How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When picking a pest control company, you want to find the right one for you. You may take into consideration a company's qualifications, methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and price of services.
Below, we dive into detail on each factor.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
While the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets the minimum standards of competency for pesticide application, licensure is handled at the state level. All pesticide applicators (and their supervisors) in New York should be licensed by all the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
There are additional optional certifications that can help prove that a pest control company is reputable. One example is the GreenPro Service Certification. To earn this certification, a company must prove that its methods are more environmentally friendly and that its employee training is up to date. Additional certifications can be obtained through trade organizations like QualityPro.
Pest control companies can also hold membership in professional organizations. Being a member of organizations such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations is not required, but helps confirm that a company follows industry best practices. The NPMA gives companies access to education, resources, and a network of professionals with whom to discuss methods and practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
The amount of time that a company has been in business can shed some light on its experience dealing with various pests. Online reviews or the company's website itself can also enlighten you about whether it has the experience necessary to handle your specific pest problem. If the answers to your questions aren't available online, contacting the company directly is a great way to learn about its areas of expertise.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can view a company's Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, browse 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 important when hiring someone for pest control. Cost can be affected influenced by your location, the size of your house, the type of pest being treated, and other factors.
Often, companies will offer free on-site estimates at the beginning of their process, to help you determine 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
Keeping yourself, your family and your pets safe is an important consideration when choosing a pest control provider. You might also prefer a provider that uses environmentally friendly methods.
Ask your pest control provider if the chemicals they're using are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not, what sort of precautionary measures they will have in place. Any pesticides that are not minimum-risk chemicals need to be registered with the EPA. Your pest technician should be able to provide you with information about all chemicals that they are going to use.
Many companies are now exploring greener and cleaner pest solutions that can be used before (or in place of) chemical pesticides. Many are following the practice of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which goes as follows:
- Identify problem pests and determine if immediate action is required.
- 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 in combination with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and provide additional pest control as needed.