How To Choose a Pest Control Company
There are several factors that you can consider when selecting the right pest control company for you. You may consider 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?
Per the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), all pesticide applicators and those that supervise them need to be licensed at the state level. The EPA maintains minimum standards of competency, and the California regulatory agencies handle the issuing, maintaining, and revoking of licenses.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies can optionally obtain additional certifications like the GreenPro Service Certification. This certification is granted 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.
A pest control company can also be a member of various professional organizations. While not required, membership in organizations such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations help demonstrate a company's reputability. In the NPMA and other organizations, pest control companies have access to education, resources, and a network of professionals with whom to discuss best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
You can gain some insight into a company's experience level by seeing how many years it has been in business. The company's website and local reviews can also tell you whether the company has the experience needed to deal with the specific species of pests that are afflicting your home. You can contact the company directly to learn this information if it is not available online.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look for reviews and recommendations on local review sites or social media, verify a company's rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), or check the status of its license through the California licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
The cost of pest control can vary based on things like the size of your house, the type of pest being treated, your location, and other factors.
When considering the cost of services, you should confirm whether a company offers free on-site estimates as part of its services. This can inform you whether the company fits into your budget. Also consider a company's guarantees: If the problem is not fixed, or returns, does the company promise to offer additional treatments until the issue is satisfactorily resolved?
Safety and Treatment Methods
Keeping yourself, your family and your pets safe is an important consideration when picking a pest control provider. You may also prefer one that employs environmentally-friendly practices.
Your pest control provider should be able to discuss the safety of any pesticides that they're going to use. They should be able to clarify whether the pesticides are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not what safety precautions they plan to use to protect your family, your pets, and you. Pesticides that pose more than a minimum risk need to be registered with the EPA.
You can ask if your technician will begin with lower-toxicity, more natural options before using harsher chemicals.
Many companies have begun to use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to treat pest infestations with minimal personal or environmental risk. The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem 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 in combination with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and provide additional pest control as needed.
Common Household Pests in Long Beach
Some pests are more common than others. In Long Beach, common pests to be watchful for include the following:
- Flies: You might find flies around sinks or in areas where you keep food. Flies might get into your house in Long Beach throughout the year, but they're even more common in warmer weather.
- Bees: Your local pest expert can help get rid of bees around your home (and some companies even have resources to safely relocate hives). You may be particularly concerned with having bees' nests removed if someone in your household has an allergy.
- Snakes: Snakes often enter houses in search of food, and once inside they tend to prefer cool, dark, and damp places. Although the majority of snakes are harmless, most people don't want their family, their pets, or themselves to take that risk.
- Spiders: These pests prefer dark and moist places and are commonly found in attics.
- Mice: If you have a mouse infestation, you might notice droppings around your house, or things like chewed wires. If your home has mice, they may be found in attics or in places where food is kept.
Long Beach Pest Control FAQ
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Pests make their way into your home looking for one of three things: food, water, or shelter. Some pests will opportunistically enter your home through a foundation crack or broken screen. Some are attracted to 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 things like leaky pipes.
There are certain 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 house. Fix leaks inside and eliminate standing water sites outdoors. Lastly, seal off any possible pest entrances into your house, including siding or foundation cracks.
You should consider hiring an exterminator any time you notice signs of pest activity in your Long Beach home. You might see nests, droppings, damage caused by pests, or even the pests themselves. If your home has recurrent or seasonal pest infestations, we recommend annual preventive pest management.
In general, pesticide application lasts around 30 to 90 days. The exact length of time varies based on what chemicals are used, which pests are being targeted, how many pests are in your area, and whether the chemicals are applied inside or outside. Chemicals applied outdoors might wear away faster than those inside if there is rain.