How To Choose a Pest Control Company
Hiring the right company for you is the most important step in the pest control process. You might take into consideration a company's qualifications, methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and price of services.
Below, we explore the details of each factor.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set minimum standards of competency for pesticide applicators, but licensing is handled at the state level. All pesticide applicators and supervisors in Georgia need to be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
A pest control company can optionally apply for certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations to verify its standards and methods. One particular certification is the GreenPro Service Certification, which is given to any company that can demonstrate that its methods are more environmentally friendly. Companies that receive this certification also need to maintain certain employee training standards.
Pest control companies can also belong to certain professional organizations. Membership in an organization like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or a state-level organization grants a pest control company access to education and resources, and a network of professionals with whom to compare best practices. Membership in organizations like these is not required, but it can help indicate that a company follows industry best practices.
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 the pests that live in Canton. Customer reviews or the company's own website can also enlighten you about whether it has the skills and experience necessary to eliminate the particular pests that are plaguing you. If you can't find the information you need online, speaking with a representative is an easy way to learn about the company's areas of expertise.
Reviews and Recommendations
Resources that can help you verify a company's reputation include local review sites, social media, and the Better Business Bureau (BBB). You can also check the status of a company's license through the Georgia licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
The cost of pest control can vary based on things like the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, your location, and other factors.
When considering the cost of services, you should confirm whether a company includes free on-site estimates as part of its process. This can inform you whether the company fits into your budget. Also look into a company's guarantees: If the problem is not resolved, or if it returns, will the company provide additional treatments until the issue is satisfactorily resolved?
Safety and Treatment Methods
Safety is an important consideration when selecting a pest control provider. You might also prefer a provider who employs more natural, environmentally friendly methods.
All pesticides that will be used (except those that pose only a minimum risk) are required to be registered with the EPA. Your pest control provider should supply information on each pesticide they plan to use. They should inform you whether these chemicals are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not, what safety precautions will be in place.
Many companies have begun using more natural treatment methods before (or in place of) harsh chemical pesticides. Some follow a program called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify problem pests and assess whether immediate action is needed.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of biological, cultural, mechanical, and physical controls.
- Use chemical controls only if needed, and always with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and provide additional pest control as needed.