How To Choose a Pest Control Company
It's important to choose the right pest control company for you. Important factors include a company's qualifications, its treatment methods, experience and reviews, and of course the cost of services.
Below, we explore the details of each of these factors.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
While the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established minimum competency standards for pesticide application, licensing is handled at the state level. All pesticide applicators (and those who supervise them) in Arizona should be licensed by all the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies can earn the GreenPro Service Certification, which requires that a company show that its practices are environmentally friendly and that its employees receive up-to-date training. Trade organizations such as QualityPro offer other certifications. These are not required, but can help demonstrate that a company is reputable.
A pest control company can also hold membership in professional organizations. While not mandatory, membership in organizations such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations help to prove a company's reputability. After joining an organization like the NPMA, a company receives access to education, resources, and a network of professionals with whom to discuss best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
You can gain some insight into a company's level of experience by finding out how many years it has been in business. The company's website and local reviews can also let you know whether a company has experience dealing with the specific species of pests that are afflicting your home. You can always contact the company 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. You can also check the status of a company's license via the Arizona licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Pest control costs can vary based on things like your location, the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, and other factors.
When thinking about the cost of services, you should confirm whether a company provides free on-site estimates as part of its services. This can inform you whether the company fits into your budget. Also consider what guarantees a company offers: If the problem is not fixed, or if it returns, does the company promise to offer additional treatments until the problem is satisfactorily resolved?
Safety and Treatment Methods
It's important to consider safety when selecting a pest control provider. You might also prefer a provider who employs more natural, environmentally-friendly methods.
You will want to understand the precautions around pesticides being used around your house, for the sake of you, your family, and your pets. Your pest control provider should be able to supply information about the pesticides they will be using, whether they are low toxicity or non-toxic, and (if not) what safety measures will be in place. All pesticides (except minimum-risk ones) should be registered with the EPA.
Many companies have started making the switch to using more natural treatment methods before, or in place of, harsh chemical pesticides. Some utilize a program called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). 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 biological, cultural, mechanical, and physical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Employ chemical controls only when required, and always with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and implement additional pest control as needed.
Common Household Pests in Tucson
Not all pests are equally common around Tucson. Some species that you should be wary of are these:
- Bees: Your local pest control professional can help eliminate bee infestations around your house (some even have resources to safely relocate hives). You might be particularly concerned with having bees' nests removed if there is someone in your household who has an allergy.
- Bed bugs: Bed bug infestations can be very difficult to eliminate, so we recommend hiring an exterminator as soon as possible. Bed bugs are found throughout Arizona, and can infest not just your bedsheets, but also other furniture and even your wallpaper.
- Mice: Some telltale signs of mouse activity include chewed wires and droppings around your house. Mice are often found in attics or in areas where food is stored.
- Spiders: You may find spiders in your attic or other damp, dark places. Most spiders are harmless and pose no threat to humans, but you still don't want an infestation of them in your house.
Tucson Pest Control FAQ
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Pests make their way into your home looking for one of three things: food, water, or shelter. Some pests will enter your home simply because they have the opportunity to do so, through a broken screen or foundation crack. Some are drawn by food, either actual food sitting out or trash left out in the open. Others look for water, either standing water on your property or puddles inside from things like leaky pipes.
One way to prevent pest infestations is seal off possible entrances into your home. These include things like cracks in your siding or foundation. Next, try to avoid leaving out food for pests. This means keeping food in sealed containers and not leaving trash out. Third, reduce standing water in and around your home. Work to reduce places where water can collect outside, and repair leaks inside.
In general, it's recommended that your house is treated for pests about once annually, more frequently if you have an active infestation. Your pest professional will ultimately be the best person to recommend a treatment schedule for you.
How soon you see results from pest control will depend on the problem and treatment. If your pest control technician takes measures like removing a wasp nest, you will see results almost immediately. For most pest control, however, you might need to wait anywhere from one to two days to up to six weeks to see substantial results. Some pest issues might require your technician to make multiple visits to your home.