How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When hiring a pest control company, you want to be sure to find the best one for you. Things you may consider include licensing and qualifications, treatment methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and cost.
Below, we dive into detail on each of these factors.
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 applicators, licensure is handled at the state level. All pesticide applicators (and those who supervise them) in New York must be licensed by all the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies can optionally obtain additional certifications like the GreenPro Service Certification. This certification is given once a company has shown its methods to be more environmentally friendly and demonstrated that it also maintains certain other standards, such as up-to-date training for employees. A pest control company can also earn other certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro to further verify its practices and methods.
Pest control companies can also hold membership in various professional organizations. While not required, membership in organizations like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations help to prove a company's reputability. Organizations like the NPMA provide access to resources, education, and a network of professionals with whom to discuss best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
A company's website can tell you how many years it has been in operation and what species of pests it specializes in eliminating. Local reviews can also provide some insight into a company's experience dealing with a specific pest. If you can't find this information online, you can try calling the company directly.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look at a company's reviews and rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), read local review sites and social media to hear what other people are saying, or verify its license standing through the New York licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is an important consideration when choosing a pest control company. Cost may be determined by your location, the size of your house, the type of pest being treated, and other factors.
A pest control company may offer a free on-site estimate to help you decide if it fits into your budget. You can also look at whether it offers a guarantee of satisfaction.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your choice of pest control company might be influenced by how environmentally friendly a company's practices are, in addition to how safe its methods are around your family and pets.
You will want to understand the precautions for the pesticides used around your house, for the sake of you, your family, and your pets. Your pest control provider should be capable of providing information about any pesticides they will be using, whether they are low toxicity or non-toxic, and (if not) what safety measures will be used. All pesticides (except minimum-risk ones) need to be registered with the EPA.
Many companies have begun using more natural treatment methods before (or in place of) harsh chemical pesticides. Some utilize a program called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify problem pests and determine whether immediate action is required.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Use a combination of mechanical, physical, biological, and cultural controls to manage the pest problem.
- Employ chemical controls only when required, and always in combination with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and continue with additional pest control as needed.