How To Choose a Pest Control Company
The first step is selecting the right pest control professional for the job. In addition to a company's qualifications and treatment methods, you may also consider how long it has been in business and what the reviews are like. Last but not least, you'll likely want to consider the cost of services.
Below, we discuss each of these factors in more detail.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
While the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established minimum standards of competency for pesticide applicators, licensing is taken care of at the state level. All pesticide applicators (and those who supervise them) in New York should be licensed by all the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
One optional certification that could be worth looking for is the GreenPro Service Certification. In order to receive this certification, a pest control company must both demonstrate that its practices are more environmentally friendly and uphold certain technician training standards. Companies can obtain other certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro to further back up their work.
A pest control company can also hold membership in various professional organizations. Pest control companies can join state-level organizations in addition to national organizations like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). While not mandatory, membership in these organizations helps prove a company's reputability and gives it access to education, resources, and a network of professionals with whom to compare best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
A company's website can tell you how many years it has been in operation and what type of pests it specializes in exterminating. Local reviews can also provide some insight into a company's experience dealing with specific pests. If you're unable to find this information online, you can try contacting the company directly.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look at a company's rating and reviews on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), explore local review sites and social media to see what other people are saying, or verify its license standing through the New York licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Things like the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, your location, and other factors can all influence the cost of pest control.
You can find out whether a company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget), as well as what kind of guarantees it offers. Often, a company will provide a guarantee that if it does not solve your pest problem, it will continue treatment until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
It's important to consider safety when choosing a pest control provider. You might also prefer a provider who uses more natural, environmentally friendly methods.
Your pest technician should be using pesticides that are low toxicity or non-toxic any time they can. If any pesticides used don't fall into one of these categories, your technician should explain what safety precautions they will put in place to protect your family, your pets, and you. Pesticides that pose more than a minimum risk need to be registered with the EPA.
It is now common for companies to start with more environmentally friendly options before using harsh pesticides, following a technique called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). When using IPM, the following steps are taken:
- Identify problem pests and assess whether immediate action is required.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Use a combination of mechanical, cultural, biological, and physical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Use chemical controls only if needed, and always with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and provide additional pest control as needed.