How To Choose a Pest Control Company
There are a number of things that you can take into consideration when choosing the right pest control company for you. Some things you may consider include qualifications and licensing, treatment methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and cost.
Below, we dive into detail on 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 are required to be certified at the state level. The EPA sets minimum standards of competency, but all Georgia pesticide applicators need to be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
A pest control company can receive optional certifications from QualityPro or similar trade organizations in order to back up its methods and standards. One particular certification is the GreenPro Service Certification, which is granted to any company that can demonstrate that its methods are more environmentally friendly. Companies that receive this certification also need to maintain certain training standards for employees.
A pest control company can also belong to certain professional organizations. A pest control company can obtain membership in state-level organizations in addition to national organizations such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). By being a member of these optional organizations, a company helps support its reputability and gains access to education, resources, and a network of other professionals with whom to compare best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Typically, a company provides information like years of experience and specialities on its website. Online reviews can also help you figure out if a company has experience dealing with a specific pest. If you're unable to find the information you need online, you can contact a company representative directly to get the answers to your questions.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can read reviews and recommendations on social media or local review sites, verify a company's Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, or check its licensure status through the Georgia licensing board.
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 affect the price of pest control.
You can find out whether a company offers free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget) and what kind of guarantees it offers. Often, a company will provide a guarantee that if it does not resolve 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 might also prefer one that employs environmentally friendly practices.
Your pest control provider should be able to discuss the safety of any and all pesticides that will be used in your home. They should be able to answer questions as to whether the pesticides are low toxicity or non-toxic, and if not what safety precautions will be in place to protect your family, your pets, and you. Any pesticides that pose more than a minimum risk should be registered with the EPA.
You can ask if your technician will start with lower-toxicity, more natural options before trying harsher chemicals.
Many companies are now using Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to treat pest infestations with minimal personal or environmental risk. The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and determine whether immediate action is needed.
- 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 with other techniques for effective long-term pest management.
- Observe the results and provide additional pest control as needed.