How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When picking a pest control company, there are a number of factors you can consider to be sure you choose the right one for you. In addition to a company's qualifications and treatment methods, you may also consider how long it has been in business and what the reviews are like. Last but not least, you'll likely want to consider the cost of services.
Below, we dive into detail on 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 certified at the state level. The EPA sets minimum standards of competency, but all Georgia pesticide applicators should be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
One optional certification that may be worth looking for is the GreenPro Service Certification. In order to obtain this certification, a pest control company needs to both demonstrate that its practices are more environmentally friendly and maintain certain technician training standards. Companies can obtain other certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations to further support their work.
A pest control company can also hold membership in certain professional organizations. Pest control companies can join state-level organizations in addition to national organizations such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). While not mandatory, membership in these organizations helps prove a company's reputability and gives it access to education, resources, and a network of professionals with whom to compare best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
A company's years in business can indicate how much experience it has dealing with various pests. You can also look at its website or look through customer reviews to decide whether it has the right kind of experience handling the type of pests you are dealing with. If this information is not available online, getting in touch with a company representative is a great way to learn more.
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. Additionally, you can verify the status of a company's license via the Georgia licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Pest control costs can vary based on things like your location, the size of your house, the type of pest being treated, and other factors.
When thinking about the cost of services, you should confirm whether a company provides free on-site estimates as part of its services. This can inform you whether the company fits into your budget. Also look into what guarantees a company offers: If the problem is not fixed, or returns, does the company provide additional treatments until the issue is satisfactorily resolved?
Safety and Treatment Methods
Keeping yourself, your family and your pets safe is an important consideration when choosing a pest control provider. You may also prefer a provider that employs environmentally-friendly practices.
You can ask your pest control technician if they will be 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 should be registered with the EPA. Your pest technician should supply information about all of the pesticides that will be used in your home, as well as how safe they are around people and pets.
Organizations looking to reduce their reliance on chemical pesticides often implement procedures such as Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Using IPM involves a series of steps:
- Identify problem pests and determine whether immediate action is required.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Use a combination of biological, cultural, mechanical, and physical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Use chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always in combination with other solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and implement additional pest control as needed.