How To Choose a Pest Control Company
Choosing the best pest control company for you is key. Important decision-making factors include the company's qualifications, its treatment methods, experience and reviews, and of course 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 those that supervise them must be licensed at the state level. The EPA has established minimum competency standards, and the New York regulatory agencies handle the granting, maintaining, and revoking of licenses.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
One optional certification that might be worth looking for is the GreenPro Service Certification. In order to earn this certification, a pest control company must both demonstrate that its practices are more environmentally friendly and uphold certain technician training standards. Companies can earn other certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro to further back up their work.
There are certain professional organizations in which pest control companies can hold membership. Becoming a member of an organization such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or a state-level organization gives companies access to resources and education, plus a professional network to compare best practices with. Joining organizations like these is not mandatory, but it can help show that a company follows industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
The number of years that a company has been in business can give you some insight into its experience dealing with pests in your area. Customer reviews or the company's own website can also inform you whether it has the skills and experience necessary to eliminate the particular pests that are plaguing you. If the answers to your questions aren't available online, reaching out to the company directly is a great way to learn more.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can view a company's rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), explore reviews on social media or local review sites, or check the standing of its license via the New York licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is often a deciding factor when choosing a pest control company. Cost may be determined by the size of your house, your location, the type of pest being treated, and other factors.
A pest control company may offer a free on-site estimate to help you match services to your budget. You can also look at whether it offers a satisfaction guarantee.
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.
Be sure to ask your pest control provider if the chemicals they're using are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not, what kind of precautionary measures they plan to take. All pesticides that are not considered minimum-risk chemicals need to 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 using options for more environmentally friendly methods of pest control before jumping into using harsh pesticides.
One popular 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 assess whether immediate action is needed.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Use a combination of biological, cultural, physical, and mechanical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Employ chemical controls only when required, and always with other solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and implement additional pest control as needed.