How To Choose a Pest Control Company
There are several things you can take into consideration when selecting the best pest control company for you. You might take into consideration a company's qualifications and treatment methods, as well as its customer reviews and years of experience. Of course, there is also the cost of services to consider.
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 York should be licensed by all the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
An optional certification that might be worth looking for is the GreenPro Service Certification. To obtain this certification, a pest control company needs to both demonstrate that its practices are more environmentally friendly and uphold certain training standards for its technicians. Companies can earn other certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro to further back up their work.
There are several professional organizations that a pest control company can belong to. While not mandatory, membership in organizations such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations help show 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
Generally, a company provides information like specialities and years of experience on its website. Online reviews can also help you figure out if a company has experience dealing with a particular pest in your area. If you're unable to locate the information you need online, you can contact a company representative directly to get the answers to your questions.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look for reviews and recommendations on local review sites or social media, view a company's Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, or check its licensure status through the New York licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Pest control costs can vary based on things like the size of your house, the type of pest being treated, your location, and other factors.
When thinking about the cost of services, you should confirm whether a company offers free on-site estimates as part of its process. 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 provide additional treatments until the problem is handled satisfactorily?
Safety and Treatment Methods
Keeping yourself, your family and your pets safe is an important concern when choosing a pest control provider. You may also prefer one that employs environmentally-friendly practices.
Be sure to ask your pest control provider if they are going to use low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides, and if not, ask about what precautionary measures they will take. Any pesticide that poses greater than minimum risk needs to be registered with the EPA. Your pest control company should be able to provide information about all of the pesticides to be used, in addition to how safe they are around people and pets.
Many companies have started 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 assess whether immediate action is required.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of physical, biological, mechanical, and cultural controls.
- Employ chemical controls only if needed, and always in combination with other solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and provide additional pest control as needed.