How To Choose a Pest Control Company
The most important step is choosing the best pest control company for the job. Important factors can 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?
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set minimum standards of competency for pesticide applicators, but licensure is handled at the state level. All pesticide applicators and their supervisors in New York need to be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
A pest control company can optionally apply for certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations to back up its methods and standards. One particular certification is the GreenPro Service Certification, which is granted when a company can demonstrate that its methods are more environmentally friendly. A company that receives this certification also needs to maintain certain employee training standards.
Pest control companies can also be members of various professional organizations. Pest control companies can obtain membership in state-level organizations in addition to national organizations such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). By being a member of these optional organizations, a company helps support its reputability and gains 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 experience level by looking at how long it has been in operation. Local reviews and the company's own website can also clue you in as to whether a company has experience dealing with the specific species of pests that are afflicting your home. You can call the company directly to learn this information if it is not available online.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can verify a company's legitimacy 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
The cost of pest control can vary based on things like the size of your house, the type of pest being treated, your location, and other factors.
When considering the cost of services, you should verify whether a company offers free on-site estimates as part of its services. This can inform you whether the company fits into your budget. Also take into account a company's guarantees: 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 provider 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.
Your pest control technician should be able to explain the safety precautions of all pesticides that they're going to use. They should be able to explain whether the pesticides are low toxicity or non-toxic; if they are not, they should explain what safety precautions will be in place to protect your family, your pets, and you. Pesticides that pose more than a minimum risk should be registered with the EPA.
You can ask if your technician will begin with more natural and lower-toxicity options before employing harsher chemicals.
Many companies now use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to treat pest infestations with minimal personal or environmental risk. The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and determine if immediate action is required.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of mechanical, physical, biological, and cultural controls.
- Use chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and implement additional pest control as needed.
Common Household Pests in Manhattan
You might run into some pests more frequently in Manhattan. Certain ones to keep an eye out for include these:
- Mosquitoes: You're at greater risk of a mosquito infestation if your home is in a wetter area (like Manhattan). They're also more common when the weather is warmer. Mosquitoes are more than just a nuisance--they can cause itchy bites and even carry diseases.
- Ticks: Tick infestations can be dangerous because they can bring diseases like Lyme into your home. You are likely at increased risk of a tick infestation if your home is near a body of water, a forest, or an area of dense vegetation.
- Bees: Your local pest control professional can help get rid of bees around your house (some even are able to safely relocate hives). You may be particularly concerned with having bees' nests removed if someone in your household has an allergy.
- Mice: Common signs of mice include chewed wires and droppings around your house. Mice are often found in attics or in areas where food is kept.
- Bed bugs: Bed bugs may be found throughout New York and can lead to serious problems if left untreated. Because infestations of bed bugs are difficult to get rid of, we recommend having professional extermination as soon as you discover the problem. Bed bugs can infest wallpaper, furniture, bedsheets, and more.
- Spiders: You may find spiders in your attic or other dark, damp places. Even though most species of spider are harmless to humans, you don't want a spider infestation in your house.
Manhattan Pest Control FAQ
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Pest infestations happen when pests come into your home looking for something, normally food, water, or shelter. Pests may come looking for food or trash left sitting out. Some could also be drawn by standing water collecting outside (from rain collecting in one spot) or inside (from leaky pipes). Pests may also enter your house simply looking for shelter. They can get in through weak spots like foundation cracks or broken screens.
There are several steps you can take to help prevent pest infestations. First, don't leave food out. Make sure food is stored in sealed containers, and don't leave trash sitting around.
Next, avoid having standing water in or around your home. Fix leaks inside and eliminate places where standing water collects outdoors. Finally, seal off potential pest entrances into your home, including foundation and siding cracks.
Generally, it's recommended that you have your house treated for pests around once a year, more often if you have an active infestation. Your pest professional will ultimately be the one best equipped to recommend a treatment schedule for you.
We recommend asking your pest control technician this question while they are in your home, as the answer will vary depending on what treatments are done. After application of pesticides, you may notice a lingering smell that should dissipate over time.
In many cases, vacuuming, dusting, and wiping down certain surfaces are all appropriate after pest control. However, make sure to not wipe away chemical barriers, and avoid touching any traps unless explicitly told to do so. After the pests are taken care of, continue keeping your home clean. Don't let trash pile up, take care of spills and leaks promptly, and so on. This will help discourage pests from returning.