How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When selecting a pest control company, there are a number of things you can consider to be sure you choose the best one for you. Important decision-making factors can include the 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?
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set minimum competency standards for pesticide applicators, but licensure is overseen at the state level. All pesticide applicators and supervisors in California must be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies can optionally obtain additional certifications such as the GreenPro Service Certification. This certification is given once a company has proven that its treatment methods are more environmentally friendly and demonstrated that it also maintains certain other standards, such as up-to-date training for employees. A company can also earn other certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro to further verify its methods and practices.
There are several professional organizations that a pest control company can be a member of. Pest control companies can obtain membership in state-level organizations in addition to national organizations such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). While not mandatory, membership in these organizations helps prove a company's reputability and gives it access to education, resources, and a network of other professionals with whom to compare best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
The number of years that a company has been in business can give you some insight into its experience dealing with various pests. Online reviews or the company's website itself can also help you figure out whether it has the skills and experience necessary to handle your specific pest problem. If you cannot find the answers to your questions online, speaking with a representative is an excellent way to learn about the company's areas of expertise.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can view a company's rating and reviews on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), explore local review sites and social media to see what other people are saying, or verify its license standing through the California licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
For many people, cost is one of the most important factors when looking for pest control services. Cost can be influenced by factors like your location, the type of pest being treated, and the size of your house.
You can take into consideration whether a certain company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget), and what kind of guarantees it provides. Often, a company will guarantee that if your pest problem isn't fixed by its treatment, it will continue to treat until it is.
Safety and Treatment Methods
When choosing a pest control provider, you want to choose a company that will help keep you, your family, and your pets safe. You'll likely also prefer a provider that is environmentally-conscious.
Your pest control technician should be able to explain the safety precautions of the pesticides that will be used in your home. They should be able to clarify whether the pesticides are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not what safety precautions will be in place to protect you, your family, and your pets. Pesticides that pose greater than a minimum risk are required to be registered with the EPA.
Many companies are now exploring cleaner and greener pest management that can be implemented before (or in place of) chemical pesticides. Many are following the practice of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which goes as follows:
- Identify problem pests 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.
- Use chemical controls only when required, and always with other solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and continue with additional pest control as needed.