How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When hiring a pest control company, you want to be sure to find the right one to meet your needs. Factors you might consider include qualifications and licensing, 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?
One optional certification that might be worth looking for is the GreenPro Service Certification. To get this certification, a pest control company needs to both show that its practices are more environmentally friendly and maintain certain training standards for its technicians. Companies can obtain other certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro to further support their work.
Pest control companies can also become members of various professional organizations. While not required, membership in organizations like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations help demonstrate a company's reputability. Organizations like the NPMA provide access to education, resources, and a network of professionals with whom to discuss best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Typically, a company will list information like its specialities and years of experience on its website. Local reviews can also tell you whether a company has experience dealing with a particular pest in your area. If you're unable to find the information you need online, you can call the company directly to get the answers to your questions.
Reviews and Recommendations
Resources that can help you verify a company's reputation include the Better Business Bureau (BBB), local review sites, and social media. You can also verify the status of a company's license via the New Jersey licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is probably high on your list of priorities when hiring a pest control company. Cost can be affected influenced by the size of your house, the type of pest being treated, your location, and other factors.
Often, companies will offer free on-site estimates as part of their process, 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
Keeping yourself, your family and your pets safe is an important consideration when selecting a pest control provider. You might also prefer one that uses environmentally friendly methods.
All pesticides (except those that are classified as minimum-risk) should be registered with the EPA. Your pest control technician should supply information on all the pesticides that they are using. They should inform you whether the pesticides are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not, what safety precautions will be in place.
Many companies are making the switch to using more natural treatment methods before, or instead of, harsh chemical pesticides. Some utilize a program called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and determine whether immediate action is required.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Use a combination of biological, cultural, physical, and mechanical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Use chemical controls only when required, and always along with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and implement additional pest control as needed.