How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When choosing a pest control company, you want to make sure that you find the right one to meet your needs. Important decision-making 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?
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), all pesticide applicators and those that supervise them must be licensed at the state level. The EPA sets minimum standards of competency, and the New York regulatory agencies take care of the granting, maintaining, and revoking of licenses.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies can earn the GreenPro Service Certification, which requires a company to show that its practices are environmentally friendly and that its employee training is up to date. QualityPro and similar trade organizations also offer additional certifications. While not required, these can help demonstrate that a company is reputable.
Pest control companies can also belong to various professional organizations. Companies can be members of the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), or state-level organizations. NPMA membership provides companies with access to resources, education, and a network of other pest control companies. While not required, membership in professional organizations helps back up a company's reputability.
Professional Experience and Specialties
In general, a company will list 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 reach out to the company directly to get the answers to your questions.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can read reviews and recommendations on social media or local review sites, look up a company's Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, or check its licensure status through the New York licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
For many people, cost is one of the most important factors when picking a company for pest control services. Cost can be influenced by factors like your location, the size of your house, and the type of pest being treated.
You can take into consideration whether a company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits your budget), and what kind of guarantees it provides. Often, a company will guarantee that if your pest problem isn't fixed by its treatment, it will continue to treat until it is.
Safety and Treatment Methods
When it comes to picking a pest control provider, you want to select one that will keep you, your family, and your pets safe. You might also prefer an environmentally-conscious provider.
Be sure to ask your pest control technician if they are going to use low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides, and if not, ask what precautionary measures they will take. Any pesticide that has been deemed above minimum risk must be registered with the EPA. Your pest control company should be able to supply information about all pesticides that will be used in your home, and how safe they are around people and pets.
Nowadays, many companies are exploring greener and cleaner pest management that can be implemented before (or instead of) chemical pesticides. Many follow the practice of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which goes as follows:
- Identify problem pests and determine whether immediate action is required.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Use a combination of biological, cultural, physical, and mechanical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Use chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always with other techniques for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and provide additional pest control as needed.
Common Household Pests in New York City
Not all pests are equally prevalent in New York City. Some species that you should keep an eye out for include the following:
- Moths: If you are noticing holes in your clothing or linens, you may have moths in your home. Moths are often found in dark places like closets, and are more common in warmer places.
- Cockroaches: Cockroaches can be found throughout New York, though they prefer wetter areas. This can make them an even bigger problem in New York City. Cockroaches can get into your house through small cracks, and some can spread diseases like salmonella.
- Flies: Flies can be a nuisance in your New York City home year-round, but they are especially common in warmer weather. Flies might be found around sinks or in places where food is kept.
- Mice: If there are mice in your home, you might start noticing droppings or things like chewed wires. You can often find mice in places where food is kept, or in attics.
- Spiders: Spiders usually prefer damp and dark places and are commonly found in basements or attics.
New York City Pest Control FAQ
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Pest infestations happen when pests enter your home looking for something, typically food, water, or shelter. Pests might be looking to eat food or trash left sitting out. Some might also be drawn to standing water outside (from rain collecting in one spot) or inside (from leaky pipes). They might also enter your house looking for shelter and get in through weak spots like foundation cracks or broken screens.
One method for preventing pest infestations is to seal off potential entrances into your home. These include things like cracks in your foundation or siding. Second, avoid leaving food out for pests. This means keeping food in sealed containers and not leaving trash out. Third, reduce standing water in and around your home. Try to reduce places where water collects outside, and repair leaks inside.
When you notice signs of pest activity in your New York City home--which could include nests, droppings, signs of damage, or the pests themselves--you should reach out to your local pest professional. If you've had seasonal or recurrent infestations, we suggest contacting a local pest control company to set up annual pest management services.
Usually, it's a good idea to keep pets away from treated areas during and for some time following application. Some pest control chemicals are non-toxic or have low toxicity, but as a general rule they should not be ingested by pets. Your pest control company will tell you how far to keep pets out of treated areas, and for how long.