How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When hiring a pest control company, you want to be sure to find the best one to meet your needs. Important decision-making factors include the company's qualifications, its treatment methods, experience and reviews, and of course the cost of services.
Below, we explore the details of each of these factors.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
While the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets the minimum standards of competency for pesticide application, licensure is handled at the state level. All pesticide applicators (and those who supervise them) in New Jersey should be licensed by all the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
One optional certification that might be worth looking for is the GreenPro Service Certification. 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 also obtain other certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations to further support their work.
Pest control companies can also hold membership in various professional organizations. Companies can be members of the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), or state-level organizations. Membership in the NPMA gives companies access to resources, education, and a network of other pest professionals. While not required, membership in professional organizations helps demonstrate a company's reputability.
Professional Experience and Specialties
You can get some insight into a company's experience level by seeing how long it has been in operation. Local reviews and the company's own website can also inform you whether a certain company has the experience needed to deal with the specific species of pests that are afflicting your home. You can always contact a representative directly to learn this information if it is not available online.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can view a company's Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, look for 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
Things like the size of your house, the type of pest being treated, your location, and other factors can all influence 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 has. Often, a company will provide a guarantee that if it does not eliminate your pest problem, it will keep coming back until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Safety is an important consideration when choosing a pest control provider, and you might prefer a provider who employs more natural, environmentally-friendly methods.
You want to ensure that you understand the precautions for the pesticides being used around your home, for the sake of your family, your pets, and yourself. Your pest control technician should be able to provide information about any pesticides they plan on using, 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 are using options for more environmentally friendly pest control techniques before relying on harsh pesticides.
One popular way of making pest control safer and greener is Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify problem pests and determine whether immediate action is required.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Use a combination of mechanical, physical, biological, and cultural controls to manage the pest problem.
- Use chemical controls only when required, and always in combination with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and continue with additional pest control as needed.