How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When choosing a pest control company, there are several things you can consider to be sure you choose the best one for you. You might take into consideration a company's qualifications and treatment methods, as well as its customer reviews and years of experience. And of course, there's the cost of services to consider.
Below, we explore the details of each of these factors.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets minimum standards of competency for pesticide applicators, but licensing is handled at the state level. All pesticide applicators and supervisors in New Jersey need to be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies also have the option to obtain additional certifications such as the GreenPro Service Certification. This certification is given once a company has proven its methods to be more environmentally friendly and demonstrated that it also maintains certain other standards, such as up-to-date employee training. A company can also earn other certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations to further back up its methods and practices.
There are certain professional organizations that a pest control company can be a member of. When a company becomes a member of an organization such as the National Pest Management Association(NPMA) (or a state-level organization), it gets access to education, resources, and a network of other pest professionals with whom to compare methods. This can offer additional 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 kind of pests it specializes in eliminating. Local reviews can also provide some insight into a company's experience dealing with a certain type of pest. If this information isn't available online, you can try contacting the company directly.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can check a company's Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, browse reviews on local review sites or social media, or check the standing of its license via the New Jersey licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is probably high on your list of priorities 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.
Companies will often offer free on-site estimates as part of their process, to help you decide whether it fits into your budget. You can also ask whether a provider offers 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 company might be affected by how environmentally-friendly a company's practices are, as well as how safe its methods are around your family and pets.
You want to ensure that you understand the precautions around pesticides being used in your house, for the sake of your family, your pets, and yourself. Your pest control technician should be capable of providing information about any pesticides they intend to use, whether they are low toxicity or non-toxic, and (if not) what safety measures will be in place. 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 the source of the pest problem and determine if immediate action is needed.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of physical, cultural, biological, and mechanical controls.
- Employ chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always in combination with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and implement additional pest control as needed.