How To Choose a Pest Control Company
There are several factors you can weigh when choosing the best 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?
While the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established minimum standards of competency for pesticide application, licensure is handled at the state level. All pesticide applicators (and those who supervise them) in New Jersey need to be licensed by all the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies can earn the GreenPro Service Certification, which requires that a company 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. While not required, these can help show that a company is reputable.
There are various professional organizations that pest control companies can be members of. Becoming a member of an organization like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or a state-level organization gives companies access to resources and education, plus a network of professionals with whom to compare best practices. Membership in one of these organizations is not required, but it can help show that a company follows industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Browsing a company's website can tell you how many years it has been in operation and what type of pests it specializes in eliminating. Local reviews can also give you some insight into a company's experience dealing with a specific pest. If you're unable to find this information online, you can try calling the company directly.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look for reviews and recommendations on local review sites or social media, view a company's Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, or check its licensure status through the New Jersey licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Pest control costs can vary based on things like the size of your house, the type of pest being treated, your location, and other factors.
When considering the cost of services, you should first look into whether a company provides free on-site estimates as part of its process. This can help determine whether the company fits into your budget. Also look into what guarantees a company offers: If the problem is not resolved, or if it returns, does the company promise to offer additional treatments until the issue is satisfactorily resolved?
Safety and Treatment Methods
Keeping yourself, your family and your pets safe is an important consideration when choosing a pest control provider. You may also prefer a provider that uses environmentally friendly methods.
All pesticides that will be used (except those that are determined to be of minimal risk) are required to be registered with the EPA. Your pest control technician should be able to supply information on each pesticide they plan to use. They should inform you whether the pesticides are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not, what safety precautions they plan to take.
Many companies have started offering options for more environmentally friendly pest control techniques before employing harsh pesticides.
One common method for making pest control safer and greener is Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and assess whether immediate action is required.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of physical, cultural, biological, and mechanical controls.
- Employ chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always along with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and provide additional pest control as needed.