How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When hiring a pest control company, you want to be sure to find the right one for you. Important decision-making factors can include the company's qualifications, its treatment methods, experience and reviews, and of course 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?
Per the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), all pesticide applicators and their supervisors must be licensed at the state level. The EPA has established minimum competency standards, and the New Jersey regulatory agencies take care of the granting, maintaining, and revoking of licenses.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
There are additional optional certifications that can help show that a pest control company is reputable. One example 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 obtained through QualityPro and similar trade organizations.
Pest control companies can also obtain membership in professional organizations. Holding membership in organizations such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations is not mandatory, but helps show that a company is reputable. The NPMA gives companies access to resources, education, and a network of other professionals with whom to discuss practices and methods.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Looking at a company's website can tell you how many years it has been in business and what type of pests it specializes in exterminating. Online reviews can also provide some insight into a company's experience dealing with a specific pest. If this information isn't available online, you can try calling the company directly.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look at a company's rating and reviews on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), read local review sites and social media to hear what homeowners near you think, or verify its license standing via the New Jersey licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is an important consideration when picking a pest control company. Cost may be determined by the type of pest being treated, your location, the size of your house, and other factors.
Certain pest control companies offer a free on-site estimate to help you match services to your budget. You can also see if it offers a satisfaction guarantee.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Safety is an important consideration when selecting a pest control provider, and you might prefer a provider who employs more natural, environmentally friendly methods.
You should ask your pest control provider if the chemicals they're using are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not, what kind of precautionary measures they will have in place. All pesticides that are not considered minimum-risk chemicals must be registered with the EPA. Your pest technician will be able to provide you with information about all of the pesticides they plan on using.
Companies often start with more environmentally friendly options before using harsh pesticides, using a framework called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). When using IPM, the following steps are taken:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and determine if immediate action is required.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Use a combination of mechanical, cultural, biological, and physical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Use chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always along with other solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and continue with additional pest control as needed.