How To Choose a Pest Control Company
The first step is hiring the best pest control professional for the job. The qualifications of and treatment methods used by a company are important to consider, as well as its years of experience and reputation in customer reviews. Of course, you will also want to think about cost.
Below, we discuss each of these factors in more detail.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set minimum standards of competency for pesticide applicators, but licensure is overseen at the state level. All pesticide applicators and supervisors in New Mexico need to be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
One certification that pest control companies can earn is the GreenPro Service Certification, which requires that a company show that its practices are more environmentally friendly and that its employee training is up to date. Trade organizations such as QualityPro offer additional certifications. While not required, these can help demonstrate that a company is reputable.
Pest control companies can also hold membership in various professional organizations. A pest control company can join both state-level organizations and national organizations like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). While not mandatory, membership in these organizations helps prove a company's reputability and gives it access to resources, education, and a network of professionals with whom to compare best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Browsing a company's website can tell you how long it has been in operation and what type of pests it specializes in eliminating. Online reviews can also provide some insight into a company's experience dealing with specific pests. If you can't find this information online, you can try reaching out to the company directly.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can verify a company's legitimacy using the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and social media or local review sites. You can also check with New Mexico's licensing board to verify the status of a company's license.
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, the size of your house, your location, and other factors.
A pest control company may offer a free on-site estimate to help you match services to your budget. You can also look at whether it offers a guarantee of satisfaction.
Safety and Treatment Methods
It's important to consider safety when selecting a pest control provider, and you might prefer a provider who uses more natural, environmentally friendly methods.
Your pest control technician should be able to discuss the safety of any and all pesticides that will be used in your home. They should be able to clarify whether the pesticides are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not what safety precautions they will put in place to protect your family, your pets, and you. Any pesticides that pose more than a minimum risk must be registered with the EPA.
It is now common for companies to start with more environmentally friendly options before using pesticides, following a technique called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). When using IPM, the following steps are taken:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and determine whether immediate action is required.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of mechanical, physical, biological, and cultural controls.
- Employ chemical controls only when required, and always with other solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and continue with additional pest control as needed.