediate action is required.
- Decide on the 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 along with other techniques for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and implement additional pest control as needed.