How To Choose a Pest Control Company
Choosing the best pest control company for you is important. Important factors include a company's qualifications, its treatment methods, experience and reviews, and of course 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?
Per the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), all pesticide applicators and their supervisors must be licensed at the state level. The EPA has established minimum standards of competency, and the California regulatory agencies take care of the issuing, maintaining, and revoking of licenses.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies can earn the GreenPro Service Certification, which requires a company to show that its practices are environmentally friendly and that its employee training is up to date. QualityPro and similar trade organizations also offer other certifications. While not required, these can help show that a company is reputable.
There are various professional organizations that a pest control company can be a member of. While not mandatory, membership in organizations such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations help to prove 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 compare best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
You can gain some insight into a company's experience level by finding out how long it has been in business. Local reviews and the company's own website can also let you know whether a company has the experience needed to deal with the specific species of pests invading your home. You can always call the company directly to learn this information if you can't find it online.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look at a company's reviews and rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), check out local review sites and social media to learn what other people are saying, or verify its license standing via the California licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is probably high on your list of priorities when hiring a pest control company. Cost can be affected influenced by the type of pest being treated, your location, the size of your house, and other factors.
Many companies offer free on-site estimates before starting work, to help you decide whether it fits into your budget. You can also ask whether a company offers a satisfaction guarantees, meaning that it will continue to treat your pest problem until it is solved.
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 technician if they plan to use low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides, and if not, ask what precautionary measures they plan to use. Any pesticide that poses greater than minimum risk must be registered with the EPA. Your pest control company should be able to provide information about all of the pesticides that will be used in your home, as well as how safe they are around people and pets.
Pest professionals looking to reduce their use of 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 whether immediate action is needed.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Use a combination of biological, cultural, physical, and mechanical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Employ chemical controls only if needed, and always in combination with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and implement additional pest control as needed.