How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When hiring a pest control company, you want to make sure that you find the right one for you. A company's qualifications and treatment methods 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?
All pesticide applicators, as well as those that supervise them, should be licensed via the appropriate California regulatory agencies. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets minimum standards of competency, but issuing, maintaining, and revoking licensing is handled at the state level.
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 example is the GreenPro Service Certification. To receive this certification, a company must show that its methods are more environmentally friendly and that its employee training is up to date. Other certifications can be obtained through QualityPro and similar trade organizations.
Pest control companies can also belong to various professional organizations. When a company obtains membership in an organization like the National Pest Management Association(NPMA) (or a state-level organization), it gains access to resources, education, and a network of other pest control professionals with whom to compare methods. This can offer added peace of mind that a company follows industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
In general, a company provides information like years of experience and specialities on its website. Online reviews can also help you determine if a company has experience dealing with a specific pest. If you're unable to find the information you need online, you can speak with a company representative directly to get the answers to your questions.
Reviews and Recommendations
Resources you can use to check a company's reputation include local review sites, social media, and the Better Business Bureau (BBB). You can also verify the status of a company's license via the California licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
For many people, cost is one of the main deciding factors when looking for pest control. Cost can be influenced by factors like the size of your house, your location, and the type of pest being treated.
You can look into whether a particular company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits your budget), and what sort of guarantees are provided. Often, a company will guarantee that if your pest problem isn't fixed by its treatment, it will continue to treat until it is.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Keeping yourself, your family and your pets safe is an important consideration when choosing a pest control provider. You might also prefer a provider that uses environmentally friendly methods.
Your pest control technician should be able to explain the safety precautions of the pesticides that they're going to use. They should be able to explain whether the pesticides are low toxicity or non-toxic; if they are not, they should explain what safety precautions will be in place to protect you, your family, and your pets. Any pesticides that pose greater than a minimum risk are required to be registered with the EPA.
Many companies will start with more environmentally friendly options before using pesticides, following a technique called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). When using IPM, the following steps are taken:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and determine if immediate action is required.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Use a combination of physical, cultural, biological, and mechanical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Use chemical controls only if needed, and always along with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and provide additional pest control as needed.