How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When picking a pest control company, you want to be sure to find the best one to meet your needs. The qualifications of and treatment methods used by a company are important to consider, as well as its years of experience and what other customers have said. Of course, you also want to think about cost.
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 licensed at the state level. The EPA maintains minimum competency standards, and the New York regulatory agencies handle the issuing, maintaining, and revoking of licenses.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies can also obtain optional certifications like the GreenPro Service Certification. This certification is granted once a company has shown its methods to be more environmentally friendly and demonstrated that it also holds itself up to certain other standards, such as up-to-date training for employees. A pest control company can also earn other certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations to further support its practices and methods.
A pest control company can also belong to various professional organizations. A pest control company can join both state-level organizations and national organizations such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). By being a member of these optional organizations, a company helps support its reputability and gains access to resources, education, and a network of professionals with whom to compare best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
A company's website can tell you how long it has been in business and what type of pests it specializes in eliminating. Local reviews can also offer some insight into a company's experience dealing with specific pests. If this information isn't available online, you can try reaching out to the company directly.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can read reviews and recommendations on local review sites or social media, look up a company's rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), or check the status of its license through the New York licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
It's important to think about cost when hiring a pest control company. Cost can be affected influenced by the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, your location, 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
Your preferences regarding safety for yourself, any children or pets, and the environment can influence which provider and treatment methods you choose.
It's important to understand the precautions for the pesticides being used in your home, for the sake of you, your family, and your pets. Your pest control provider should provide information about the pesticides they intend to use, whether they are low toxicity or non-toxic, and (if not) what safety measures they have in place. All pesticides (except minimum-risk ones) must be registered with the EPA.
It is now common for companies to start with more environmentally friendly options before using pesticides, using a framework called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). When using IPM, the following steps are taken:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and assess whether immediate action is required.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Use a combination of mechanical, cultural, biological, and physical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Employ chemical controls only when required, and always along with other solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and provide additional pest control as needed.