How To Choose a Pest Control Company
The most important step is choosing the best pest control professional for the job. Things you might consider include licensing and qualifications, treatment methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and cost.
Below, we discuss each of these factors in more detail.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
While the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets the minimum standards of competency for pesticide application, licensing is taken care of at the state level. All pesticide applicators (and those who supervise them) in New Jersey must be licensed by all the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies can optionally obtain certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro. While not required, they can help you assess the quality of a company's products. For example, the GreenPro Service Certification indicates comprehensive and effective pest control methods that are safer for humans and the environment.
Pest control companies can also belong to certain professional organizations. When a company joins an organization like the National Pest Management Association(NPMA) (or a state-level organization), it gets access to resources, education, and a network of other pest professionals with whom to compare methods. This can give you additional peace of mind that a company is following industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Looking at a company's website can tell you how long it has been in operation and what species of pests it specializes in exterminating. Online reviews can also offer some insight into a company's experience dealing with a certain type of pest. If you're unable to find this information online, you can try contacting the company directly.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look at a company's rating and reviews on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), explore local review sites and social media to learn what others in your area have to say, or verify its license standing via the New Jersey licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
It's important to think about cost when hiring someone for pest control. Cost can be affected influenced by the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, your location, and other factors.
Often, companies will offer free on-site estimates before starting work, to help you determine whether it fits into your budget. You can also ask whether a provider offers a satisfaction guarantee, meaning that if your pest problem is not solved by the initial treatment, it will continue returning until it is.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Safety is an important consideration when selecting a pest control provider. You might also prefer a provider who employs more natural, environmentally friendly methods.
All pesticides used by your company (except those that are classified as minimum-risk) are required to be registered with the EPA. Your pest control provider should provide information on all the pesticides that they are using. They should be able to tell you whether these chemicals are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not, what safety precautions they plan to take.
You can ask if your technician will begin with lower-toxicity, more natural options before employing harsher chemicals.
Many companies are using Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to reduce personal or environmental risk when treating pest infestations. The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and assess whether immediate action is needed.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Use a combination of biological, cultural, mechanical, and physical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Employ chemical controls only if needed, and always with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and provide additional pest control as needed.