How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When hiring a pest control company, there are several factors that you can consider to make sure that you're choosing the right one for you. Important 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?
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), all pesticide applicators and those that supervise them need to be licensed at the state level. The EPA maintains minimum standards of competency, and the Georgia regulatory agencies handle the issuing, maintaining, and revoking of licenses.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies have the option to obtain certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro. While not required, they can help you evaluate the quality of a company's products. For example, the GreenPro Service Certification indicates comprehensive and effective pest control treatment that is safer for humans and the environment.
Pest control companies can also hold membership in various professional organizations. While not required, membership in organizations such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations help demonstrate a company's reputability. In the NPMA and other organizations, pest control companies have access to resources, education, and a network of professionals with whom to compare best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
You can look at a company's years in business to help determine how much experience it has taking care of pests in your area. You can also browse its website or read customer reviews to figure out whether it has experience eliminating the type of pests you are dealing with. If this information can't be found online, getting in touch with a company representative is a great way to learn more.
Reviews and Recommendations
Resources that can help you verify a company's reputation include social media, local review sites, 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, your location, the size of your house, and other factors.
When thinking about the cost of services, you should first look into whether a company offers free on-site estimates as part of its services. This can help determine whether the company fits into your budget. Also consider what guarantees a company offers: If the problem is not resolved, or if it returns, will the company provide additional treatment until the issue is handled satisfactorily?
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your preferences regarding safety for yourself, any children or pets, and the environment might influence the provider and the treatment methods you choose.
You will want to understand the precautions around pesticides used in your home, for the sake of you, your family, and your pets. Your pest control technician should provide information about any pesticides they will be using, whether they are low toxicity or non-toxic, and (if not) what safety measures will be in place. All pesticides (except minimum-risk ones) should be registered with the EPA.
Many companies have begun 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 problem pests and determine if immediate action is needed.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of biological, cultural, mechanical, and physical controls.
- Employ chemical controls only when required, and always in combination with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and provide additional pest control as needed.