How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When choosing a pest control company, there are several factors that you can consider to make sure that you're choosing the right one for you. Factors you might consider include licensing and qualifications, treatment methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and cost.
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 who supervise them) are required to 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 should be licensed via the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies have the option to obtain certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations. While not required, they can help you assess the quality of a company's products. For example, the GreenPro Service Certification indicates comprehensive and effective pest control treatment that is safer for humans and the environment.
Pest control companies can also become members of professional organizations. While not mandatory, membership in organizations such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations help to prove a company's reputability. After joining an organization like the NPMA, a company receives access to resources, education, and a network of professionals with whom to compare best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Typically, a company provides information like its specialities and years of experience on its website. Online reviews can also inform you as to whether a company has experience dealing with a specific pest. If you can't get the information you need online, you can speak with a company representative directly to get your questions answered.
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 other people are saying, or verify its license standing via the New York licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Things like the type of pest being treated, your location, the size of your house, and other factors can all influence the price of pest control.
You can learn whether a company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget), as well as what kind of guarantees it has. Often, a company will provide a guarantee that if it does not resolve your pest problem, it will continue treatment until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
It's important to consider safety when selecting a pest control provider, and you might prefer a provider who employs more natural, environmentally friendly methods.
Be sure to ask your pest control technician if they will be using low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides—if not, ask about what precautionary measures will be in place. Any pesticide that has been deemed above minimum risk should be registered with the EPA. Your pest technician should provide information about all of the pesticides that will be used in your home, and how safe they are around people and pets.
Many companies are now exploring greener and cleaner pest management that can be implemented before (or instead of) chemical pesticides. Many are following the practice of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which goes as follows:
- Identify problem pests and assess whether immediate action is needed.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of biological, cultural, mechanical, and physical controls.
- Employ chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always along with other solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and continue with additional pest control as needed.