How To Choose a Pest Control Company
The first step is selecting the right pest control company for the job. Factors 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?
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), all pesticide applicators and their supervisors must be licensed at the state level. The EPA sets minimum competency standards, and the New Jersey regulatory agencies handle the granting, maintaining, and revoking of licenses.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
A pest control company can optionally apply for certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro in order to back up its standards and methods. One particular certification is the GreenPro Service Certification, which is awarded when a company can demonstrate that its methods are more environmentally friendly. Companies that receive this certification also need to maintain certain training standards for employees.
There are several professional organizations that a pest control company can be a member of. When a company becomes a member of an organization like the National Pest Management Association(NPMA) (or a state-level organization), it gets access to education, resources, and a network of other pest control professionals with whom to compare treatment methods. This can give you added peace of mind that a company is following industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Browsing a company's website can tell you how many years it has been in business and what species of pests it specializes in eliminating. Online reviews can also offer some insight into a company's experience dealing with specific pests. If this information isn't available online, you can try calling the company directly.
Reviews and Recommendations
Resources you can use to check a company's reputation include local review sites, social media, and the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Additionally, you can confirm the status of a company's license via the New Jersey licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Pest control costs can vary based on things like the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, your location, and other factors.
When thinking about the cost of services, you should first look into whether a company includes free on-site estimates as part of its services. This can inform you whether the company fits into your budget. Also look into what guarantees a company offers: If the problem is not resolved, or if it returns, does the company promise to offer additional treatments until the issue is resolved satisfactorily?
Safety and Treatment Methods
Keeping yourself, your family and your pets safe is an important consideration when choosing a pest control provider. You may also prefer a provider that employs environmentally friendly practices.
Make sure to ask your pest control provider if the chemicals they're using are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not, what precautionary measures they plan to take. All pesticides that are not considered minimum-risk chemicals need to be registered with the EPA. Your pest technician should be able to supply information about all pesticides they plan on using.
Many companies are making the switch to using more natural treatment methods before, or instead of, harsh chemical pesticides. Some follow a program called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and determine whether 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.
- Employ chemical controls only if needed, and always in combination with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and continue with additional pest control as needed.