How To Choose a Pest Control Company
There are several factors you can consider when selecting the best pest control company for you. You might take into consideration a company's qualifications, treatment methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and service prices.
Below, we discuss each factor in more detail.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
While the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets the minimum competency standards for pesticide application, licensing is taken care of at the state level. All pesticide applicators (and those who supervise them) in California must be licensed by all the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies can optionally obtain certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro. These are not required, but can help you assess the quality of a company's products. For example, the GreenPro Service Certification is given to companies that use comprehensive and effective pest control methods that are safer for people and the environment.
Pest control companies can also be members of certain professional organizations. A pest control company can join both state-level organizations and national organizations such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). While not mandatory, membership in these organizations helps prove a company's reputability and gives it access to education, resources, and a network of other professionals with whom to compare best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Looking at how long a company has been in business can help determine how much experience it has dealing with pests in your area. You can also look at its website or read customer reviews to determine whether it has adequate experience with the type of pests you are struggling with. If you cannot find this information online, getting in touch with a company representative is a great way to learn more.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can read reviews and recommendations on local review sites or social media, verify a company's rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), or check the status of its license through the California licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
It's important to think about cost when hiring someone for pest control. Cost can be affected influenced by the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, your location, and other factors.
Many companies offer free on-site estimates as part of their process, to help you decide 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
Your choice of pest control company might be affected by how environmentally friendly a company's practices are, in addition to how safe its methods are around your family and pets.
Ask your pest control technician if the chemicals they're using are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not, what kind 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 you with information about all chemicals that they are going to use.
Many companies are now trialing options for more environmentally friendly pest control techniques before employing harsh pesticides.
One common way of making pest control safer and greener is Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and determine whether immediate action is required.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of physical, biological, mechanical, and cultural controls.
- Employ chemical controls only if needed, and always along with other techniques for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and implement additional pest control as needed.