How To Choose a Pest Control Company
There are a number of factors you can consider when choosing the right pest control company for you. Important decision-making factors 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?
While the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets the minimum standards of competency for pesticide applicators, licensing is handled at the state level. All pesticide applicators (and those who supervise them) in Georgia should be licensed by all the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
One optional certification that could 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 also earn other certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations to further support their work.
Pest control companies can also obtain membership in professional organizations. Holding membership in organizations such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations is not mandatory, but helps verify a company's reputability. The NPMA gives companies access to education, resources, and a network of other professionals with whom to discuss practices and methods.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Generally, a company displays information like specialities and years of experience on its website. Local reviews can also help you determine if a company has experience dealing with a specific pest. If you're unable to find the information you need online, you can speak with a company representative directly to get your questions answered.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look for 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 Georgia licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
The cost of pest control can vary based on things like the size of your house, your location, the type of pest being treated, and other factors.
When thinking about the cost of services, you should confirm whether a company offers free on-site estimates as part of its process. This can inform you whether the company fits into your budget. Also look into what guarantees a company offers: If the problem is not resolved, or if it returns, will the company provide additional treatment until the problem is satisfactorily resolved?
Safety and Treatment Methods
Keeping yourself, your family and your pets safe is an important consideration when selecting a pest control provider. You might also prefer one that employs environmentally friendly practices.
All pesticides (except those that pose only a minimum risk) need to be registered with the EPA. Your pest control technician should be able to provide information on all the pesticides that they plan to use. They should be able to tell you whether the pesticides are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not, what safety precautions will be in place.
It is now common for companies to begin with more environmentally friendly options before employing harsh pesticides, following a framework called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). When using IPM, the following steps are taken:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and determine whether immediate action is required.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of mechanical, cultural, biological, and physical controls.
- Employ chemical controls only if needed, and always in combination with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and continue with additional pest control as needed.