How To Choose a Pest Control Company
It's important to choose the right pest control company for you. Important decision-making factors can include a company's qualifications, its treatment methods, experience and reviews, and of course the cost of services.
Below, we discuss each of these factors in more detail.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), all pesticide applicators and those that supervise them must be certified at the state level. The EPA does set minimum standards of competency, but all New Jersey pesticide applicators need to be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
One certification that pest control companies can earn is the GreenPro Service Certification, which requires a company to show that its practices are more environmentally friendly and that its employee training is up to date. Trade organizations such as QualityPro offer additional certifications. These are not required, but can help demonstrate that a pest control company is reputable.
There are various professional organizations in which pest control companies can hold membership. Companies can belong to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), or state-level organizations. Membership in the NPMA gives companies access to resources, education, and a network of other pest professionals. While not mandatory, membership in professional organizations helps demonstrate a company's reputability.
Professional Experience and Specialties
How long a company has been in business can give you some insight into its experience dealing with pests in your area. Customer reviews or the company's own website can also inform you whether it has the skills and experience needed to deal with your particular pests. If the answers to your questions aren't available online, calling a representative is an easy way to learn about the company's areas of expertise.
Reviews and Recommendations
Resources that can be used to verify a company's legitimacy include the Better Business Bureau (BBB), social media, and local review sites. You can also check the status of a company's license via the New Jersey licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
For many people, cost is one of the main deciding factors when looking for pest control. Cost can be affected by factors like your location, the type of pest being treated, and the size of your house.
You can look into whether a company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget), and what sort of guarantees it provides. Often, a company will guarantee that if its treatment doesn't resolve your pest problem, it will continue to come back until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Keeping yourself, your family and your pets safe is an important consideration when selecting a pest control provider. You may also prefer a provider that employs environmentally friendly practices.
You can ask your pest control provider if they plan on using low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides, and if not, ask what precautionary measures they plan to use. Any pesticide that has been deemed above minimum risk must be registered with the EPA. Your pest technician should provide information about all of the pesticides used, as well as how safe they are around people and pets.
You can ask if your technician will start with lower-toxicity, more natural options before using harsher chemicals.
Many companies are using Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to treat pest infestations with minimal personal or environmental risk. The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify problem pests and assess whether immediate action is required.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of biological, cultural, mechanical, and physical controls.
- Employ chemical controls only if needed, and always with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and provide additional pest control as needed.