How To Choose a Pest Control Company
The most important step in the pest control process is hiring the right company for you. You may consider a company's qualifications, treatment methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and price of services.
Below, we dive into detail on each factor.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
While the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established minimum standards of competency for pesticide application, licensing is taken care of at the state level. All pesticide applicators (and those who supervise them) in Georgia should be licensed by all the necessary 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 granted once a company has shown that its treatment methods are more environmentally friendly and demonstrated that it also holds itself up to certain other standards, such as up-to-date training for employees. A company can also earn other certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations to further back up its practices and methods.
There are several professional organizations in which pest control companies can hold membership. While not required, membership in organizations like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) or state-level organizations help show a company's reputability. Organizations like the NPMA provide access to education, resources, and a network of professionals with whom to share best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
You can gain some insight into a company's level of experience by looking at how many years it has been in business. The company's website and local reviews can also let you know whether a company has experience dealing with the specific species of pests that are afflicting your home. You can always contact a representative directly to learn this information if you can't find it online.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can read reviews and recommendations on local review sites or social media, view a company's rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), or check its licensure status through the Georgia licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
For many people, cost is one of the main deciding factors when picking a company for pest control. Cost can be affected by factors like the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, and your location.
You can think about whether a company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget), and what kind of guarantees are provided. Often, a company will guarantee that if its treatment doesn't resolve your pest problem, it will continue to come back until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
When it comes to picking a pest control provider, you want to choose one that will help keep you, your family, and your pets safe. You'll likely also prefer a provider that is environmentally-conscious.
You can ask your pest control technician if they plan on using low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides, and if not, ask about what precautionary measures will be in place. Any pesticide that poses greater than minimum risk needs to be registered with the EPA. Your pest control company should be able to provide information about all of the pesticides that will be used in your home, in addition to how safe they are around people and pets.
Nowadays, many companies are exploring greener and cleaner 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:
- Identify the source of the pest problem and assess whether immediate action is required.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Use a combination of biological, cultural, mechanical, and physical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Use chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always in combination with other techniques for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and continue with additional pest control as needed.