How To Choose a Pest Control Company
Hiring the best company for you is the most important step in the pest control process. In addition to a company's qualifications and treatment methods, you might also look into how long it has been in business and what the reviews look like. Last but not least, you'll likely want to look at the cost of services.
Below, we dive into detail on each of these factors.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
All pesticide applicators (and those who supervise them) must be certified at the state level. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established minimum standards of competency, but any pesticide applicators working in the state of New Mexico should be licensed via the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
One certification that pest control companies can earn is the GreenPro Service Certification, which requires that a company show that its practices are more environmentally friendly and that its employee training is up to date. Trade organizations such as QualityPro offer other certifications. While not required, these can help demonstrate that a pest control company is reputable.
A pest control company can also belong to certain professional organizations. Joining an organization like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or a state-level organization grants a pest control company access to resources and education, and a professional network to compare best practices with. Joining organizations like these is not mandatory, but it can help show that a company follows industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
For the most part, a company provides information like its years of experience and specialities on its website. Local reviews can also tell you whether a company has experience dealing with a specific pest. If you're unable to find the information you need online, you can speak with a company representative directly to get your questions answered.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look up a company's reviews and rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), read local review sites and social media to learn what others in your area have to say, or verify its license standing through the New Mexico 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 affect the price of pest control.
You can learn whether a company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget), as well as what kind of guarantees it provides. Often, a company will provide a guarantee that if it does not solve your pest problem, it will keep coming back until it does.
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 technician should be using low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides when possible. If any pesticides used 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 should be registered with the EPA.
Companies often start with more environmentally friendly options before using harsh pesticides, following a framework called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). When using IPM, the following steps are taken:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and determine whether immediate action is needed.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of biological, cultural, mechanical, and physical controls.
- Employ chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always in combination with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and provide additional pest control as needed.