How To Choose a Pest Control Company
Choosing the best pest control company for you is key. Along with a company's qualifications and treatment methods, you may also look into how long it has been in business and what the reviews look like. Finally, you'll likely want to look at the cost of services.
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 established minimum standards of competency for pesticide applicators, but licensure is handled at the state level. All pesticide applicators and their supervisors in California must be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
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. To obtain 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.
A pest control company can also obtain membership in professional organizations. Companies can be members of the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), or state-level organizations. Membership in the NPMA provides companies with access to education, resources, and a network of other pest control companies. While not required, membership in professional organizations helps demonstrate a company's reputability.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Generally, a company displays information like its years of experience and specialities on its website. Online reviews can also inform you as to whether a company has experience dealing with a specific pest. If you're unable to find the information you need online, you can contact a company representative directly to get your questions answered.
Reviews and Recommendations
Resources that can be used to verify a company's legitimacy include local review sites, social media, and the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Additionally, you can verify the status of a company's license via the California licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
For many people, cost is one of the main deciding factors when looking for pest control. Cost can be determined by factors like your location, the type of pest being treated, and the size of your house.
You can take into consideration whether a certain company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget), and what kind of guarantees are provided. Often, a company will guarantee that if its treatment doesn't resolve your pest problem, it will continue to come back until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your preferences regarding safety for yourself, your children, your pets, and the environment may affect the provider and the treatment methods you choose.
You can ask your pest control technician if they plan to use low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides--if not, ask about what precautionary measures they will take. Any pesticide that presents above a minimum risk should be registered with the EPA. Your pest control company should supply information about all pesticides used, as well as how safe they are around people and pets.
Companies looking to reduce their reliance on chemical pesticides often follow practices such as Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Using IPM involves a series of steps:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and determine whether immediate action is required.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Use a combination of biological, cultural, mechanical, and physical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Use chemical controls only if needed, and always with other techniques for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and continue with additional pest control as needed.
Common Household Pests in San Jose
Not all pests are equally pervasive in San Jose. Some species that you should keep an eye out for are these:
- Flies: Flies can be a nuisance in your San Jose home year-round, but they tend to be more common in warmer weather. You may spot flies around sinks or in places where food is kept.
- Fleas: These pests typically prefer warmer weather (which can make them a real nuisance in San Jose) and often get into your house by hiding in pet fur.
- Cockroaches: You can find cockroaches in many parts of California, though they prefer wetter areas. Cockroaches might get into your house through small cracks, and sometimes carry diseases like salmonella.
- Mice: Common signs of mice include chewed wires and droppings around your home. Mice tend to frequent attics or places where you keep food.
- Bed bugs: Bed bug infestations can be very difficult to get rid of, 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.
San Jose Pest Control FAQ
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Pest infestations occur when pests come into your home looking for something, typically food, water, or shelter. Pests might seek out and eat food or trash left sitting out. Some might also be drawn to standing water outside (from rain collecting in one spot) or inside (from leaky pipes). They might also enter your home simply looking for shelter. They can get in through places such as broken screens or foundation cracks.
One method for preventing pest infestations is to seal off potential entrances into your home. This includes things like cracks in your siding or foundation. Also try to avoid leaving out food for pests. This means keeping food in sealed containers as well as not leaving trash out. Third, get rid of standing water in and around your home. Try to reduce places where water can collect outside, and repair leaks inside.
Generally, it's recommended that you have your house treated for pests around once a year, more frequently if there is an active infestation. Your pest control professional will ultimately be the best person to recommend a treatment schedule for you.
Your pest control professional will let you know how far pets need to be kept away from treated areas, and for how long after treatment. Some pesticides are low toxicity or non-toxic, but as a general rule you'll be asked to keep pets out of the area during and for some time after treatment.