How To Choose a Pest Control Company
There are several factors you can take into consideration when choosing the best pest control company for you. Factors you might consider include qualifications and licensing, treatment methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and 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) maintains minimum standards of competency for pesticide applicators, but licensing is overseen at the state level. All pesticide applicators and their supervisors in Georgia need to be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
An optional certification that may be worth looking for is the GreenPro Service Certification. To obtain this certification, a pest control company must both demonstrate that its practices are more environmentally friendly and uphold certain technician training standards. Companies can also obtain other certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations to further support their work.
Pest control companies can also become members of professional organizations. When a company obtains membership in an organization like the National Pest Management Association(NPMA) (or a state-level organization), it gains access to education, resources, and a network of other pest experts with whom to compare treatment methods. This can offer additional peace of mind that a company is following industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
A company's years in business can indicate how much experience it has handling various pests. You can also browse its website or peruse customer reviews to decide whether it has the right kind of experience handling the type of pests you are struggling with. If this information can't be found online, speaking with a company representative is a good way to learn more.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can verify a company's legitimacy using local review sites or social media as well as the Better Business Bureau (BBB). You can also check with Georgia's licensing board to verify the status of a company's license.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Things like your location, the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, and other factors can all affect the price of pest control.
You can look into whether a company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget), as well as what type of guarantees it provides. Often, a company will provide a guarantee that if it does not eliminate your pest problem, it will keep coming back until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Keeping yourself, your family and your pets safe is an important consideration when selecting a pest control provider. You may also prefer a provider that employs environmentally friendly practices.
Your pest control provider should be able to discuss the safety of all pesticides that will be used in your home. They should be able to answer questions about whether the pesticides are low toxicity or non-toxic; if they are not, they should explain what safety precautions will be in place to protect your family, your pets, and you. Pesticides that pose greater than 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 employ a program called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The steps of IPM are as follows:
- 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, biological, mechanical, and cultural controls.
- Use chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always in combination with other methods for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and provide additional pest control as needed.