How To Choose a Pest Control Company
Choosing the best pest control company for you is key. You may consider a company's qualifications and treatment methods as well as its years of experience and customer reviews. Of course, there is also the cost of services to consider.
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 (and those that supervise them) are required to 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 New Jersey should be licensed via the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
A pest control company can optionally apply for additional certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations to back up its methods and standards. One particular certification is the GreenPro Service Certification, which is given to any company that can demonstrate that its methods are more environmentally friendly. A company that receives this certification also needs to maintain certain training standards for employees.
Pest control companies can also belong to various professional organizations. Joining an organization such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or a state-level organization gives companies access to education and resources, as well as a network of professionals with whom to compare best practices. Joining one of these organizations is not mandatory, but it can help show that a company follows industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Typically, a company displays information like its years of experience and specialities on its website. Online reviews can also help you figure out if a company has experience dealing with a particular pest in your area. If you're unable to find the information you need online, you can contact a company representative directly to get your questions answered.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can verify a company's legitimacy using local review sites or social media as well as the Better Business Bureau (BBB). You can also check with New Jersey's licensing board to verify the status of a company's license.
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 type of pest being treated, your location, the size of your house, and other factors.
Companies will often offer free on-site estimates at the beginning of their process, 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
When choosing a pest control provider, you want to select one that will help keep you, your family, and your pets safe. You may also prefer an environmentally-conscious provider.
Your pest control provider should be able to discuss the safety of any pesticides that they're going to use. They should be able to clarify whether the pesticides are low toxicity or non-toxic; if they are not, they should explain what safety precautions they plan to use to protect you, your family, and your pets. Pesticides that pose above a minimum risk must be registered with the EPA.
Organizations looking to reduce their reliance on chemical pesticides often follow practices such as Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Using IPM involves a series of steps:
- Identify problem pests and determine if immediate action is needed.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of biological, cultural, physical, and mechanical controls.
- Employ chemical controls only when required, and always in combination with other techniques for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and implement additional pest control as needed.