How To Choose a Pest Control Company
The first step is hiring the right pest control professional for the job. A company's qualifications and treatment methods are important to consider, as well as its years of experience and reputation in customer reviews. Of course, you also want to consider cost.
Below, we dive into detail on each of these factors.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
All pesticide applicators (and those that supervise them) need to be certified at the state level. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets minimum standards of competency, but all pesticide applicators working in California should be licensed via the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
There are additional optional certifications that can help prove that a pest control company is reputable. One example is the GreenPro Service Certification. To earn 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 earned through trade organizations like QualityPro.
Pest control companies can also become members of professional organizations. Becoming a member of an organization such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or a state-level organization gives companies access to resources and education, and a network of professionals with whom to compare best practices. Belonging to organizations like these is not required, but it can help show that a company follows industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Browsing a company's website can tell you how long it has been in operation and what species of pests it specializes in eliminating. Local reviews can also offer some insight into a company's experience dealing with a specific pest. If you're unable to find this information online, you can try contacting the company directly.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can check a company's rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), browse reviews on local review sites or social media, or check the standing of its license via the California licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Things like the size of your house, your location, 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), as well as what sort of guarantees it has. Often, a company will guarantee that if it does not resolve your pest problem, it will continue treatment until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your choice of pest control provider might be affected by how environmentally-friendly a provider's practices are, in addition to how safe its methods are around your family and pets.
You should ask your pest control provider if the chemicals they're using are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not, what kind of precautionary measures they will have in place. All pesticides that are not considered minimum-risk chemicals need to be registered with the EPA. Your pest technician should be able to supply you with information about all chemicals that they plan on using.
Companies often begin with more environmentally friendly options before employing pesticides, using a framework called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). When using IPM, the following steps are taken:
- Identify problem pests and determine whether immediate action is required.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Use a combination of physical, cultural, biological, and mechanical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Use chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always with other techniques for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and continue with additional pest control as needed.
Common Household Pests in Irvine
Certain pests are more common in Irvine, and these pests are the ones you should keep watch for. Some of these include the following:
- Flies: You may see flies around sinks or in places where you keep food. Flies might get into your house in Irvine throughout the year, but they're even more common when the weather gets warmer.
- Spiders: You may encounter spiders in your attic or other dark, damp areas. Even though most species of spider are harmless to humans, you don't want an infestation of them in your home.
- Bed bugs: Bed bug infestations can be very difficult to quash, so we recommend calling a professional as soon as possible. Bed bugs are found throughout California, and can infest not just your bedsheets, but also other furniture and even wallpaper.
Irvine Pest Control FAQ
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Pests come into your home looking for one of three things: food, water, or shelter. Some pests will enter your home simply because they have the opportunity to do so, through a foundation crack or broken screen. Some are drawn by food, either actual food sitting out or trash left out in the open. Others are searching for water, whether it be standing water on your property or puddles inside from leaky pipes.
There are certain steps you can take to help prevent pest infestations. First, don't leave food out. Make sure food is stored in sealed containers, and don't leave trash sitting around.
Second, avoid having standing water in or around your house. Fix leaks indoors and eliminate places where standing water collects outside. Lastly, seal off potential pest entrances into your house, including foundation and siding cracks.
Any time you see signs of pest activity in your Irvine home--such as droppings, nests, signs of damage, or the pests themselves--you should call an exterminator. If your home has had recurrent or seasonal pest infestations, we suggest getting in touch with a local pest control company to request annual pest management services.
How long it takes pest control to work depends on the problem and treatment. For example, if a wasp nest is removed, the problem should be resolved immediately. In other cases, it may take anywhere from a few days to up to six weeks for significant results from pest control to become apparent. Some pest issues might require your technician to make multiple trips to your house.
Before a pest professional comes to your home, check and see if they want you to clean around your house, including in areas where there have been signs of pests. Some pest technicians may prefer to see your house as-is.
If you are asked to clean, focus on making sure all trash and paper goods are out of the affected areas (as pests can hide in these items), and that you store food securely so that it does not get contaminated by pesticides. It's also a good idea to remove plants from the area. Additionally, block off areas to be treated to keep children and pets out until it is safe. If you need more intensive pest control, such as fumigation, follow your pest professional's instructions closely.