How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When selecting a pest control company, there are a number of factors you can consider to be sure that you're choosing the right one for you. You might consider a company's qualifications and treatment methods in addition to its customer reviews and years of experience. Of course, there is also the cost of services to consider.
Below, we explore the details of each of these factors.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
All pesticide applicators, as well as those that supervise them, need to be licensed via the appropriate Georgia regulatory agencies. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets minimum standards of competency, but providing, maintaining, and revoking licensing is handled at the state level.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
One certification that pest control companies can earn is the GreenPro Service Certification, which requires that a company show that its practices are environmentally friendly and that its employees receive up-to-date training. QualityPro and similar trade organizations also offer other certifications. These are not required, but can help demonstrate that a company is reputable.
Pest control companies can also belong to certain professional organizations. While not required, membership in organizations like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations help to prove a company's reputability. After joining an organization like the NPMA, a company receives access to education, resources, and a network of professionals with whom to compare best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
In general, a company will list information like years of experience and specialities on its website. Local reviews can also tell you whether a company has experience dealing with a specific pest. If you're unable to locate the information you need online, you can speak with a company representative directly to get your questions answered.
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 see the status of a company's license.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Things like the size of your house, the type of pest being treated, your location, 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 sort of guarantees it offers. Often, a company will provide a guarantee that if it does not solve 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 concern when selecting a pest control provider. You may also prefer a provider that employs environmentally friendly practices.
All pesticides (except those that are determined to be of minimal risk) must be registered with the EPA. Your pest control technician should be able to supply information on each pesticide they plan to use. They should be able to tell you whether the pesticides are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not, what safety precautions they plan to take.
Nowadays, many companies are exploring cleaner and greener pest management that can be implemented before (or instead of) chemical pesticides. Many are following the practice of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which goes as follows:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and determine if immediate action is needed.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of mechanical, physical, biological, and cultural controls.
- Use chemical controls only if needed, and always in combination with other solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and implement additional pest control as needed.