How To Choose a Pest Control Company
The first step is picking the right 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 what other customers have said. Of course, you also want to think about cost.
Below, we explore the details of each of these factors.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
Per the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), all pesticide applicators and their supervisors are required to be certified at the state level. The EPA does set minimum standards of competency, but all New York pesticide applicators 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 employees receive up-to-date training. Trade organizations such as QualityPro offer other certifications. These are not required, but can help show that a pest control company is reputable.
Pest control companies can also join certain professional organizations. Companies can belong to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), or state-level organizations. NPMA membership provides companies with access to resources, education, and a network of other pest professionals. While not required, membership in professional organizations helps back up a company's reputability.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Typically, a company displays information like its years of experience and specialities on its website. Online reviews can also help you determine if a company has experience dealing with a particular pest in your area. If you can't get the information you need online, you can contact a company representative directly to get your questions answered.
Reviews and Recommendations
Resources that can help you verify a company's reputation include the Better Business Bureau (BBB), social media, and local review sites. You can also confirm the status of a company's license via the New York licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Things like the size of your house, the type of pest being treated, your location, and other factors can all influence the price 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 provides. Often, a company will guarantee that if it does not eliminate your pest problem, it will continue treatment until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Keeping yourself, your family and your pets safe is an important consideration when picking a pest control provider. You might also prefer a provider that employs environmentally friendly practices.
Be sure to ask your pest control technician if the chemicals they're using are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not, what precautionary measures they will have in place. All pesticides that are not considered minimum-risk chemicals should be registered with the EPA. Your pest control provider will be able to supply information about all of the pesticides that they plan on using.
Many companies are making the switch to using more natural treatment methods before, or in place of, harsh chemical pesticides. Some use a program called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify problem pests and determine if immediate action is required.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Use a combination of biological, cultural, mechanical, and physical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Employ chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always in combination with other techniques for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and provide additional pest control as needed.