How To Choose a Pest Control Company
Choosing the best pest control company for you is important. Some things you might consider include licensing and qualifications, 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?
All pesticide applicators, as well as those that supervise them, need to be licensed via the appropriate Arizona regulatory agencies. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established 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?
A pest control company can optionally apply for certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro in order to back up its methods and standards. One particular certification is the GreenPro Service Certification, which is awarded when a company can demonstrate that its methods are more environmentally friendly. These companies also need to maintain certain employee training standards.
Pest control companies can also hold membership in professional organizations. A pest control company can obtain membership in both state-level organizations and national organizations like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). By being a member of these optional organizations, a company helps support its reputability and gains access to education, resources, and a network of other professionals with whom to compare best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Looking at a company's website can tell you how long it has been in operation and what type of pests it specializes in exterminating. Local reviews can also give you some insight into a company's experience dealing with a specific pest. If you can't find this information online, you can try reaching out to the company directly.
Reviews and Recommendations
Resources you can use to check a company's reputation include the Better Business Bureau (BBB), local review sites, and social media. You can also check the status of a company's license through the Arizona licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is probably high on your list of priorities when hiring a pest control company. Cost can be affected influenced by the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, your location, and other factors.
Companies will often offer free on-site estimates before starting work, 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 choosing a pest control provider. You might also prefer one that uses environmentally-friendly methods.
All pesticides used by your company (except those that are classified as minimum-risk) must be registered with the EPA. Your pest control provider should be able to provide information on all the pesticides that they will be using. They should be able to tell you whether these chemicals are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not, what safety precautions will be in place.
You can ask if your technician will begin with more natural and lower-toxicity options before using harsher chemicals.
Many companies now use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to eliminate pests while reducing personal and environmental risks. The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and determine if immediate action is required.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Use a combination of mechanical, cultural, biological, and physical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Employ 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.