How To Choose a Pest Control Company
It's important to choose the best pest control company for you. Important 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?
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), all pesticide applicators and their supervisors are required to be certified at the state level. The EPA sets minimum standards of competency, but all pesticide applicators in New Jersey should 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 like the GreenPro Service Certification. This certification is awarded once a company has shown its methods to be more environmentally friendly and demonstrated that it also holds itself up to certain other standards, such as up-to-date employee training. A pest control company can also earn other certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations to further back up its methods and practices.
Pest control companies can also join certain professional organizations. When a company becomes a member of an organization like the National Pest Management Association(NPMA) (or a state-level organization), it gains access to resources, education, and a network of other pest experts with whom to compare treatment methods. This can offer additional peace of mind that a company follows industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
How long a company has been in business can shed some light on its experience dealing with various pests. Online reviews or the company's own website can also inform you whether it has the skills and experience needed to deal with your particular pests. If the answers to your questions aren't available online, speaking with a representative is an excellent way to learn about the company's areas of expertise.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can view a company's Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, browse reviews on social media or local review sites, or check the standing of its license via the New Jersey licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
The cost of pest control can vary based on things like your location, the size of your house, the type of pest being treated, and other factors.
When considering the cost of services, you should first look into whether a company provides free on-site estimates as part of its services. This can inform you whether the company fits into your budget. Also look into what guarantees a company offers: If the problem is not fixed, or returns, will the company provide additional treatments until the issue is satisfactorily resolved?
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your choice of pest control company might be influenced by how environmentally-friendly a provider's practices are, as well as how safe its methods are around your family and pets.
You can ask your pest control technician if they plan on using low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides--if not, ask what precautionary measures they plan to use. Any pesticide that presents above a minimum risk must be registered with the EPA. Your pest control company should supply information about all of the pesticides that will be used in your home, as well as how safe they are around people and pets.
Nowadays, many companies are exploring cleaner and greener pest management that can be implemented before (or in place of) chemical pesticides. Many follow the practice of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which goes as follows:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and assess whether immediate action is needed.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of physical, biological, mechanical, and cultural controls.
- Employ chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always along with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and continue with additional pest control as needed.