How To Choose a Pest Control Company
Hiring the right company for you is the most important step in the pest control process. You might consider a company's qualifications, methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and price of services.
Below, we explore the details of each factor.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
All pesticide applicators (and those who supervise them) need to be certified at the state level. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets minimum standards of competency, but all 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. These are not required, but can help you assess the quality of a company's products. For example, the GreenPro Service Certification recognizes comprehensive and effective pest control methods that are safer for people and the environment.
Pest control companies can also obtain membership in professional organizations. Membership in organizations like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations is not mandatory, but helps show that a company is reputable. When a pest control company joins the NPMA, it gains access to education, resources, and a network of professionals with whom to discuss methods and practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
You can gain some insight into a company's experience level by looking at how many years it has been in business. Local reviews and the company's own website can also clue you in as to whether a certain company has experience dealing with the specific species of pests that are afflicting your home. You can always contact the company directly to learn this information if it is not available online.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can view a company's reviews and rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), check out social media and local review sites to find out what others in your area have to say, or verify its license standing via the New York licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
The cost of pest control can vary based on things like the size of your house, your location, the type of pest being treated, and other factors.
When considering the cost of services, you should verify whether a company provides free on-site estimates as part of its services. This can inform you whether the company fits into your budget. Also look into a company's guarantees: If the problem is not fixed, or if it returns, does the company provide additional treatment until the problem is satisfactorily resolved?
Safety and Treatment Methods
It's important to consider safety when selecting a pest control provider. You might also prefer a provider who employs more natural, environmentally friendly methods.
Be sure to ask your pest control technician if they plan to use low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides, and if not, what precautionary measures they plan to take. Any pesticides that are not minimum-risk chemicals must be registered with the EPA. Your pest technician will be able to provide you with information about all of the pesticides they plan to use.
Many companies are now exploring greener and cleaner pest management that can be implemented before (or instead of) chemical pesticides. Many follow the practice of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which goes as follows:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and determine whether immediate action is required.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of physical, biological, mechanical, and cultural controls.
- Employ chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always along with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and provide additional pest control as needed.