How To Choose a Pest Control Company
The most important step in the pest control process is hiring the right company for you. In addition to a company's qualifications and treatment methods, you might also look into how long it has been in business and what the reviews are like. Finally, you'll likely want to look at the cost of services.
Below, we explore the details of each of these factors.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
All pesticide applicators, as well as those that supervise them, need to be licensed via the appropriate New York regulatory agencies. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets minimum standards of competency, while issuing, maintaining, and revoking licensing is handled at the state level.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
One optional certification that could be worth looking for is the GreenPro Service Certification. To obtain this certification, a pest control company must both demonstrate that its practices are more environmentally friendly and maintain certain training standards for its technicians. Companies can also obtain other certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations to further back up their work.
A pest control company can also hold membership in professional organizations. Holding membership in organizations like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations is not mandatory, but helps show that a company is reputable. When a pest control company joins the NPMA, it gains access to education, resources, and a network of pest professionals with whom to discuss methods and practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
The amount of time that a company has been in business can give you some insight into its experience dealing with various pests. Customer reviews or the company's website itself can also help you figure out whether it has the skills and experience needed to eliminate the particular pests that are plaguing you. If the answers to your questions aren't available online, calling a representative is an easy way to learn about the company's areas of expertise.
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. Additionally, you can confirm the status of a company's license through the New York licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Things like the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, your location, and other factors can all affect the cost of pest control.
You can find out whether a company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget), as well as what sort of guarantees it has. Often, a company will guarantee that if it does not eliminate your pest problem, it will keep coming back until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
When picking a pest control provider, you want to choose one that will keep you, your family, and your pets safe. You'll likely also prefer an environmentally-conscious provider.
Be sure to ask your pest control provider if they plan to use low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides, and if not, what precautionary measures they will have in place. All pesticides that are not considered minimum-risk chemicals must be registered with the EPA. Your pest control provider should be able to provide information about all of the pesticides they plan to use.
Many companies are using options for more environmentally friendly pest control techniques before jumping into using harsh pesticides.
One common way of making pest control safer and greener is Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify problem pests and assess whether immediate action is needed.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of physical, cultural, biological, and mechanical controls.
- Employ chemical controls only when required, and always in combination with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and continue with additional pest control as needed.