How To Choose a Pest Control Company
The most important step in the pest control process is hiring the right company for you. Things you may consider include qualifications and licensing, treatment methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and cost.
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, as well as those that supervise them, should be licensed via the appropriate New York regulatory agencies. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established minimum standards of competency, but issuing, maintaining, and revoking licensing is handled at the state level.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies can optionally obtain additional certifications such as the GreenPro Service Certification. This certification is given once a company has shown its methods to be more environmentally friendly and demonstrated that it also maintains certain other standards, such as up-to-date training for employees. A pest control company can also earn other certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations to further back up its practices and methods.
Pest control companies can also belong to certain professional organizations. Companies can belong to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), or state-level organizations. NPMA membership gives companies access to education, resources, and a network of other pest control companies. While not mandatory, membership in professional organizations helps demonstrate a company's reputability.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Looking at a company's website can tell you how long it has been in operation and what species of pests it specializes in eliminating. Online reviews can also give you some insight into a company's experience dealing with specific pests. If this information isn't available online, you can try contacting the company directly.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can check a company's reputation using local review sites or social media as well as the Better Business Bureau (BBB). You can also check with New York's licensing board to verify the status of a company's license.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is often a deciding factor when picking a pest control company. Cost may be determined by the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, your location, and other factors.
A pest control company may offer a free on-site estimate to help you figure out if it fits into your budget. You can also look at whether it offers a satisfaction guarantee.
Safety and Treatment Methods
When picking a pest control provider, you want to choose one that will help keep you, your family, and your pets safe. You'll likely also prefer an environmentally-conscious provider.
Your pest control provider should be able to explain the safety precautions of any pesticides that they're going to use. They should be able to clarify whether the pesticides are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not what safety precautions they will put in place to protect you, your family, and your pets. Any pesticides that pose more than a minimum risk must be registered with the EPA.
Pest professionals looking to reduce their use of chemical pesticides often implement procedures such as Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Using IPM involves a series of steps:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and assess whether immediate action is required.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Use a combination of biological, cultural, mechanical, and physical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Employ chemical controls only when required, and always along with other techniques for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and continue with additional pest control as needed.
Common Household Pests in Islip
Not all pests are equally pervasive in Islip. Some species that you should keep an eye out for include the following:
- Mosquitoes: On top of being annoying, a mosquito infestation can lead to itchy bites and possibly even put you and your family at risk of diseases. Mosquitoes thrive in wetter climates (like Islip) and at warmer times of the year.
- Beetles: Around the country and in Islip, there are a diverse array of beetles that could cause problems. Many beetles are harmless, but others can cause damage to your home by eating carpeting, wood, and more.
- Mice: Some common signs of mice include chewed wires and droppings around your house. Mice are commonly found in attics or in places where food is stored.
- Spiders: You may encounter spiders in your basement, attic, or other moist, dark places. Most spiders are harmless and pose no threat to humans, but you still don't want a spider infestation in your home.
Islip Pest Control FAQ
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Pest infestations happen when pests enter your house looking for something, typically food, water, or shelter. Pests might come looking for food or trash left sitting out. Some may also be drawn by standing water collecting outside (from rain collecting in one spot) or inside (from leaky pipes). Pests might also come into your home looking for shelter. They can get in through weak spots such as foundation cracks or broken screens.
There are several things you can do to help prevent pest infestations. First, avoid leaving food out. Keep your food stored in sealed containers, and avoid leaving trash sitting around.
Second, avoid having standing water in or around your house. Fix leaks indoors and eliminate standing water sites outside. Finally, seal off possible pest entrances into your house, including foundation and siding cracks.
Normally it's recommended that you hire a pest control technician about once a year. If there is an active infestation, you will need to hire a pest control professional more often. Ultimately, your pest professional will be the person who is best-equipped to recommend a treatment schedule for you.
Generally, pesticide application lasts around 30 to 90 days. The exact duration depends on which pests are being targeted, how many of them there are, what chemicals are used, and whether the chemicals are applied inside or outside. Chemicals applied outdoors may not last as long as those applied indoors due to precipitation.