What Are Pest Control Certifications, and Why Should I Care?
What are pest control certifications?
California laws require that pest control companies continue to earn CEUs (continuing education units) to claim IPM status. ATCO has chosen to become certified with multiple accreditations in order to not only meet but exceed the state of California’s standards for pest control.
Why do certifications matter?
- First of all, of course, you want to be rid of your pests. Choosing ATCO, you can trust that our practices are effective.
- Second, you care about the environment, and you can be confident that we are always mindful of the impact any treatment may have. Our EcoWise certification says you can depend on that.
ATCO is certified with IPM, EcoWise, LEED, Diamond, and EcoSense. Read below to learn about each certification and how it helps you in the long run!
Integrated Pest Management
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is an ecological approach to pest control that integrates pesticides/herbicides into a management system that includes a number of practices for the economic control of pests, including prevention, observation, and non-poisonous intervention when possible.
Ultimately, IPM is a process to control pests that involves all parties, including the pest control company, household residents, and even the local government—it relies on monitoring and understanding the pest, and everybody doing their part. A trained IPM provider has to have a good understanding of what the pest does, its behavior, and what conditions are conducive to the existence of those types of pests. This same approach applies to all clients from homeowners to municipalities.
For example, let’s use rodents. The client observes that rodents are present and calls a pest control organization. Traditional pest control companies put out poison and get rid of them, but instead of doing that, an IPM provider will:
- Tell the client how to prevent them from coming in;
- Identify where all the openings are and seal them;
- Complete ongoing monitoring or trapping from there on out.
EcoWise is an independent, third-party certification program that distinguishes knowledgeable, leading-edge licensed pest management professionals who practice prevention-based pest control. EcoWise-Certified Practitioners employ a variety of common-sense techniques to control pests effectively, minimizing the need to use pesticides. With EcoWise services, pests are denied food, water, shelter, and access to your home or facility, which provides lasting control.
ATCO Pest Control is honored to be one of only seven (7) pest control companies in Northern California to have earned the EcoWise Provider Certification.
Certification of any kind means an independent, third-party organization has looked carefully at our practices and our practitioners. In this case, we have invited EcoWise, a program tailored specifically for California and the Bay Area, to come into our office and inspect our policies and records of work with clients. They have followed us into the field and observed us in action, on the job.
As a result, ATCO has been awarded two certifications: EcoWise Provider and EcoWise Practitioner. These specify that we—both as a business and as individual technicians, in office and in the field—know our industry and serve our clients with best practices for them and for the environment. EcoWise determined that we properly understand and apply IPM (Integrated Pest Management) tactics. They determined that our technicians employ a variety of common-sense techniques to control pests effectively, minimizing the need to use pesticides.
Currently, ATCO is the only company in Marin and Sonoma Counties to receive both these certifications. Seven of our technicians have received EcoWise Certification as a practitioner, and more are scheduled to be tested in the near future.
The Diamond Certification is a prestigious 12-step certification for Bay Area local companies. Diamond rates local companies based on customer satisfaction and re-rates their list over time. Only a limited number of companies per industry are allowed to be Diamond certified. Diamond will refund a customer’s purchase up to $1,000 if they are not satisfied.
ATCO has been Diamond certified since 2009, and we have a 4.5-star rating with 231 verified reviews as of June 2020. We are one of two Diamond-certified pest control companies in the Bay Area, and we have been certified four years longer than the other company.
EcoSense is a service process we created here at ATCO Pest Control, and it lies between traditional pest control and IPM.
Traditional pest control is when a company comes out and uses pesticides to control pests or herbicides in order to control weeds or rodenticides to control rats. Some providers in the industry are moving away from traditional to IPM. The problem with controlling pests through IPM in a residential setting is getting everybody to do their part—it’s not entirely practical. So ATCO Pest Control came up with EcoSense, which fits right between traditional and IPM.
We define EcoSense as a commitment to control the pests using the safest manner and the safest products available to us, but we’re not hemmed in. In Integrated Pest Management, which is the process that EcoWise takes, you must use the insecticides that are on their list.
With EcoSense, if our technicians are at the client’s location and they see the pest present, they don’t have to go through the process of getting approval and making sure it’s an approved product. Our technicians use what we need to, but it’s going to be in a very limited manner and very spot-specific. We’re going to inform the client what we think they can do to help minimize the problem as well. EcoSense is an in-between step, and with most of our customers, we use this process.
LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a green building rating system that proves your building uses less energy and water, which is better both for the environment and the wallet. This certification can be used for new construction and businesses/residences that are already opened. There are different points and levels one can be rated, meaning it’s flexible for all types of buildings. California has required buildings to be LEED-certified since 2004.
For building owners who are designing their structure to be LEED compliant, contracting with ATCO for EcoWise or Integrated Pest Management pest control can provide assistance. We will be happy to discuss these offerings with the LEED architect.