How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When choosing a pest control company, there are several factors you can consider to be sure you choose the right one for you. You might consider a company's qualifications and treatment methods in addition to its customer reviews and years of experience. And of course, there's the cost of services to consider.
Below, we dive into detail on each of these factors.
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) has established minimum standards of competency, but any pesticide applicators working in the state of New York must be licensed via the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
A pest control company can obtain optional certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations to back up its standards and methods. One particular certification is the GreenPro Service Certification, which is awarded to any company that can demonstrate that its methods are more environmentally friendly. Companies that receive this certification also need to maintain certain employee training standards.
There are several professional organizations that a pest control company can be a member of. When a company obtains membership in an organization like the National Pest Management Association(NPMA) (or a state-level organization), it gains access to education, resources, and a network of other pest professionals with whom to compare treatment methods. This can give you extra peace of mind that a company follows industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
A company's website can tell you how many years it has been in business and what type of pests it specializes in exterminating. Local reviews can also give you some insight into a company's experience dealing with a specific pest. If this information isn't available online, you can try reaching out to the company directly.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look at a company's reviews and rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), check out social media and local review sites to learn what homeowners near you think, or verify its license standing via 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 affect the cost of pest control.
You can look into whether a company provides free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget) and what kind of guarantees it offers. Often, a company will guarantee that if it does not take care of your pest problem, it will keep coming back until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
It's important to consider safety when selecting a pest control provider, and you might prefer a provider who employs more natural, environmentally friendly methods.
You can ask your pest control technician if they plan to use low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides, and if not, ask about what precautionary measures will be in place. Any pesticide that presents above a minimum risk needs to be registered with the EPA. Your pest technician should supply information about all pesticides to be used, and how safe they are around people and pets.
Many companies have begun using more natural treatment methods before (or instead of) harsh chemical pesticides. Some employ a program called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and determine whether immediate action is needed.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Use a combination of mechanical, physical, biological, and cultural controls to manage the pest problem.
- Employ chemical controls only if needed, and always in combination with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and continue with additional pest control as needed.