How To Choose a Pest Control Company
The first step is picking the right pest control professional for the job. You might consider a company's qualifications, methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and cost of services.
Below, we dive into detail on each factor.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
Per the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), all pesticide applicators and those that supervise them must be licensed at the state level. The EPA has established minimum standards of competency, and the New York regulatory agencies handle the granting, maintaining, and revoking of licenses.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
An optional certification that might be worth looking for is the GreenPro Service Certification. To obtain this certification, a pest control company needs to both show that its practices are more environmentally friendly and uphold certain technician training standards. Companies can earn other certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations to further support their work.
Pest control companies can also belong to certain professional organizations. Joining an organization such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or a state-level organization grants a pest control company access to resources and education, in addition to a network of professionals with whom to compare best practices. Belonging to organizations like these is not mandatory, but it can help show that a company follows industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
A company's website can tell you how many years it has been in business and what type of pests it specializes in eliminating. Online reviews can also give you some insight into a company's experience dealing with a specific pest. If this information isn't available online, you can try contacting the company directly.
Reviews and Recommendations
Resources that can be used to verify a company's legitimacy include the Better Business Bureau (BBB), local review sites, and social media. You can also confirm the status of a company's license via the New York licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
For many people, cost is one of the main deciding factors when looking for pest control services. Cost can be affected by factors like the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, and your location.
You can look into whether a particular company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in 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
Your choice of pest control provider might be affected by how environmentally-friendly a provider's practices are, as well as how safe its methods are around your family and pets.
Ask your pest control technician if they plan to use low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides, and if not, what kind of precautionary measures they are going to use. All pesticides that are not considered minimum-risk chemicals must be registered with the EPA. Your pest control provider will be able to supply you with information about all of the pesticides that they are going to use.
Companies looking to reduce their reliance on chemical pesticides often follow practices such as Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Using IPM involves a series of steps:
- Identify problem pests and determine whether immediate action is needed.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Use a combination of biological, cultural, physical, and mechanical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Use chemical controls only if needed, and always along with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and provide additional pest control as needed.
Common Household Pests in The Bronx
You might encounter some pests more frequently in The Bronx. Some to keep an eye out for include these:
- Bees: Having bees around your home can be a nuisance, particularly if someone in your household has an allergy. Your local pest control company can help eliminate bees; some might even be able to help safely relocate hives.
- Spiders: Spiders usually prefer dark and damp places and are commonly found in attics.
- Bed bugs: Bed bug infestations can be very difficult to quash, so we recommend hiring an exterminator as soon as possible. Bed bugs are found throughout New York, and can infest not just your bedsheets, but also other furniture and even wallpaper.
- Mice: Some common signs of mouse activity include chewed wires and droppings around your home. Frequently, mice can be found in attics or in areas where food is kept.
The Bronx Pest Control FAQ
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Pests make their way into your house looking for one of three things: food, water, or shelter. Some pests will opportunistically enter your home through a foundation crack or broken screen. Some are attracted to food, either actual food left out or trash sitting out in the open. Others look for water, whether it be standing water outside or puddles inside from things like leaky pipes.
One method for preventing pest infestations is to seal off potential entrances into your home. These include things like cracks in your siding or foundation. Also try to avoid leaving out food for pests. This means keeping food in sealed containers as well as not leaving trash out. Third, reduce standing water in and around your home. Find ways to reduce places where water can collect outside, and repair leaks inside.
Normally it's recommended that you hire a pest control technician about once annually. 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 best-equipped to recommend a treatment schedule for you.
How soon you see results from pest control will depend on the problem and treatment. If your pest technician does something like remove a wasp nest, you can see results almost immediately. For most pest control, however, you will likely need to wait anywhere from a few days to up to six weeks for substantial results. Some pests may require your pest professional to make multiple visits to your home.