How To Choose a Pest Control Company
The first step is picking the right pest control professional for the job. Along with a company's qualifications and treatment methods, you may also consider how long it has been in business and what the reviews are like. Last but not least, you'll likely want to consider the cost of services.
Below, we discuss each of these factors in more detail.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) maintains minimum standards of competency for pesticide applicators, but licensing is regulated at the state level. All pesticide applicators and their supervisors in California need to be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies can obtain optional certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro. These certifications can help you evaluate the quality of a company's products. For example, the GreenPro Service Certification recognizes comprehensive and effective pest control methods that are safer for people and the environment.
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. NPMA membership gives companies access to resources, education, and a network of other pest professionals. While not required, membership in professional organizations helps demonstrate a company's reputability.
Professional Experience and Specialties
You can look at a company's years in business to help determine how much experience it has taking care of pests in your area. You can also look at its website or look through customer reviews to figure out whether it has experience eliminating the type of pests you are dealing with. If this information can't be found online, contacting a representative directly is a great way to learn more.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look up a company's reviews and rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), explore local review sites and social media to see what homeowners near you think, or verify its license standing via the California licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is important when hiring someone for pest control. Cost can be affected influenced by the type of pest being treated, your location, the size of your house, and other factors.
Companies will often offer free on-site estimates before starting work, to help you decide whether it fits into your budget. You can also ask whether if your company has a satisfaction guarantee, meaning that it will continue to treat your pest problem until it is solved.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Keeping yourself, your family and your pets safe is an important consideration when selecting a pest control provider. You may also prefer one that employs environmentally-friendly practices.
Your pest control provider should be able to discuss the safety of the pesticides they plan to use. They should be able to answer questions as to whether the pesticides are low toxicity or non-toxic; if they are not, they should explain what safety precautions they will put in place to protect you, your family, and your pets. All pesticides that pose greater than a minimum risk need to be registered with the EPA.
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 if immediate action is required.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Use a combination of mechanical, physical, biological, and cultural controls to manage the pest problem.
- Employ chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always along with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and provide additional pest control as needed.