How To Choose a Pest Control Company
There are a number of things you can weigh when selecting the best pest control company for you. Along with a company's qualifications and treatment methods, you might also look into how long it has been in business and what the reviews look like. Finally, you'll likely want to consider the cost of services.
Below, we explore the details of 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) sets the minimum competency standards for pesticide application, licensing is taken care of at the state level. All pesticide applicators (and their supervisors) in New Jersey should 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 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 other certifications. While not required, these can help demonstrate that a company is reputable.
A pest control company can also belong to professional organizations. Holding membership in organizations such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations is not mandatory, but helps confirm that a company follows industry best practices. When a pest control company joins the NPMA, it gains access to resources, education, and a network of professionals with whom to discuss practices and methods.
Professional Experience and Specialties
You can look at a company's years in business to help determine how much experience it has dealing with pests in your area. You can also explore its website or look through customer reviews to figure out whether it has experience eliminating the type of pests you are looking to get rid of. If this information can't be found online, getting in touch with a company representative is a great way to learn more.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can browse reviews and recommendations on local review sites or social media, look up a company's rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), or check the status of its license through the New Jersey licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Things like the type of pest being treated, your location, the size of your house, and other factors can all affect the price of pest control.
You can learn 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 it does not take care of your pest problem, it will continue treatment 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 uses environmentally friendly methods.
Your pest control provider should be using pesticides that are low toxicity or non-toxic whenever possible. If they plan to use pesticides that don't fit into one of these categories, your technician should explain what safety precautions they plan to use to protect you, your family, and your pets. Any pesticides that pose more than a minimum risk need to be registered with the EPA.
You can ask if your technician will start with lower-toxicity, more natural options before employing harsher chemicals.
Many companies are now using Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to reduce personal or environmental risk when treating pest infestations. The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and determine if 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.
- Use chemical controls only if needed, and always along with other solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and provide additional pest control as needed.