How To Choose a Pest Control Company
The most important step in the pest control process is hiring the right company for you. Along with a company's qualifications and treatment methods, you may also look into how long it has been in business and what the reviews look 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?
Per the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), all pesticide applicators and their supervisors need to be certified at the state level. The EPA does set minimum standards of competency, but all Georgia pesticide applicators must be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies can optionally obtain additional certifications such as the GreenPro Service Certification. This certification is given once a company has shown its methods to be more environmentally friendly and demonstrated that it also maintains certain other standards, such as up-to-date employee training. A pest control company can also earn other certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro to further back up its methods and practices.
Pest control companies can also become members of professional organizations. When a company joins an organization such as the National Pest Management Association(NPMA) (or a state-level organization), it gets access to resources, education, and a network of other pest experts with whom to compare methods. This can give you added peace of mind that a company follows industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Browsing a company's website can tell you how many years it has been in business and what kind of pests it specializes in exterminating. Local reviews can also give you some insight into a company's experience dealing with specific pests. If this information isn't available online, you can try reaching out to the company directly.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can check a company's rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), read reviews on social media or local review sites, or check the standing of its license via the Georgia licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Things like the size of your house, your location, the type of pest being treated, and other factors can all influence the price of pest control.
You can learn whether a company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget), as well as what kind of guarantees it has. Often, a company will provide a guarantee that if it does not eliminate your pest problem, it will continue treatment until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Safety is an important consideration when choosing a pest control provider. You might also prefer a provider who uses more natural, environmentally-friendly methods.
You should ask your pest control provider if they plan to use low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides, and if not, what sort of precautionary measures they plan to take. Any pesticides that are not minimum-risk chemicals should be registered with the EPA. Your pest technician should be able to supply information about all of the pesticides they plan on using.
Many companies have begun using more natural treatment methods before (or in place of) harsh chemical pesticides. Some utilize a program called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and determine whether immediate action is required.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of biological, cultural, physical, and mechanical controls.
- Use chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always along with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Assess the outcome and provide additional pest control as needed.