How To Choose a Pest Control Company
The most important step in the pest control process is hiring the right company for you. You might consider a company's qualifications, methods, years of experience, customer reviews, and service prices.
Below, we dive into detail on each factor.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) maintains minimum competency standards for pesticide applicators, but licensure is handled at the state level. All pesticide applicators and their supervisors in Georgia must be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies have the option to obtain certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro. These certifications can help you assess the quality of a company's products. For example, the GreenPro Service Certification recognizes comprehensive and effective pest control methods that are safer for humans and the environment.
There are various professional organizations that pest control companies can be members of. When a company becomes a member of 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 professionals with whom to compare treatment methods. This can offer added peace of mind that a company is following industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
You can gain some insight into a company's level of experience by seeing how long it has been in operation. The company's website and local reviews can also tell you whether a company has experience dealing with the specific species of pests invading your home. You can call the company directly to learn this information if you can't find it online.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can check a company's reputation using the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and local review sites or social media. You can also check with Georgia's licensing board to verify the status of a company's license.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Pest control costs can vary based on things like the type of pest being treated, your location, the size of your house, and other factors.
When considering the cost of services, you should try to determine whether a company provides free on-site estimates as part of its process. This can help determine whether the company fits into your budget. Also consider a company's guarantees: If the problem is not resolved, or if it returns, does the company provide additional treatment until the issue is satisfactorily handled?
Safety and Treatment Methods
Safety is an important consideration when choosing a pest control provider, and you might prefer a provider who employs more natural, environmentally friendly methods.
You can ask your pest control technician if they will be using low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides, and if not, ask what precautionary measures they will take. Any pesticide that poses greater than minimum risk must be registered with the EPA. Your pest control company should supply information about all of the pesticides that will be used in your home, in addition to how safe they are around people and pets.
You can ask if your technician will start with more natural and lower-toxicity options before using harsher chemicals.
Many companies are using Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to eliminate pests while reducing personal and environmental risks. The steps of IPM are as follows:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and determine whether immediate action is needed.
- Determine the best and safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of biological, cultural, physical, and mechanical controls.
- Employ chemical controls only when required, and always along with other controls for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and continue with additional pest control as needed.