How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When choosing a pest control company, there are several factors that you can consider to be sure you choose the right one for you. Important decision-making factors can include a 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?
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets minimum competency standards for pesticide applicators, but licensure is taken care of at the state level. All pesticide applicators and supervisors in New Jersey must be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
One optional certification that may be worth looking for is the GreenPro Service Certification. In order to obtain this certification, a pest control company needs to both show that its practices are more environmentally friendly and uphold certain training standards for its technicians. Companies can also obtain other certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro to further support their work.
There are various professional organizations that pest control companies can be members of. While not required, membership in organizations such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations help show a company's reputability. After joining an organization like the NPMA, a company receives access to resources, education, and a network of professionals with whom to share best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
You can gain some insight into a company's experience level by seeing how many years it has been in operation. The company's website and local reviews can also tell you whether a certain company has the experience needed to deal with the specific species of pests invading your home. You can always call the company directly to learn this information if it is not available online.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look up a company's rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), explore reviews on local review sites or social media, or check the standing of its license via the New Jersey licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Things like your location, the size of your house, the type of pest being treated, and other factors can all affect the cost of pest control.
You can look into whether a company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget) and what type of guarantees it has. Often, a company will provide a guarantee that if it does not solve your pest problem, it will keep coming back until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your choice of pest control company might be affected by how environmentally friendly a provider's practices are, in addition to how safe its methods are around your family and pets.
Your pest control provider should be able to explain the safety precautions of any and all pesticides that they're going to use. They should be able to explain whether the pesticides are low toxicity or non-toxic; if they are not, they should explain what safety precautions will be used to protect you, your family, and your pets. All pesticides that pose greater than a minimum risk need to be registered with the EPA.
Organizations looking to reduce their reliance on chemical pesticides often implement procedures such as Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Using IPM involves a series of steps:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and assess whether immediate action is required.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Use a combination of physical, cultural, biological, and mechanical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Employ chemical controls only if needed, and always along with other solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and implement additional pest control as needed.