How To Choose a Pest Control Company
Hiring the right company for you is the most important step in the pest control process. You might consider a company's qualifications and treatment methods, as well as its years of experience and customer reviews. And of course, there's the cost of services to consider.
Below, we discuss each of these factors in more detail.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
According to 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 has established minimum standards of competency, and the New Jersey regulatory agencies handle the issuing, maintaining, and revoking of licenses.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
There are additional optional certifications that can help prove that a pest control company is reputable. One of these is the GreenPro Service Certification. To earn this certification, a company must show that its methods are more environmentally friendly and that its employee training is up to date. Other various certifications can be obtained through QualityPro and similar trade organizations.
Pest control companies can also belong to various professional organizations. A pest control company can join state-level organizations as well as national organizations such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). While not mandatory, membership in these organizations helps prove a company's reputability and gives it access to resources, education, and a network of professionals with whom to compare best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
You can gain some insight into a company's level of experience by looking at how many years it has been in operation. Local reviews and the company's own website can also tell you whether a company has the experience needed to deal with the specific species of pests invading your home. You can always contact the company directly to learn this information if it is not available online.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can read reviews and recommendations on social media or local review sites, view a company's rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), or check its licensure status through the New Jersey licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is important when choosing a pest control company. Cost may be determined by the size of your house, the type of pest being treated, your location, and other factors.
A pest control company may offer a free on-site estimate to help you match services to your budget. You can also check to see if it offers a satisfaction guarantee.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Keeping yourself, your family and your pets safe is an important consideration when selecting a pest control provider. You might also prefer one that employs environmentally-friendly practices.
Make sure to ask your pest control technician if the chemicals they're using are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not, what kind of precautionary measures they plan to take. All pesticides that are not considered minimum-risk chemicals must be registered with the EPA. Your pest control provider should be able to provide information about all pesticides that they plan to use.
Organizations looking to reduce their use of chemical pesticides often follow practices such as Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Using IPM involves a series of steps:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and determine whether immediate action is required.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of physical, cultural, biological, and mechanical controls.
- Employ chemical controls only if needed, and always with other solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and implement additional pest control as needed.