How To Choose a Pest Control Company
Hiring the right company for you is the most important step in the pest control process. Factors you might consider include qualifications and licensing, treatment methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and cost.
Below, we explore the details of each of these factors.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
All pesticide applicators (and those who supervise them) must be certified at the state level. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets minimum standards of competency, but all pesticide applicators working in the state of California must be licensed via the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies can optionally obtain certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations. These are not required, but can help you assess the quality of a company's products. For example, the GreenPro Service Certification indicates comprehensive and effective pest control methods that are safer for people and the environment.
Pest control companies can also be members of certain professional organizations. A pest control company can obtain membership in state-level organizations in addition to national organizations like 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 professionals to compare best practices with.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Generally, a company provides information like its years of experience and specialities on its website. Local reviews can also help you determine if a company has experience dealing with a specific pest. If you can't get the information you need online, you can contact a company representative directly to get the answers to your questions.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can check a company's reputation using local review sites or social media as well as the Better Business Bureau (BBB). You can also check with California's licensing board to verify the status of a company's license.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is important when choosing a pest control company. Cost may be determined by your location, the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, and other factors.
A pest control company may offer a free on-site estimate to help you determine if it fits into your budget. You can also check to see if it offers a guarantee of satisfaction.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your choice of pest control company might be influenced by how environmentally-friendly a provider's practices are, as well as how safe its methods are around your family and pets.
Your pest control technician should be able to explain the safety precautions of all pesticides that will be used in your home. They should be able to answer questions as to whether the pesticides are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not what safety precautions will be used to protect your family, your pets, and you. Any pesticides that pose more than a minimum risk should be registered with the EPA.
Many companies are making the switch to using more natural treatment methods before (or instead of) harsh chemical pesticides. Some utilize a program called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify problem pests and assess whether immediate action is needed.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of biological, cultural, mechanical, and physical controls.
- Employ chemical controls only when required, and always in combination with other solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and implement additional pest control as needed.
Common Household Pests in Fresno
In Fresno, certain pests are more common than others. This list of pests includes the following:
- Ants: Ants can be found in just about every part of California. Large carpenter ants can be an even bigger problem than normal soil ants, because they can cause structural damage to your home.
- Fleas: In general, fleas prefer warmer weather (which can make them a particular problem in Fresno) and often are brought into the home by pets.
- Mosquitoes: You're at greater risk of a mosquito infestation if you live in a wetter area. They're also more common when the weather is warmer. Mosquitoes can be more than just annoying--they can cause itchy bites and even carry diseases.
- Bed bugs: Bed bugs can be found throughout California, and they can lead to big problems if left untreated. Because bed bug infestations are difficult to get rid of, we recommend getting professional extermination as soon as you discover the problem. Bed bugs can infest bedsheets, furniture, wallpaper, and more.
- Mice: Some common signs of mice include chewed wires and droppings around your house. Mice are commonly found in attics or in places where you keep food.
Fresno Pest Control FAQ
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Pest infestations occur when pests come into your home looking for something, typically food, water, or shelter. Pests may be looking to eat food or trash that is sitting out. Some may also be drawn to standing water outside (from rain collecting in a particular spot) or inside (from leaky pipes). Pests may also come into your home looking for shelter. They can get in through weak spots such as foundation cracks or broken screens.
There are a number of steps you can take to help prevent pest infestations. First, avoid leaving food out. Keep your food stored in sealed containers, and avoid leaving trash sitting around.
Next, try not to have standing water in or around your home. Fix leaks indoors and eliminate places where standing water collects outside. Lastly, seal off possible pest entrances into your home, including siding or foundation cracks.
Any time you see signs of pest activity in your Fresno home--things like nests, droppings, signs of damage, or the pests themselves--you should call your local pest professional. If your home has had recurrent or seasonal infestations, we recommend contacting a local pest control company to set up annual pest management services.
We recommend checking in with your pest control technician while they are at your house, as the answer can vary depending on what treatments are done. After application of pesticides, you may notice a lingering smell that should dissipate over time.
In most cases, dusting, vacuuming, and wiping down certain surfaces will be appropriate after pest control. However, make sure that you don't wipe away chemical barriers, and avoid touching any traps unless explicitly told to do so. After the problem is taken care of, continue to keep your home clean. Don't let garbage pile up, take care of spills and leaks promptly, and so on. This will help keep pests from coming back.