How To Choose a Pest Control Company
It's important to choose the right pest control company for you. You may consider a company's qualifications and treatment methods, as well as its years of experience and customer reviews. Of course, there is also the cost of services to consider.
Below, we dive into detail on each of these factors.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
Per the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), all pesticide applicators and their supervisors must be certified at the state level. The EPA sets minimum standards of competency, but all California pesticide applicators need to be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Obtaining additional optional certifications can help demonstrate that a pest control company is reputable. One example is the GreenPro Service Certification. To receive this certification, a company must show that its methods are more environmentally friendly and that its employee training is up to date. Other various certifications can be obtained through QualityPro and similar trade organizations.
Pest control companies can also belong to certain professional organizations. Companies can belong to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), or state-level organizations. NPMA membership gives companies access to resources, education, and a network of other pest control companies. While not mandatory, membership in professional organizations helps back up a company's reputability.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Typically, a company provides information like specialities and years of experience on its website. Local reviews can also inform you as to whether a company has experience dealing with a specific pest. If you're unable to find the information you need online, you can speak with a company representative directly to get the answers to your questions.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can view a company's rating and reviews on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), check out local review sites and social media to hear what others in your area have to say, or verify its license standing through the California licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is important 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.
Many companies offer free on-site estimates before starting work, to help you determine whether it fits into your budget. You can also ask whether if your company has a satisfaction guarantee, meaning that it will continue to treat your pest problem until it is solved.
Safety and Treatment Methods
When choosing a pest control provider, you want to choose a company that will keep you, your family, and your pets safe. You'll likely also prefer a provider that is environmentally-conscious.
It's important to understand the precautions for the pesticides used around your house, for the sake of your family, your pets, and yourself. Your pest control technician should provide information about any pesticides they plan on using, whether they are low toxicity or non-toxic, and (if not) what safety measures they have in place. All pesticides (except minimum-risk ones) should be registered with the EPA.
Pest professionals looking to reduce their reliance on chemical pesticides often implement procedures such as Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Using IPM involves a series of steps:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and determine whether immediate action is required.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Use a combination of biological, cultural, physical, and mechanical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Use chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always with other solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and continue with additional pest control as needed.