How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When choosing a pest control company, you want to be sure to find the best one to meet your needs. You might take into consideration a company's qualifications, methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and price 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 (and those that supervise them) must be certified at the state level. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established minimum standards of competency, but all pesticide applicators working in the state of California should be licensed via the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies have the option to obtain certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations. These certifications can help you assess the quality of a company's products. For example, the GreenPro Service Certification recognizes comprehensive and effective pest control methods that are safer for humans and the environment.
Pest control companies can also join certain professional organizations. Membership in an organization such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or a state-level organization gives companies access to resources and education, plus a network of professionals with whom to compare best practices. Membership in one of these organizations is not required, but it can help show that a company follows industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Looking at a company's website can tell you how long it has been in business and what kind of pests it specializes in eliminating. Local reviews can also provide some insight into a company's experience dealing with a specific pest. If you're unable to find this information online, you can try reaching out to the company directly.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can browse reviews and recommendations on local review sites or social media, verify a company's rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), or check its licensure status through the California licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is an important consideration when choosing a pest control company. Cost may be determined by the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, your location, and other factors.
Certain pest control companies offer a free on-site estimate to help you match services to your budget. You can also look at whether it offers a guarantee of satisfaction.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your preferences regarding safety for yourself, your children, your pets, and the environment can affect the provider and the treatment methods you choose.
All pesticides that will be used (except those that pose only a minimum risk) need to be registered with the EPA. Your pest control provider should provide you with information on every pesticide they will be using. They should inform you whether these chemicals are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not, what safety precautions they plan to take.
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 assess whether 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 provide additional pest control as needed.
Common Household Pests in Santa Ana
Certain pests are more common than others. In Santa Ana, common pests to be on the lookout for include the following:
- Flies: Flies can be a nuisance in your Santa Ana home year-round, but they are especially common during the warmer months. You may spot flies around sinks or in places where you keep food.
- Spiders: These pests prefer moist, dark places and are commonly found in attics.
- Bed bugs: Bed bugs may be found throughout California and can cause big problems if left untreated. Because infestations of bed bugs are often tricky to get rid of, we recommend hiring a professional exterminator as soon as you discover the problem. Bed bugs can infest bedsheets, wallpaper, furniture, and more.
- Mice: Telltale signs of mice include chewed wires and droppings around your house. Mice are often found in attics or in areas where food is kept.
Santa Ana Pest Control FAQ
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Pest infestations occur when pests come into your house looking for something, normally food, water, or shelter. Pests might come looking for food or trash left sitting out. Some might also be drawn by standing water collecting outside (from rain collecting in a particular area) or inside (from leaky pipes). Pests might also enter your home simply looking for shelter. They can get in through weak spots such as broken screens or foundation cracks.
One method for preventing pest infestations is to seal off potential entrances into your house. These include things like cracks in your siding or foundation. Second, avoid leaving out food for pests. This means keeping food in sealed containers and not leaving trash out. Third, eliminate standing water in and around your house. Find ways to reduce places where water collects outside, and repair leaks inside.
In general, it's recommended that your house is treated for pests around once a year, more often if there is an active infestation. Your pest professional will ultimately be the best person to recommend a treatment schedule for you.
Most pesticides last around 30 to 90 days after application. If there is rain, chemicals applied outside may wash away sooner than those applied inside. Some other things that can affect how long pesticide application lasts include what chemicals are used, the method of applying them, what pests are being targeted, and the extent of your pest problem.
Before your pest control technician arrives, check and see if they want you to clean around your house, including in areas where you've noticed pests. Some pest professionals may prefer to see your house as-is.
If you are asked to clean, focus on making sure all paper goods and trash are out of the affected areas (as pests like to hide in these items), and that you store food securely so that it does not become contaminated with pesticides. It's also a good idea to remove plants from the area. Also make sure to block off areas to be treated so that children and pets stay out until it is safe. If the problem needs a more intensive type of pest control like fumigation, be sure to follow your pest professional's instructions closely.