How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When choosing a pest control company, you want to make sure that you find the best one for you. The qualifications of and treatment methods used by a company are important to consider, as well as its years of experience and what other customers have said. Of course, you will also want to consider cost.
Below, we discuss each of these factors in more detail.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
While the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets the minimum competency standards for pesticide applicators, licensing is taken care of at the state level. All pesticide applicators (and their supervisors) in California need to be licensed by all the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies also have the option to obtain additional certifications such as the GreenPro Service Certification. This certification is given once a company has shown its methods to be more environmentally friendly and demonstrated that it also holds itself up to certain other standards, such as up-to-date employee training. A pest control company can also earn other certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations to further verify its methods and practices.
Pest control companies can also become members of various professional organizations. A pest control company 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 resources, education, and a network of other professionals with whom to compare best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
You can gain some insight into a company's level of pest management experience by looking into how many years it has been in operation. Local reviews and the company's own website can also inform you whether the company has experience dealing with the specific species of pests that are afflicting your home. You can always contact a representative directly to learn this information if you can't find it online.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can verify a company's legitimacy using the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and social media or local review sites. You can also check with California's licensing board to verify the status of a company's license.
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 price of pest control.
You can find out whether a company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget), as well as what type of guarantees it provides. Often, a company will provide a guarantee that if it does not take care of your pest problem, it will continue treatment until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your preferences regarding safety for yourself, your children, your pets, and the environment might influence which provider and treatment methods you choose.
Your pest control provider should use low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides any time they can. If any pesticides used don't fit into one of these categories, your technician should explain what safety precautions will be in place to protect you, your family, and your pets. Any pesticides that pose more than a minimum risk 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 use a program called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify problem pests and determine if immediate action is required.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of mechanical, cultural, biological, and physical controls.
- Use chemical controls only when required, and always in combination with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and implement additional pest control as needed.
Common Household Pests in Bakersfield
Not all pests are equally common around Bakersfield. Some species that you should be wary of are these:
- Snakes: Snakes prefer damp, dark, and cool spots and will often enter a home looking for food. Most species of snakes are harmless, but this is not a risk that you want your family or pets to take.
- Ants: Ants are common in just about every part of California. Large carpenter ants can be an even bigger problem than regular soil ants, as they can cause structural damage to your house.
- Bed bugs: Bed bug infestations can be very difficult to eliminate, so we recommend calling a professional as soon as possible. Bed bugs are found throughout California, and can infest not only your bedsheets, but also other furniture and even wallpaper.
- Spiders: Spiders usually prefer dark and moist places and are often found in attics.
Bakersfield Pest Control FAQ
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Pests make their way into your house looking for one of three things: food, water, or shelter. Some pests will opportunistically enter your home via 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, whether it be standing water on your property or puddles inside from leaky pipes.
There are a number of things you can do to help prevent pest infestations. First, avoid leaving food out. Keep your food stored in sealed containers, and avoid leaving trash sitting around.
Next, avoid having standing water in or around your house. Repair leaks inside and eliminate places where standing water collects outside. Lastly, seal off potential pest entrances into your house, including siding or foundation cracks.
In general, it's recommended that you get your home treated for pests approximately once a year, more often if you have an active infestation. Your pest professional will ultimately be the best person to recommend a treatment schedule for you.
Preventive pest control is important to help stop pest problems before they start. Your local pest control technician know about the pests that live in your part of Bakersfield, including how they get into homes and the times of the year during which they are most active.Your technician can suggest changes and implement barriers to keep pests out of your house, which can save time and money that might otherwise go towards future pest control visits--or towards the damage and illness caused by pests.
It's normal to feel as though you're seeing more pests in the first few days or weeks after pest control treatment. Pest control tends to flush pests from their hiding places, thereby making them more visible; you may also find more dead pests around your house. If the increase in pests sightings doesn't begin to decrease after a week or two, contact your Bakersfield pest professional, as further treatment may be required.