How To Choose a Pest Control Company
Hiring the right company for you is the most important step in the pest control process. A company's qualifications and treatment methods are important to consider, as well as its years of experience and reputation in customer reviews. Of course, you also want to think about cost.
Below, we discuss each of these factors in more detail.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established minimum competency standards for pesticide applicators, but licensing is overseen 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?
One optional certification that could be worth looking for is the GreenPro Service Certification. To obtain this certification, a pest control company needs to both show that its practices are more environmentally friendly and uphold certain technician training standards. Companies can also earn other certifications from trade organizations like QualityPro to further back up their work.
Pest control companies can also be members of various professional organizations. Companies can be members of the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), or state-level organizations. Membership in the NPMA gives companies access to education, resources, and a network of other pest control companies. While not required, membership in professional organizations helps back up a company's reputability.
Professional Experience and Specialties
Browsing a company's website can tell you how long it has been in operation and what species of pests it specializes in eliminating. Local reviews can also give you some insight into a company's experience dealing with a certain type of pest. If you're unable to find this information online, you can try reaching out to the company directly.
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 see the status of a company's license.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
Things like the size of your house, your location, the type of pest being treated, and other factors can all influence the price of pest control.
You can learn whether a company provides free on-site estimates (to determine if it fits in your budget) and what type of guarantees it has. Often, a company will provide a guarantee that if it does not take care of your pest problem, it will continue treatment until it does.
Safety and Treatment Methods
Safety is an important consideration when choosing a pest control provider. You might also prefer a provider who employs more natural, environmentally friendly methods.
You want to ensure that you understand the precautions for the pesticides being used in your home, for the sake of you, your family, and your pets. Your pest control provider should supply information about any pesticides they plan to use, whether they are low toxicity or non-toxic, and (if not) what safety measures they have in place. All pesticides (except minimum-risk ones) should be registered with the EPA.
Pest professionals looking to reduce their reliance on chemical pesticides often implement procedures such as Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Using IPM involves a series of steps:
- Figure out what pests are causing the problem and assess whether immediate action is needed.
- Decide on the safest course of action.
- Manage the pest problem using a combination of physical, cultural, biological, and mechanical controls.
- Use chemical controls only if needed, and always with other techniques for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and continue with additional pest control as needed.