You have a pest problem, and you’re looking for a pest control professional to help you manage it. As you begin your research, though, you realize that there are dozens of options out there, and you’re not sure where to start.
You find yourself overwhelmed and ready to give up.
How are you supposed to choose?
Are pest control companies even worth it?
While it’s true that there are dozens of pest control experts in business today, not all of them are created equal.
Here at Smith’s Pest Management, we specialize in delivering quality pest control services to households and businesses in the San Francisco Bay Area.
While we pride ourselves on providing quality services and care, we’ve been in the industry long enough to see plenty of pest-control catastrophes. As such, we understand the importance of choosing the right pest management company.
In this post, we’ll discuss how to find the best pest control company, including what to ask, specific things to look for, and how to go about hiring the right company for you.
Let’s dive in.
How do I Choose a Good Pest Control Company? 10 Things to Look For
1. An Outstanding Company History
One of the best indicators that you’ve found a quality pest control company is the company’s history. Pest control companies that have been in business for decades have usually achieved that level of longevity because they deliver quality service and customers trust them.
While newer pest control companies can certainly be high-quality, you’re usually better off working with a team that’s been in the industry for years.
If you’re not sure where to find details about the company’s history, we recommend visiting the company’s “about page” on their website. You can also Google the company’s name and see what comes up in the search engines. Reliable pest control companies will typically have plenty of good press and news coverage built up over the years.
2. Local Ownership
Not all pest control companies are small businesses–some are franchises. While these companies may have a local branch, a national or international company usually owns them.
If you’re looking for quality service, you’re better off working with a local family-owned company. Because they live and work in your community, locally owned companies generally provide better service, more tailored pest management tactics, and a more personalized approach to removing problem animals or insects from your land.
The company’s “about page” will be a good source of information about ownership. If you can’t learn much there, you can also ask the manager about ownership directly.
3. Obvious Expertise
Before you sign on to do business with a company, make sure that they’re experienced in offering the type of pest management you need. For example, if you have a mole or spider problem, you want to find a pest control company that’s successfully resolved these pest issues before, and has an arsenal of proven techniques in their back pocket.
To determine your pest management company’s level of expertise, talk directly to the pest control techs. They’ll be able to tell you how frequently they’ve worked with your type of pest before, and what they’ve done to get rid of them in the past.
You can also consult their website and reviews to find out whether they offer the pest management services you need, and how experienced the company is with them.
4. Relevant Licensure and Qualifications
A company’s qualifications are almost as important as its experience. As you browse for pest control companies, make sure you’re paying special attention to the company’s licensing, certifications, and training programs.
Here’s why this matters:
Pest control companies work with dangerous chemicals and hazardous substances. An unlicensed pest control company or a poorly trained technician can easily put your pets, kids, and family at risk by using these chemicals improperly.
Ask the technicians if they’re actively licensed, bonded, and insured. If you’re in doubt and want further verification, certify the company’s licensing status by contacting the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture in your state.
It’s another marker of quality if you can find a pest management company that’s certified with The National Pest Management Association or The National Wildlife Control Operators Association.
5. Excellent Customer Service
In addition to providing targeted pest control services, the pest control company you choose to work with should also provide excellent customer service. From the moment you first connect with the pest management company, they should be engaged, willing to answer your questions, and forthcoming. When you ask for information regarding pricing, services, and methods, they should supply it readily.
If a pest management company’s techs make you feel uncomfortable, are difficult to get a hold of, or are disrespectful when you ask questions, look for a different team to work with. Successful pest management often requires multiple treatments, and you don’t want to spend your time working with a pest management company you don’t enjoy or trust.
Regardless of whether the pest problem is moderate or severe, the pest control tech should always be professional, polite, and wearing a clean uniform. Make sure they arrive in a branded vehicle and take adequate safety precautions (wearing a mask and gloves, for example) as they treat your property.
6. Money-Back and Pest-Free Guarantees
As you shop for a pest management company, be mindful of the guarantees they offer (or don’t offer). A reputable company should offer a few promises, including a pest-elimination guarantee (typically after a single treatment or a course of treatments, depending on the type of pest species). They should also offer a money-back guarantee that promises full refunds to customers in certain circumstances.
These guarantees are important, since they provide you with peace of mind. They also keep the pest management company accountable for creating results in a timely fashion.
7. Good Reviews
Once you’ve found a pest management company you like, consult their online reviews. The company you ultimately choose to work with should have a demonstrable background of positive pest management reviews and satisfied customers.
Specifically, look for reviews that mention the pest management company’s responsiveness, services and technicians. Ultimately, you want to hire a company with positive reviews and plenty of satisfied customers.
8. A Variety of Extermination Methods
Finally, take a look at the company’s extermination methods. Pest control is a diverse field, and not all pest control companies use the same pest exterminating tactics. Here are a few things to consider:
- Nontoxic/green pest control. Does the company offer green, non-toxic pest control with natural insecticides? This is important if you have pets or kids, or if you live in a sensitive area near a waterway, for example.
- Conventional methods. Sometimes eco-friendly treatments aren’t as effective. With that in mind, it’s important to find out if the pest control company offers conventional methods as well? Do they provide a graduated treatment plan that starts with green or eco-friendly methods and moves up to conventional methods if the first approaches are unsuccessful?
9. The Availability of Free Quotes
To accurately assess your pest situation, a reputable company will provide a free inspection of your home and property.
During this inspection, they’ll assess your pest problem, identify the species present, and make a treatment plan. If the company doesn’t offer a pest inspection, and instead provides a flat rate for all services, be wary.
These companies are typically trying to take advantage of homeowners with severe pest control problems who need immediate help.
As you browse for pest management companies, be sure to ask the ones you like about their policies on free inspections and how they deliver quotes.
10. Recommendations From Friends and Family
One excellent way to find a reliable pest management company is to ask for recommendations from friends and family members. The people in your circle may have worked with companies they like. If that’s the case, they’ll probably be more than willing to provide references for the companies they trust.
If you can get a few recommendations from people you trust, it’s a great way to build a list of pre-vetted pest control companies.
Smith’s Pest Management: the Best Pest Control in the San Francisco Bay Area
If you’re looking for the best pest control professional in the Bay Area, you know that narrowing the field can be difficult. Not all pest control companies are created equal, and it can be tough to find the right one for you.
Fortunately, the process gets much easier when you keep things like experience, licensing recommendations from friends and family, and customer service in mind. When held to those standards, the great pest control companies will quickly become obvious while the rude or less experienced ones fall away.
Here at Smith’s Pest Management, we’re proud of our legacy. We provide excellent pest control services for customers throughout the San Francisco Bay area–from Marin to Monterey–and we’ve worked hard to earn the trust of our customers.
If you have a pest problem that requires the best pest control available, contact us for a quote. Our friendly team will be happy to answer any questions you have and help you get rid of the pests and reclaim your life.