How To Choose a Pest Control Company
There are a number of factors that you can take into consideration when choosing the best pest control company for you. Along with a company's qualifications and treatment methods, you may also consider 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 discuss each of these factors in more detail.
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 need to be licensed at the state level. The EPA has established minimum competency standards, 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?
There are additional optional certifications that can help show that a pest control company is reputable. One example is the GreenPro Service Certification. To earn this certification, a company must show that its methods are more environmentally friendly and that its employee training is up to date. Other various certifications can be obtained through QualityPro and similar trade organizations.
Pest control companies can also be members of various professional organizations. Being a member of organizations such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations is not required, but helps show that a company is reputable. Membership in the NPMA gives companies access to education, resources, and a network of pest professionals with whom to discuss methods and practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Looking at how long a company has been in business can help determine how much experience it has dealing with pests in your area. You can also look at its website or look through customer reviews to determine whether it has adequate experience with the type of pests you are looking to get rid of. If this information can't be found online, speaking with a company representative is a great way to learn more.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can view a company's Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, browse reviews on local review sites or social media, or check the standing of its license via the New York licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is an important consideration when picking a pest control company. Cost may be determined by your location, the size of your house, the type of pest being treated, and other factors.
Certain pest control companies offer a free on-site estimate to help you figure out if it fits into your budget. You can also see if it offers a guarantee of satisfaction.
Safety and Treatment Methods
When it comes to choosing a pest control provider, you want to select one that will help keep you, your family, and your pets safe. You may also prefer an environmentally-conscious provider.
Your pest control provider should use pesticides that are low toxicity or non-toxic when possible. If any pesticides they intend to use 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 are required to be registered with the EPA.
Companies often begin with more environmentally friendly options before using pesticides, following a technique called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). When using IPM, the following steps are taken:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and assess 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 required, and always in combination with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and implement additional pest control as needed.