How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When choosing a pest control company, there are several factors you can consider to be sure that you're choosing the right one for you. Along with a company's qualifications and treatment methods, you may also look into how long it has been in business and what the reviews are like. Finally, you'll likely want to look at 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?
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 the state of New York must be licensed via the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies can earn the GreenPro Service Certification, which requires a company to show that its practices are environmentally friendly and that its employees receive up-to-date training. QualityPro and similar trade organizations also offer additional certifications. While not required, these can help show that a company is reputable.
Pest control companies can also become members of professional organizations. Pest control companies can join state-level organizations as well as national organizations such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). By being a member of these optional organizations, a company helps support its reputability and gains access to resources, education, and a network of other professionals to compare best practices with.
Professional Experience and Specialties
In general, a company will list information like specialities and years of experience on its website. Online reviews can also help you figure out if a company has experience dealing with a particular pest in your area. If you're unable to locate the information you need online, you can reach out to the company directly to get your questions answered.
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 the status of its license through the New York licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
It's important to think about cost when hiring someone for pest control. Cost can be affected influenced by the type of pest being treated, your location, the size of your house, and other factors.
Many companies offer free on-site estimates at the beginning of their process, to help you determine whether it fits into your budget. You can also ask whether if your company has a satisfaction guarantee, meaning that it will continue to treat your pest problem until it is solved.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your choice of pest control provider might be affected by how environmentally friendly a company's practices are, in addition to how safe its methods are around your family and pets.
Your pest control provider should use low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides whenever possible. If any pesticides they intend to use don't fall into one of these categories, your technician should explain what safety precautions they will put in place to protect you, your family, and your pets. All pesticides that pose more than a minimum risk are required to be registered with the EPA.
You can ask if your technician will start with more natural and lower-toxicity options before using harsher chemicals.
Many companies have started to use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to treat pest infestations with minimal personal or environmental risk. The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and determine whether immediate action is needed.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Use a combination of physical, biological, mechanical, and cultural controls to manage the pest problem.
- Use chemical controls only when required, and always along with other solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and implement additional pest control as needed.