How To Choose a Pest Control Company
There are several factors that you can take into consideration when selecting the best pest control company for you. You may consider a company's qualifications, treatment methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and cost of services.
Below, we explore the details of each factor.
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) has established minimum standards of competency, but issuing, maintaining, and revoking licensing is handled at the state level.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
An optional certification that might be worth looking for is the GreenPro Service Certification. To obtain this certification, a pest control company must both demonstrate that its practices are more environmentally friendly and uphold certain technician training standards. Companies can also obtain other certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro to further back up their work.
Pest control companies can also belong to various professional organizations. When a company joins an organization like the National Pest Management Association(NPMA) (or a state-level organization), it gets access to education, resources, and a network of other pest control professionals with whom to compare methods. This can give you additional peace of mind that a company is following 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. Online reviews can also give you some insight into a company's experience dealing with specific pests. If this information isn't available online, you can try contacting the company directly.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can verify a company's legitimacy using the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and social media or local review sites. You can also check with California's licensing board to see the status of a company's license.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Things like the type of pest being treated, your location, the size of your house, and other factors can all influence the cost of pest control.
You can learn whether a company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget), as well as what sort of guarantees it offers. Often, a company will guarantee that if it does not take care of your pest problem, it will keep coming back until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
It's important to consider safety when deciding on a pest control provider, and you might prefer a provider who employs more natural, environmentally-friendly methods.
Be sure to ask your pest control provider if they plan on using low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides, and if not, ask about what precautionary measures they will take. Any pesticide that presents above a minimum risk needs to be registered with the EPA. Your pest control company should supply information about all of the pesticides that will be used in your home, and how safe they are around people and pets.
Companies often start with more environmentally friendly options before using pesticides, following a technique called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). When using IPM, the following steps are taken:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and determine whether immediate action is needed.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Use a combination of biological, cultural, physical, and mechanical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Employ chemical controls only when required, and always with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and implement additional pest control as needed.