How To Choose a Pest Control Company
There are several factors that you can weigh when selecting the right pest control company for you. A company's qualifications and treatment methods are important to consider, as well as its years of experience and reputation in customer reviews. Of course, you will also want to consider cost.
Below, we dive into detail on each of these factors.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
All pesticide applicators, as well as those that supervise them, should be licensed via the appropriate New Hampshire regulatory agencies. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets minimum standards of competency, but issuing, maintaining, and revoking licensure is handled at the state level.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies can also obtain optional certifications such as the GreenPro Service Certification. This certification is awarded once a company has proven its methods to be more environmentally friendly and demonstrated that it also maintains certain other standards, such as up-to-date employee training. A company can also earn other certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro to further support its practices and methods.
Pest control companies can also become members of professional organizations. While not required, membership in organizations such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations help verify a company's reputability. In the NPMA and other organizations, pest control companies have access to education, resources, and a network of other professionals with whom to discuss best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Looking at a company's website can tell you how long it has been in operation and what species of pests it specializes in exterminating. Online reviews can also provide some insight into a company's experience dealing with a certain type of pest. If this information isn't available online, you can try calling the company directly.
Reviews and Recommendations
Resources that can be used to verify a company's legitimacy include the Better Business Bureau (BBB), local review sites, and social media. You can also check the status of a company's license via the New Hampshire licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is probably high on your list of priorities when hiring a pest control company. Cost can be affected influenced by the size of your house, the type of pest being treated, your location, 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
It's important to consider safety when choosing a pest control provider, and you might prefer a provider who employs more natural, environmentally friendly methods.
You want to ensure that you understand the precautions around pesticides used in your home, for the sake of your family, your pets, and yourself. Your pest control provider should provide information about all pesticides they plan on using, whether they are low toxicity or non-toxic, and (if not) what safety measures they have in place. All pesticides (except minimum-risk ones) must be registered with the EPA.
Many companies will begin with more environmentally friendly options before employing harsh pesticides, using a framework called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). When using IPM, the following steps are taken:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and determine if immediate action is needed.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of biological, cultural, physical, and mechanical controls.
- Use chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always along with other techniques for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and provide additional pest control as needed.