How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When choosing a pest control company, you want to make sure that you find the right one to meet your needs. In addition to a company's qualifications and treatment methods, you might also consider 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 discuss each of these factors in more detail.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
All pesticide applicators (and those that supervise them) must be certified at the state level. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established minimum standards of competency, but all pesticide applicators working in New York must be licensed via the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies can optionally obtain certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro. While not required, they can help you assess the quality of a company's products. For example, the GreenPro Service Certification is given to companies that use comprehensive and effective pest control treatment that is safer for people and the environment.
Pest control companies can also hold membership in professional organizations. Companies can be members of the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), or state-level organizations. Membership in the NPMA gives companies 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
A company's website can tell you how long it has been in business and what type of pests it specializes in exterminating. Online reviews can also offer some insight into a company's experience dealing with a specific pest. If you can't find this information online, you can try calling the company directly.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can view a company's Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, look for reviews on local review sites or social media, or check the standing of its license via the New York licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
It's important to think about cost when hiring someone for pest control. Cost can be affected influenced by the type of pest being treated, your location, the size of your house, and other factors.
Many companies offer free on-site estimates before starting work, to help you decide whether it fits into your budget. You can also ask whether a company offers a satisfaction guarantees, 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 choice of pest control provider might be influenced by how environmentally friendly a provider's practices are, as well as how safe its methods are around your family and pets.
You want to ensure that you understand the precautions around pesticides being used around your home, for the sake of your family, your pets, and yourself. Your pest control technician should be able to supply information about all pesticides they intend to use, whether they are low toxicity or non-toxic, and (if not) what safety measures will be used. All pesticides (except minimum-risk ones) should be registered with the EPA.
You can ask if your technician will begin with more natural and lower-toxicity options before moving on to harsher chemicals.
Many companies are now using Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to eliminate pests while reducing personal and environmental risks. The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and determine whether immediate action is needed.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of biological, cultural, physical, and mechanical controls.
- Use chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always in combination with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and provide additional pest control as needed.