How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When choosing a pest control company, you want to find the right one to meet your needs. You might consider a company's qualifications, treatment methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and service prices.
Below, we explore the details of each factor.
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 those that supervise them must be certified at the state level. The EPA does set minimum standards of competency, but all pesticide applicators in New York need to be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies can obtain optional certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro. These are not required, but can help you evaluate the quality of a company's products. For example, the GreenPro Service Certification indicates comprehensive and effective pest control methods that are safer for people and the environment.
Pest control companies can also join certain professional organizations. When a company obtains membership in an organization like the National Pest Management Association(NPMA) (or a state-level organization), it receives access to resources, education, and a network of other pest control experts with whom to compare treatment methods. This can give you additional peace of mind that a company follows industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Looking at a company's website can tell you how long it has been in business and what species of pests it specializes in exterminating. 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 reaching out to the company directly.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look up a company's reviews and rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), explore social media and local review sites to hear what homeowners near you think, or verify its license standing via the New York 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.
Many companies offer free on-site estimates at the beginning of their process, to help you decide whether it fits into your budget. You can also ask whether if your company has 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
Your preferences regarding safety for yourself, any children or pets, and the environment might influence the provider and the treatment methods you choose.
Your pest control provider should be able to explain the safety precautions of any pesticides that they're going to use. They should be able to answer questions about whether the pesticides are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not what safety precautions will be used to protect you, your family, and your pets. All pesticides that pose greater than a minimum risk need to be registered with the EPA.
Many companies are now exploring cleaner and greener pest solutions that can be used before (or in place of) chemical pesticides. Many are following the practice of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which goes as follows:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and determine if 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.
- Use chemical controls only when required, and always with other techniques for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and provide additional pest control as needed.