How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When picking a pest control company, there are a number of things that you can consider to be sure that you're choosing the best one for you. You might take into consideration a company's qualifications and treatment methods, in addition to its customer reviews and years of experience. Of course, there is also the cost of services to consider.
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 standards of competency for pesticide applicators, but licensing is overseen at the state level. All pesticide applicators and supervisors in California need to 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 awarded 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 pest control company can also earn other certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro to further back up its practices and methods.
Pest control companies can also belong to certain professional organizations. When a company joins an organization such as the National Pest Management Association(NPMA) (or a state-level organization), it gains access to resources, education, and a network of other pest control experts with whom to compare treatment methods. This can give you added peace of mind that a company follows industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Looking at a company's website can tell you how long it has been in operation and what type of pests it specializes in eliminating. Online reviews can also provide some insight into a company's experience dealing with a certain type of pest. If you're unable to find this information online, you can try contacting the company directly.
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 California licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Things like your location, the size of your house, the type of pest being treated, and other factors can all influence the cost of pest control.
You can find out whether a company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget) and what sort of guarantees it offers. Often, a company will guarantee that if it does not eliminate your pest problem, it will continue treatment until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your choice of pest control company might be affected by how environmentally-friendly a provider's practices are, as well as how safe its methods are around your family and pets.
All pesticides used by your company (except those that are determined to be of minimal risk) need to be registered with the EPA. Your pest control technician should be able to supply information on every pesticide they are using. They should be able to tell you whether these chemicals are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not, what safety precautions they plan to take.
Many companies have started offering options for more environmentally friendly methods of pest control before jumping into using harsh pesticides.
One popular method for making pest control safer and greener is 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.
- Use a combination of biological, cultural, physical, and mechanical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Use chemical controls only when required, and always along with other solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and implement additional pest control as needed.