How To Choose a Pest Control Company
The most important step is selecting the right pest control company for the job. You might consider a company's qualifications, treatment methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and price of services.
Below, we explore the details of each factor.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
All pesticide applicators (and those who supervise them) need to be certified at the state level. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established minimum standards of competency, but any pesticide applicators working in Arizona should 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 to verify its methods and standards. One particular certification is the GreenPro Service Certification, which is granted to any company that can demonstrate that its methods are more environmentally friendly. These companies also need to maintain certain training standards for employees.
Pest control companies can also obtain membership in professional organizations. Pest control companies can obtain membership in both state-level organizations and national organizations such as 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 professionals to compare best practices with.
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 explore its website or read customer reviews to decide whether it has the right kind of experience handling the type of pests you are struggling with. If this information can't be found online, calling the company directly is a great way to learn more.
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 check the status of a company's license via the Arizona 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 size of your house, the type of pest being treated, your location, and other factors.
Often, companies will 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 provider offers a satisfaction guarantee, meaning that it will continue to treat your pest problem until it is solved.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your preferences regarding safety for yourself, any children or pets, and the environment may influence which provider and treatment methods you choose.
Make sure to ask your pest control provider if they plan to use low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides, and if not, what kind of precautionary measures they will have in place. Any pesticides that are not minimum-risk chemicals need to be registered with the EPA. Your pest control provider will be able to supply information about all of the pesticides they plan to use.
Many companies have started offering options for more environmentally friendly methods of pest control before employing harsh pesticides.
One common method for making pest control safer and greener is Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and determine whether immediate action is needed.
- 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 when required, and always with other solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and implement additional pest control as needed.