How To Choose a Pest Control Company
There are a number of things that you can consider when selecting the right pest control company for you. You may consider a company’s qualifications and treatment methods, as well as its customer reviews and years of experience. And of course, there’s the cost of services to consider.
Below, we explore the details of each of these factors.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
All pesticide applicators (and those who 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 Arizona must be licensed via the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Obtaining additional optional certifications can help demonstrate that a pest control company is reputable. One example is the GreenPro Service Certification. To receive this certification, a company must prove that its methods are more environmentally friendly and that its employees receive up-to-date training. Additional certifications can be obtained through trade organizations like QualityPro.
Pest control companies can also become members of professional organizations. Pest control companies can join both state-level organizations and national organizations like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). While not mandatory, membership in these organizations helps prove a company’s reputability and gives it access to education, resources, and a network of other professionals to compare best practices with.
Professional Experience and Specialties
You can gain some insight into a company’s level of experience by finding out how long it has been in business. The company’s website and local reviews can also inform you whether a certain company has the experience needed to deal with the specific species of pests that are afflicting your home. You can contact a representative directly to learn this information if you can’t find it online.
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 Arizona’s licensing board to verify the status of a company’s license.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Pest control costs can vary based on things like the size of your house, the type of pest being treated, your location, and other factors.
When thinking about the cost of services, you should verify whether a company offers free on-site estimates as part of its services. This can inform you whether the company fits into your budget. Also take into account a company’s guarantees: If the problem is not fixed, or returns, does the company promise to offer additional treatment until the problem is satisfactorily handled?
Safety and Treatment Methods
Keeping yourself, your family and your pets safe is an important concern when picking a pest control provider. You might also prefer a provider that employs environmentally-friendly practices.
Your pest technician should be using pesticides that are low toxicity or non-toxic any time they can. If they plan to use pesticides that don’t fall into one of these categories, your technician should explain what safety precautions will be in place to protect you, your family, and your pets. Pesticides that pose more than a minimum risk should be registered with the EPA.
Nowadays, many companies are exploring cleaner and greener pest solutions that can be used before (or in place of) chemical pesticides. Many follow the practice of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which goes as follows:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and determine if immediate action is required.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Use a combination of biological, cultural, mechanical, and physical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Employ chemical controls only when required, and always with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and implement additional pest control as needed.