How To Choose a Pest Control Company
It's important to choose the right pest control company for you. A company's qualifications and treatment methods are important to consider, as well as its years of experience and customer reviews. Of course, you will also want to consider 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 need to be certified at the state level. The EPA does set minimum standards of competency, but all New York pesticide applicators should be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
An optional certification that could be worth looking for is the GreenPro Service Certification. In order to obtain this certification, a pest control company must both show that its practices are more environmentally friendly and maintain 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 in which pest control companies can hold membership. Companies can obtain membership in the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), or state-level organizations. NPMA membership 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
You can gain some insight into a company's level of experience by finding out how many years it has been in business. The company's website and local reviews can also inform you whether a certain company has experience dealing with the specific species of pests invading your home. You can always contact a representative directly to learn this information if it is not available online.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can view a company's reviews and rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), explore local review sites and social media to see what homeowners near you think, or verify its license standing through the New York licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is important when choosing a pest control company. Cost may be determined by the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, your location, and other factors.
Certain pest control companies offer a free on-site estimate to help you determine if it fits into your budget. You can also check to see if it offers a satisfaction guarantee.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your preferences regarding safety for yourself, your children, your pets, and the environment can affect which provider and treatment methods you choose.
All pesticides used by your company (except those that are determined to be of minimal risk) must be registered with the EPA. Your pest control technician should be able to provide you with information on each pesticide they are using. They should inform you whether these chemicals are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not, what safety precautions will be in place.
Many companies have started offering options for more environmentally friendly methods of pest control before relying on 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 the source of the pest problem and determine whether immediate action is required.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Use a combination of physical, cultural, biological, and mechanical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Use chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always in combination with other solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and implement additional pest control as needed.