How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When picking a pest control company, you want to be sure to find the right one for you. Factors you might 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?
While the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established minimum standards of competency for pesticide application, licensure is handled at the state level. All pesticide applicators (and their supervisors) in Georgia need to be licensed by all the necessary state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies can also obtain optional certifications like the GreenPro Service Certification. This certification is granted once a company has shown its methods to be more environmentally friendly and demonstrated that it also holds itself up to certain other standards, such as up-to-date training for employees. A pest control company can also earn other certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro to further back up its methods and practices.
Pest control companies can also join certain professional organizations. When a company becomes a member of an organization such as the National Pest Management Association(NPMA) (or a state-level organization), it gets access to education, resources, and a network of other pest control experts with whom to compare treatment methods. This can offer extra peace of mind that a company is following industry best practices.
Professional Experience and Specialties
You can get some insight into a company's experience level by looking at how long it has been in operation. Local reviews and the company's own website can also tell you whether the company has experience dealing with the specific species of pests that are afflicting 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 social media or local review sites. You can also check with Georgia's licensing board to see the status of a company's license.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
It's important to think about cost when hiring someone for pest control. Cost can be affected influenced by the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, your location, and other factors.
Companies will often offer free on-site estimates as part of their process, to help you decide whether it fits into your budget. You can also ask whether if your company has a satisfaction guarantee, meaning that it will continue to treat your pest problem until it is solved.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your preferences regarding safety for yourself, your children, your pets, and the environment might affect the provider and the treatment methods you choose.
Ask your pest control technician if they plan to use low toxicity or non-toxic pesticides—if not, ask what precautionary measures they plan to use. Any pesticide that has been deemed above minimum risk must be registered with the EPA. Your pest technician should supply information about all of the pesticides used, and how safe they are around people and pets.
Many companies will begin with more environmentally friendly options before employing harsh pesticides, using a technique called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). When using IPM, the following steps are taken:
- 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 physical, biological, mechanical, and cultural controls to manage the pest problem.
- Employ chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always along with other solutions for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and provide additional pest control as needed.