How To Choose a Pest Control Company
The most important step in the pest control process is hiring the right company for you. Some things you might consider include licensing and qualifications, treatment methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and cost.
Below, we discuss each of these factors in more detail.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
All pesticide applicators, as well as those that supervise them, must be licensed via the appropriate California regulatory agencies. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets minimum standards of competency, while providing, maintaining, and revoking licensure is handled at the state level.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Obtaining additional optional certifications can help prove that a pest control company is reputable. One of these is the GreenPro Service Certification. For this certification, a company must show that its methods are more environmentally friendly and that its employee training is up to date. Additional certifications can be earned through trade organizations like QualityPro.
Pest control companies can also become members of various professional organizations. Pest control companies can join state-level organizations as well as national organizations like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). While not mandatory, membership in these organizations helps prove a company's reputability and gives it access to resources, education, and a network of other professionals with whom to compare best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Looking at how long a company has been in business can help determine how much experience it has taking care of various pests. You can also look at its website or peruse customer reviews to determine whether it has adequate experience with the type of pests you are looking to get rid of. If this information is not available online, calling the company directly is a great way to learn more.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can check a company's rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), browse reviews on social media or local review sites, or check the standing of its license via the California licensing board.
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 match services to your budget. You can also look at whether it offers a satisfaction guarantee.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Safety is an important consideration when selecting a pest control provider. You might also prefer a provider who uses more natural, environmentally-friendly methods.
Ask your pest control provider if they plan to use low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides, and if not, what precautionary measures they plan to take. Any pesticides that are not minimum-risk chemicals should be registered with the EPA. Your pest technician should be able to supply information about all pesticides that they plan to use.
Organizations looking to reduce their reliance on chemical pesticides often implement procedures such as Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Using IPM involves a series of steps:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and determine if immediate action is needed.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of mechanical, physical, biological, and cultural controls.
- Employ chemical controls only if needed, and always with other solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and continue with additional pest control as needed.