How To Choose a Pest Control Company
There are a number of factors that you can take into consideration when selecting the best pest control company for you. Important factors 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 (and those who supervise them) are required to be certified at the state level. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets minimum standards of competency, but all pesticide applicators working in Arizona must be licensed via the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
A pest control company can optionally apply for certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations in order to support its standards and methods. One particular certification is the GreenPro Service Certification, which is awarded to any company that can demonstrate that its methods are more environmentally friendly. A company that receives this certification also needs to maintain certain employee training standards.
Pest control companies can also become members of professional organizations. Being a member of 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. When a pest control company joins the NPMA, it gains access to education, resources, and a network of other professionals with whom to discuss methods and practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
You can get some insight into a company's level of pest management experience by looking at how many years it has been in business. Local reviews and the company's own website can also tell you whether the company has the experience needed to deal with the specific species of pests that are afflicting your home. You can contact a representative directly to learn this information if you can't find it online.
Reviews and Recommendations
Resources that can be used to verify a company's legitimacy include the Better Business Bureau (BBB), local review sites, and social media. Additionally, you can verify the status of a company's license through the Arizona licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Things like the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, your location, and other factors can all influence the cost of pest control.
You can learn whether a company provides free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget) and what sort of guarantees it offers. Often, a company will provide a guarantee that if it does not resolve your pest problem, it will continue treatment until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
It's important to consider safety when choosing a pest control provider, and you might prefer a provider who employs more natural, environmentally-friendly methods.
Be sure to ask your pest control technician if they plan to use low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides--if not, ask about what precautionary measures will be in place. Any pesticide that has been deemed above minimum risk must be registered with the EPA. Your pest control company should be able to provide information about all pesticides that will be used in your home, and how safe they are around people and pets.
Many companies are now trialing options for more environmentally friendly pest control techniques before relying on harsh pesticides.
One popular way of making pest control safer and greener is Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify problem pests and assess whether 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.
- Use chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and implement additional pest control as needed.