How To Choose a Pest Control Company
When picking a pest control company, there are a number of factors that you can consider to be sure that you're choosing the right one for you. You may consider a company's qualifications and treatment methods as well as its years of experience and customer reviews. And of course, there's the cost of services to consider.
Below, we explore the details of each of these factors.
Does the company have a valid license and permits to perform pest control?
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established minimum standards of competency for pesticide applicators, but licensing is overseen at the state level. All pesticide applicators and supervisors in Georgia need to be licensed through the proper state regulatory agencies.
Is the company a member of any professional organizations?
Pest control companies can earn the GreenPro Service Certification, which requires that a company show that its practices are more environmentally friendly and that its employees receive up-to-date training. QualityPro and similar trade organizations also offer other certifications. These are not required, but can help show that a company is reputable.
Pest control companies can also belong to various professional organizations. When a company joins an organization such as the National Pest Management Association(NPMA) (or a state-level organization), it gains access to education, resources, and a network of other pest control 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 many years it has been in operation. Local reviews and the company's own website can also let you know whether a certain company has the experience needed to deal with the specific species of pests that are afflicting your home. You can reach out to a representative directly to learn this information if you can't find it online.
Reviews and Recommendations
You can look for reviews and recommendations on local review sites or social media, view a company's Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, or check its licensure status through the Georgia licensing board.
Cost of Services and Guarantees
The cost of pest control can vary based on things like the type of pest being treated, the size of your house, your location, and other factors.
When thinking about the cost of services, you should first look into whether a company includes free on-site estimates as part of its process. This can help determine whether the company fits into your budget. Also take into account what guarantees a company offers: If the problem is not resolved, or if it returns, will the company provide additional treatment until the issue is satisfactorily handled?
Safety and Treatment Methods
Your preferences regarding safety for yourself, any children or pets, and the environment might influence the provider and the treatment methods you choose.
You want to ensure that you understand the precautions for the pesticides used in your house, for the sake of your family, your pets, and yourself. Your pest control technician should provide information about all 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.
It is now common for companies to start with more environmentally friendly options before employing pesticides, following a framework 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 biological, cultural, physical, and mechanical controls to manage the pest problem.
- Use chemical controls only when absolutely necessary, and always along with other techniques for effective long-term pest management.
- Evaluate outcomes and continue with additional pest control as needed.