How To Choose a Pest Control Company
The first step is selecting the best pest control professional for the job. You may consider a company's qualifications, treatment methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and service prices.
Below, we discuss each factor 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 their supervisors need to be licensed at the state level. The EPA has established minimum competency standards, and the New York regulatory agencies handle 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 that a company show that its practices are more environmentally friendly and that its employees receive up-to-date training. QualityPro and similar trade organizations also offer additional certifications. While not required, these can help demonstrate that a pest control company is reputable.
A pest control company can also obtain membership in professional organizations. Being a member of organizations like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations is not required, but helps verify a company's reputability. The NPMA gives companies access to resources, education, and a network of other professionals with whom to discuss practices and methods.
Professional Experience and Specialties
The amount of time that a company has been in business can give you some insight into its experience dealing with pests in your area. Online reviews or the company's own website can also inform you whether it has the skills and experience necessary to deal with your particular pests. If you cannot find the answers to your questions online, reaching out to the company directly is a great way to learn more.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can view a company's rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), browse reviews on social media or local review sites, or check the standing of its license via the New York licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Cost is important when hiring someone for pest control. Cost can be affected influenced by your location, the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, and other factors.
Often, companies will offer free on-site estimates as part of their process, to help you determine whether it fits into your budget. You can also ask whether a provider offers a satisfaction guarantee, meaning that it will continue to treat your pest problem until it is solved.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your preferences regarding safety for yourself, any children or pets, and the environment might affect the provider and the treatment methods you choose.
Be sure to ask your pest control provider if they plan on using low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides--if not, ask about what precautionary measures they plan to use. Any pesticide that presents above a minimum risk needs to be registered with the EPA. Your pest technician should supply information about all pesticides used, as well as how safe they are around people and pets.
Many companies have begun using more natural treatment methods before, or in place of, harsh chemical pesticides. Some employ a program called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and assess whether immediate action is needed.
- Determine the best and 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 techniques for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and provide additional pest control as needed.
Common Household Pests in Staten Island
You might run into some pests more often in Staten Island. Certain ones to keep an eye out for include these:
- Bees: Having bees around your house can be a nuisance, particularly if someone in your household has an allergy. Your local pest control company can help eliminate bees, and some might even have the resources to safely relocate hives.
- Cockroaches: You can find cockroaches in many parts of New York, although they prefer wetter areas. This can make them an even bigger problem in Staten Island. Cockroaches might come inside through small cracks, and they can bring in diseases like salmonella.
- Spiders: You may find spiders in your basement, attic, or other damp, dark areas. While most spiders are harmless and pose no threat to humans, you don't want an infestation of them in your home.
- Bed bugs: Bed bug infestations can be very hard to eliminate, so we strongly recommend hiring an exterminator as soon as possible. Bed bugs can be found throughout New York, and can infest not just your bedsheets, but also other furniture and even your wallpaper.
- Mice: If you have a mouse infestation, you might start noticing droppings or things like chewed wires. Frequently, mice are found in attics or in places where food is stored.
Staten Island Pest Control FAQ
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Pests come into your house looking for one of three things: food, water, or shelter. Some pests will opportunistically enter your home via a foundation crack or broken screen. Some are drawn by food, either actual food sitting out or trash left out in the open. Others look for water, whether it be standing water on your property or puddles inside from leaky pipes.
There are a number of steps you can take to help prevent pest infestations. First, don't leave food out. Keep your food stored in sealed containers, and don't leave trash sitting around.
Next, avoid having standing water in or around your house. Fix leaks indoors and eliminate standing water sites outdoors. Finally, seal off any potential pest entrances into your house, including siding or foundation cracks.
When you see signs of pest activity in your Staten Island home--such as nests, droppings, signs of damage, or the pests themselves--you should contact an exterminator. If you've had seasonal or recurrent pest infestations, we recommend reaching out to a local pest control company to set up annual pest management services.
If there are pests in your home, you might end up spending a large amount of time and money getting rid of them, and potentially recovering from illness or damages they caused. Preventive pest control can help stop this from happening in the first place.