How To Choose a Pest Control Company
There are several factors that you can consider when selecting the best pest control company for you. The qualifications of and treatment methods used by a company are important to consider, as are its years of experience and reputation in customer reviews. Of course, you will also want to consider cost.
Below, we explore the details of each of these factors.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets minimum competency standards for pesticide applicators, but licensing is regulated at the state level. All pesticide applicators and their supervisors in Georgia must be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Obtaining additional optional certifications can help prove that a pest control company is reputable. One example is the GreenPro Service Certification. To earn this certification, a company must prove that its methods are more environmentally friendly and that its employee training is up to date. Additional certifications can be obtained through QualityPro and similar trade organizations.
Pest control companies can also hold membership in professional organizations. Companies can be members of the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), or state-level organizations. Membership in the NPMA provides companies with access to resources, education, and a network of other pest control companies. While not mandatory, membership in professional organizations helps back up a company's reputability.
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 experience needed to eliminate the particular pests that are plaguing you. If the answers to your questions aren't available online, contacting the company directly is an excellent way to learn about its areas of expertise.
Reviews and Recommendations
Resources that can help you verify a company's reputation include the Better Business Bureau (BBB), local review sites, and social media. Additionally, you can confirm the status of a company's license via the Georgia licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
For many people, cost is one of the main deciding factors when picking a company for pest control. Cost can be determined by factors like the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, and your location.
You can look into whether a specific company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits your budget), and what sort of guarantees it provides. Often, a company will guarantee that if its treatment doesn't resolve your pest problem, it will continue to come back until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
When picking a pest control provider, you want to choose one that will help keep you, your family, and your pets safe. You might also prefer a provider that is environmentally-conscious.
Your pest control technician should be able to explain the safety precautions of any pesticides that they're going to use. They should be able to explain whether the pesticides are low toxicity or non-toxic; if they are not, they should explain what safety precautions they will put in place to protect your family, your pets, and you. Any pesticides that pose above a minimum risk must be registered with the EPA.
Many companies have started making the switch to using more natural treatment methods before (or instead of) harsh chemical pesticides. Some follow a program called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and determine if immediate action is required.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Use a combination of physical, cultural, biological, and mechanical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Use chemical controls only if needed, and always along with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and implement additional pest control as needed.