How To Choose a Pest Control Company
There are a number of factors you can weigh when choosing the right pest control company for you. Things you may consider include qualifications and licensing, treatment methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and cost.
Below, we dive into detail on each of these factors.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
All pesticide applicators (and those who supervise them) must be certified at the state level. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets minimum standards of competency, but any pesticide applicators working in New Jersey should be licensed via the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies can obtain optional certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations. These are not required, but can help you evaluate the quality of a company's products. For example, the GreenPro Service Certification recognizes comprehensive and effective pest control methods that are safer for humans and the environment.
There are several professional organizations that pest control companies can be members of. Companies can belong to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), or state-level organizations. Membership in the NPMA gives companies access to education, resources, and a network of other pest professionals. While not required, membership in professional organizations helps back up a company's reputability.
Professional Experience and Specialties
How long a company has been in business can tell you something about its experience dealing with pests in your area. Online reviews or the company's website itself can also help you figure out whether it has the skills and experience necessary to deal with your particular pests. If you cannot find the answers to your questions online, calling a representative is an easy way to learn about the company's areas of expertise.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can verify a company's legitimacy using local review sites or social media as well as the Better Business Bureau (BBB). You can also check with New Jersey's licensing board to verify the status of a company's license.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
The cost of pest control 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 verify whether a company offers free on-site estimates as part of its process. This can help determine whether the company fits into your budget. Also consider a company's guarantees: If the problem is not fixed, or returns, does the company promise to offer additional treatments until the issue is satisfactorily handled?
Safety and Treatment Methods
Keeping yourself, your family and your pets safe is an important consideration when picking a pest control provider. You may also prefer one that employs environmentally friendly practices.
Your pest technician should be using pesticides that are low toxicity or non-toxic whenever possible. If any pesticides used 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. Pesticides that pose more than a minimum risk need to be registered with the EPA.
Companies looking to reduce their use of 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 determine whether immediate action is required.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of mechanical, cultural, biological, and physical controls.
- Employ chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always with other techniques for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and implement additional pest control as needed.