How To Choose a Pest Control Company
It's important to choose the best pest control company for you. Some things you may consider include qualifications and licensing, treatment methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and cost.
Below, we explore the details of each of these factors.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
Per the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), all pesticide applicators and those that supervise them need to be licensed at the state level. The EPA sets minimum competency standards, and the New York regulatory agencies handle the granting, maintaining, and revoking of licenses.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
One certification that pest control companies can earn is the GreenPro Service Certification, which requires that a company show that its practices are more environmentally friendly and that its employee training is up to date. Trade organizations such as QualityPro offer additional certifications. While not required, these can help show that a pest control company is reputable.
A pest control company can also hold membership in professional organizations. Companies can be members of the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), or state-level organizations. NPMA membership provides companies with access to education, resources, and a network of other pest professionals. While not required, membership in professional organizations helps back up a company's reputability.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Looking at a company's website can tell you how many years it has been in operation and what kind 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, view a company's Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, or check its licensure status through the New York licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
For many people, cost is one of the main deciding factors when picking a company for pest control. Cost can be determined by factors like the type of pest being treated, your location, and the size of your house.
You can think about whether a specific company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits your budget), and what sort of guarantees are provided. Often, a company will guarantee that if your pest problem isn't fixed by its treatment, it will continue to treat until it is.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Safety is an important consideration when choosing a pest control provider. You might also prefer a provider who employs more natural, environmentally friendly methods.
You want to ensure that you understand the precautions for the pesticides used around your home, for the sake of your family, your pets, and yourself. Your pest control provider should be able to provide information about the pesticides they plan on using, whether they are low toxicity or non-toxic, and (if not) what safety measures they plan to take. All pesticides (except minimum-risk ones) must be registered with the EPA.
Many companies are now exploring greener and cleaner pest solutions that can be used before (or instead of) chemical pesticides. Many are following the practice of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which goes as follows:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and determine whether immediate action is needed.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of biological, cultural, physical, and mechanical controls.
- Use chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always along with other techniques for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and continue with additional pest control as needed.