How To Choose a Pest Control Company
There are several factors that you can consider when choosing the right 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 what other customers have said. Of course, you will also want to consider cost.
Below, we dive into detail on each of these factors.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established minimum standards of competency for pesticide applicators, but licensure is taken care of at the state level. All pesticide applicators and supervisors in Georgia must 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 in order to support its methods and standards. One particular certification is the GreenPro Service Certification, which is given when a company can demonstrate that its methods are more environmentally friendly. A company that receives this certification also needs to maintain certain employee training standards.
Pest control companies can also be members of various professional organizations. Pest control companies can obtain membership in both state-level organizations and 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 resources, education, and a network of professionals to compare best practices with.
Professional Experience and Specialties
The number of years that a company has been in business can give you some insight into its experience dealing with pests in your area. Customer reviews or the company's own website can also inform you whether it has the skills and experience needed to eliminate the particular pests that are plaguing you. If you cannot find the answers to your questions online, calling a representative is an easy way to learn about the company's areas of expertise.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can view a company's reviews and rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), read local review sites and social media to hear what other people are saying, or verify its license standing through the Georgia licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Things like the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, your location, and other factors can all influence the price of pest control.
You can find out whether a company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget), as well as what sort of guarantees it offers. Often, a company will provide a guarantee that if it does not resolve your pest problem, it will continue treatment until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your preferences regarding safety for yourself, your children, your pets, and the environment may affect which provider and treatment methods you choose.
All pesticides that will be used (except those that are classified as minimum-risk) are required to be registered with the EPA. Your pest control technician should be able to provide information on every pesticide they will be using. 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.
Pest professionals 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.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of physical, cultural, biological, and mechanical controls.
- Use chemical controls only when required, and always in combination with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and implement additional pest control as needed.