How To Choose a Pest Control Company
The most important step in the pest control process is hiring the right company for you. Along with a company's qualifications and treatment methods, you might also consider how long it has been in business and what the reviews are like. Finally, you'll likely want to consider the cost of services.
Below, we dive into detail on each of these factors.
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 licensed at the state level. The EPA has established minimum standards of competency, and the New Jersey regulatory agencies handle the granting, maintaining, and revoking of licenses.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Obtaining additional optional certifications can help prove that a pest control company is reputable. One of these is the GreenPro Service Certification. For this certification, a company must show that its methods are more environmentally friendly and that its employees receive up-to-date training. Other various certifications can be earned through trade organizations like QualityPro.
Pest control companies can also belong to certain professional organizations. When a company obtains membership in an organization such as the National Pest Management Association(NPMA) (or a state-level organization), it receives access to resources, education, and a network of other pest professionals with whom to compare treatment methods. This can give you added peace of mind that a company follows industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
A company's years in business can indicate how much experience it has taking care of pests in your area. You can also explore its website or read customer reviews to decide whether it has the right kind of experience handling the species of pests you are struggling with. If this information can't be found online, contacting a representative directly is a good way to learn more.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look for reviews and recommendations on local review sites or social media, verify a company's Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, or check the status of its license through the New Jersey licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
For many people, cost is one of the main deciding factors when picking a company for pest control. Cost can be influenced by factors like the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, and your location.
You can take into consideration whether a certain company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget), and what kind 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
Safety is an important consideration when deciding on a pest control provider, and you might prefer a provider who uses more natural, environmentally friendly methods.
Your pest technician should use low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides any time they can. If any pesticides they intend to use don't fall into one of these categories, your technician should explain what safety precautions will be in place to protect you, your family, and your pets. Pesticides that pose more than a minimum risk need to be registered with the EPA.
Companies often begin with more environmentally friendly options before using harsh pesticides, using a technique called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). When using IPM, the following steps are taken:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and determine whether immediate action is needed.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of mechanical, cultural, biological, and physical controls.
- Employ chemical controls only if needed, and always along with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and provide additional pest control as needed.