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10 tips to keep you and your pocket safe when hiring a pest control company in South Africa


In South Africa, the diverse climate and landscapes create an environment where pests can quickly become a nuisance. When faced with pest problems, finding the right pest control company is crucial for effective and safe solutions. With summer on the horizon, you'll likely be looking for a pest control company to help you evict some uninvited guests, but how do you know which one is the right one? In this blog post, we'll provide you with 10 essential tips tailored to South Africa for selecting a pest control company that meets local standards, ensures a pest-free home and keeps you AND your pocket safe.


1. Verify Licensing and Certification


In South Africa, pest control operators must be registered with the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) to legally operate. Ask for proof of registration and any additional certifications, such as the South African Pest Control Association (SAPCA) certification which indicates that the company is a member of the national regulatory association. These certifications ensure that the company adheres to industry standards. The following documents are crucial to ensuring the company you choose is actually trustworthy:


  • Pest Control Operators License - Sometimes referred to as a PCO certificate, these documents are issued by DALLRD and will always display the operators name, ID number, date of expiry and a unique license number called a P number

  • SAPCA certificate - this certificate is issued annually by the South African Pest Control Association to registered pest control companies to validate their membership. It will display their company name, date of expiry and a unique membership number. You can always validate the companies membership on SAPCA's website as well. https://sapca.org.za/

  • Letter of Good Standing (LOGS) - this certification indicates that the company is registered with COIDA to ensure the well-being of their technician and is insured against injuries on duty should the technician be involved in some sort of accident on your property.



2. Check for Compliance with Regulations


Ensure that the company follows Integrated Pest Management (IPM) principles, which focus on using environmentally friendly and sustainable methods for pest control. This approach minimizes the use of chemicals and promotes long-term solutions. All pest control companies in South Africa are legally required to use chemicals which are registered in accordance with Act 36 of 1947. You can ask for the following documents to verify that the company is in line with legislative requirements for pesticide usage:


  • Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) - The company should legally provide you with a copy of the MSDS for any chemicals being used which is a legal document indicating all of the necessary information about the chemical, including first aid measures.

  • Pesticide Usage Label - The label should adhere to GHS label requirements and the technician must apply the chemical strictly according to the label instructions. In pest control, the label is law.


3. Experienced Technicians


Choose a company with experienced technicians who are well-versed in South Africa's unique pest challenges. Experienced technicians can accurately identify pests and apply effective treatments. You can always ask the technician how long they have been in the industry or check when their PCO certificate was first issued.


4. Local Expertise


Different regions of South Africa face distinct pest issues. It's a good idea to opt for a company familiar with the specific pests common to your area and the challenges normally common to your local community. This knowledge allows them to tailor their solutions to your needs. You can ask what other customers they have dealt with in your area and how long they have been working in your community.


5. Treatment Safety


Inquire about the products the company uses and their impact on humans, pets, and the environment. Pest control products should be registered in line with Act 36 of 1947 and labelled according to GHS labelling requirements. You should also pay special attention to the safety equipment the technician is wearing and their instructions to you in order to keep you, your family, pets and your home safe during and after a treatment. Look out for the following during a treatment or confirm prior to the job that technicians will be properly equipped:


  • Chemical resistance gloves and clothing

  • A full or half face respirator (depending on the type of service)

  • Safety boots

  • Notices or instructions to you and people or pets who may be exposed to any pesticides during treatment - no one should be present without proper safety gear during a treatment


6. Reputation and Reviews


Look for reviews and testimonials from customers in your community. Positive feedback indicates a company's ability to provide effective pest control solutions tailored to local conditions. If you can't find any reviews or testimonials, feel free to ask for some from the company - a good pest control company which has helped customers in your community should be able to refer you to at least a few of their customers who will be able to share their experience.


7. Transparent Pricing


Request a detailed breakdown of all costs involved, including inspection, treatment, and any follow-up visits. A transparent pricing structure ensures you won't encounter unexpected charges later. The price you pay for service should be all inclusive and should include labor, chemicals and any equipment required to effectively control the pests you are requesting help with. It's a good idea to compare pricing with other quotes received and remember that pest control carries many costs, so if the price seems a bit too low, the pest control company may be cutting corners and this should be a red flag to take note of. Remember that it can become more costly in the long run if you need to hire a new company to resolve issues that were not solved by a cheaper company.


8. Guarantees and Warranties


Ask about the company's guarantee or warranty on their services. Although it is difficult to guarantee that pests will not return after a certain period, reputable companies stand behind their work and offer follow-up visits to ensure efficacy or if pests return within a specified period.


9. Insurance Coverage


Ensure the company has proper insurance and public liability coverage. This protects you, your family and your home from any potential damage or accidents that might occur during the pest control process. A reputable company should be able to provide proof of such insurance from a trusted insurance provider in South Africa.


10. Communication and Customization


Choose a company that communicates clearly and listens to your concerns. Remember that a company that communicates clearly and effectively prior to service will be more effective at ensuring after sales service and making sure they have solved your problem. There is no "one-size-fits-all" solution to pest control, so a trustworthy pest control company should customize their solutions to your specific pest issues and provide guidance on preventive measures to ensure a long term solution is provided.



Selecting a pest control company in South Africa requires careful consideration of local regulations, certifications, and specific pest challenges. By following these 10 tips, you'll be better equipped to choose a reliable and effective pest control partner. Remember, a reputable company will prioritize safety, adhere to local regulations, and provide tailored solutions to ensure your home remains pest-free in the diverse South African landscape.

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