How To Choose a Pest Control Company
The first step is picking the right pest control company for the job. In addition to a company's qualifications and treatment methods, you may also consider how long it has been in business and what the reviews look like. Finally, you'll likely want to consider 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?
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), all pesticide applicators and their supervisors must 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?
Pest control companies can earn the GreenPro Service Certification, which requires a company to show that its practices are more environmentally friendly and that its employee training is up to date. QualityPro and similar trade organizations also offer other certifications. These are not required, but can help demonstrate that a company is reputable.
There are several professional organizations that pest control companies can be members of. Pest control companies can obtain membership in state-level organizations as well as national organizations like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). While not mandatory, membership in these organizations helps prove a company's reputability and gives it access to education, resources, and a network of other professionals to compare best practices with.
Professional Experience and Specialties
A company's years in business can indicate how much experience it has taking care of various pests. You can also browse its website or look through customer reviews to determine whether it has adequate experience with the species of pests you are looking to get rid of. If this information can't be found online, getting in touch with a company representative is a good way to learn more.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look up a company's rating and reviews on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), explore social media and local review sites to learn what other people are saying, or verify its license standing via the New York licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is probably high on your list of priorities when hiring someone for pest control. Cost can be affected influenced by the size of your house, the type of pest being treated, your location, and other factors.
Many companies offer free on-site estimates as part of their process, to help you decide whether it fits into your budget. You can also ask whether a company offers a satisfaction guarantees, meaning that it will continue to treat your pest problem until it is solved.
Safety and Treatment Methods
It's important to consider safety when choosing a pest control provider, and you might prefer a provider who uses more natural, environmentally friendly methods.
Your pest control technician should be able to explain the safety precautions of any and all pesticides that will be used in your home. They should be able to explain whether the pesticides are low toxicity or non-toxic; if they are not, they should explain what safety precautions will be in place to protect your family, your pets, and you. Any pesticides that pose greater than a minimum risk are required to be registered with the EPA.
You can ask if your technician will begin with more natural and lower-toxicity options before using harsher chemicals.
Many companies have started to use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to eliminate pests while reducing personal and environmental risks. The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and assess whether 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 if needed, and always along with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and implement additional pest control as needed.