How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When hiring a pest control company, you want to find the right one for you. You may consider 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?
All pesticide applicators (and those that supervise them) must be certified at the state level. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets minimum standards of competency, but any pesticide applicators working in New York must be licensed via the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies can obtain optional certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro. While not required, they can help you evaluate the quality of a company's products. For example, the GreenPro Service Certification recognizes comprehensive and effective pest control treatment that is safer for humans and the environment.
A pest control company can also hold membership in various professional organizations. Pest control companies can join state-level organizations as well as 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 other professionals to compare best practices with.
Professional Experience and Specialties
You can look at a company's years in business to help determine how much experience it has handling pests in your area. You can also browse its website or read customer reviews to decide whether it has the right kind of experience handling the species of pests you are looking to get rid of. If this information is not available online, speaking with a company representative is a good way to learn more.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can check a company's reputation using the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and social media or local review sites. You can also check with New York's licensing board to see the status of a company's license.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Pest control costs can vary based on things like your location, the size of your house, the type of pest being treated, and other factors.
When thinking about the cost of services, you should first look into whether a company includes free on-site estimates as part of its process. This can inform you whether the company fits into your budget. Also take into account what guarantees a company offers: If the problem is not resolved, or returns, does the company provide additional treatments until the problem is resolved satisfactorily?
Safety and Treatment Methods
When picking a pest control provider, you want to choose a company that will keep you, your family, and your pets safe. You'll likely also prefer a provider that is environmentally-conscious.
All pesticides (except those that pose only a minimum risk) need to be registered with the EPA. Your pest control provider should be able to provide you with information on every pesticide they are using. They should inform you whether these chemicals are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not, what safety precautions they plan to take.
You can ask if your technician will start with lower-toxicity, more natural options before using harsher chemicals.
Many companies now use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to reduce personal or environmental risk when treating pest infestations. The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and determine whether immediate action is required.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Use a combination of physical, cultural, biological, and mechanical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Employ chemical controls only when required, and always along with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and provide additional pest control as needed.