Orkin vs. Terminix (2024)
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Orkin and Terminix are two of the biggest names in pest control. Both have long histories in the industry and offer comprehensive plans, but there are key differences you should understand before scheduling a service.
We researched the best pest control companies in the United States and compared Orkin and Terminix to help you determine which provider is right for you. This guide covers each company’s plans, costs, services, and customer reviews.
Both Orkin and Terminix offer comprehensive pest control services, decades of industry expertise, and satisfaction guarantees. Through our research and secret-shopping experience, we found that Terminix has cheaper annual pest control plans than Orkin. You can also communicate more easily with Terminix using its online chat feature. However, Orkin serves more states than Terminix and advertises same- or next-day pest control services, depending on the branch location.
Our Score Out of 100
Best for Urgent Service
Annual Cost for General Pest Control
*General pest control quotes are for a 2,000-square-foot, three-bedroom home in the Nashville, Tennessee area.
**Data updated as of May 2023
Orkin vs. Terminix: Overview
Orkin and Terminix stand out for their staying power in the pest control industry, having served customers since 1901 and 1927, respectively. Below, we’ve highlighted key facts about Orkin and Terminix, including several pros and cons of either service.
Orkin has been in business for more than 100 years, serving more than 1.7 million residential and commercial customers. Its pest control specialists complete a 160-hour targeted training program to ensure quality service. Orkin is transparent about its services online, outlining each step and noting specific products and treatment methods.
Orkin stands out for its online resources including a pest library, bug-bite photo gallery, and straightforward FAQ section for each service. Customers can browse Orkin’s blog posts to learn about controlling specific pests, pest behaviors, and treatment processes.
Pros and Cons of Orkin
Here are some of Orkin’s key pros and cons:
✔ Includes a 30-day money-back guarantee
✔ Has more than a century of experience
✔ Provides an extensive online pest library
✘ Doesn’t have an online chat feature
✘ Charges for most inspections, excluding its free initial termite inspection
Terminix has more than 90 years of experience and was the first company to obtain a termite control patent. It serves more than 2.9 million customers worldwide and claims to provide pest control treatment to 50,000 homes and businesses daily. Terminix offers many services targeting specific pests, including separate specialized treatments for drywood and subterranean termites.
Terminix stands out among competitors for its dedicated customer service. It offers an online chat function that allows customers to communicate with Terminix representatives in real time. We chatted with Terminix several times and found the representatives to be prompt, informative, and not pushy about sales.
Pros and Cons of Terminix
Here are some of Terminix’s key pros and cons:
✔ Has an easy three-step process for transferring a pest control plan when moving homes
✔ Offers free first-time inspections for termites, bed bugs, rodents, and more
✔ Has more than 90 years of experience
✘ Has many negative customer reviews on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website
✘ Upcharges for flea and tick control in its general pest control plan
Orkin vs. Terminix: Plans
Both Orkin and Terminix offer general pest control services, termite control, and bed bug removal. Each company also offers specific plans for mosquitoes, ticks, and several other common household pests. Orkin and Terminix’s respective treatment plans start with an initial visit and inspection. You can schedule free termite inspections with Orkin and Terminix, but Orkin will charge for most other types of pest inspections that Terminix offers at no additional cost.
Both companies provide free additional treatments between scheduled visits if a pest infestation persists. Terminix and Orkin also mirror one another’s refund policies and will reimburse unsatisfied customers within 30 days of treatment. Orkin will refund your last service payment if it cannot resolve your issue.
Orkin offers coverage for various pests, which we listed below. The company may also treat pests not mentioned in its marketing resources, so you should call to ask about your specific issue.
Here’s an overview of Orkin’s specific pest coverage:
- Termite coverage: Orkin uses Termidor liquid treatments, dry foam, and bait and monitoring stations to combat termite infestations. The Re-Treatment Program guarantees free reservice if termites return between scheduled appointments.
- Bed bug removal: Orkin eliminates bed bugs and performs follow-up visits to ensure they don’t return.
- Mosquito service: Orkin helps protect against viruses such as Zika, Chikungunya, and West Nile by implementing several mosquito treatments in either monthly or one-time applications.
- Tick control: Orkin inspects ideal tick hiding spaces, such as tall grass and heavily wooded areas, before creating a treatment plan and performing follow-up visits.
Terminix addresses several pest problems, but its plans may vary by location. Call and confirm Terminix covers your pest issue if you don’t see it on our list below. Terminix will treat any covered pest in its general plan, but some pests, such as fleas and ticks, will require additional payment.
Pest covered: Centipedes, clothes moths, cockroaches, crickets, earwigs, house ants, house crickets, mice, millipedes, moths, paper wasps, rats, scorpions, silverfish, and spiders
The following services are available from Terminix:
- Termite coverage: Terminix offers Basic, Advanced, and Premium termite plans that use bait systems and other curative solutions. The Advanced and Premium plans include the Nix and Fix Termite Guarantee that covers repair work and costs for new termite damage. The advanced plan also protects against 13 other pests.
- Bed bug removal: A technician starts by inspecting your home. They remove visible and hidden bed bugs plus eggs before they hatch. Treatment methods include steam, encasements, monitoring devices, and the company’s nontoxic RapidFreeze solution that lowers bed bug body temperatures to minus 60 degrees Fahrenheit or lower for instant extermination.
- Mosquito service: This treatment includes an insect growth regulator, and a key active ingredient with a special water-resistant polymer layer that provides weeks of protection.
- Tick control: A Terminix technician inspects your yard and provides recommendations to make it less appealing to ticks. They apply liquid and granular treatments to eliminate existing ticks and create a protective barrier.
Orkin vs. Terminix: Locations
Orkin and Terminix each have widespread availability throughout the United States. Orkin has branches in 49 states, and Terminix serves 45 states.
Orkin is available everywhere except for Alaska.
Terminix is available everywhere except for Alaska, North Dakota, Montana, South Dakota, and Vermont.
Orkin vs. Terminix: Cost
Regardless of the company you choose, extermination costs depend on the type of pest you’re dealing with, the degree of infestation, the size and location of your home, and how many individual treatments you need. Orkin and Terminix will need to inspect your home to give an accurate quote.
We requested a quote for Orkin’s general pest control plan. This plan costs approximately $810 annually for a 2,000-square-foot home in Nashville, Tennessee.
Terminix’s general pest control plan for the same home costs $645 annually.
Orkin vs. Terminix: Customer Reviews
Orkin and Terminix both have mixed reviews online. Each has multiple pages with the BBB for different branch locations, but we’ve selected customer reviews for each company’s headquarters page to better understand the overall customer experience.
While Orkin has some inconsistencies, its owner Rollins’ headquarters page is BBB-accredited with an A+ rating. Here’s a sampling of Orkin reviews.
“We have been pleased with our Orkin pest services. We have not had any pressure to buy unneeded services. We have a bimonthly contract and getting appointments to work with our schedule has not been a problem. We have not had ******** issues to date. Our field service agent is respectful of property and professional as well as friendly. Seems knowledgeable in response to my questions. We have had Orkin services at our previous homes and had excellent service at each.” — Chris S, January 20, 2023, on BBB
“When I called Orkin for help with a gnat infestation, I was led to believe that the service provider would investigate and that the application did not require that we leave home. They did not tell us that they would be spraying along the floor wall junctions, so the furniture in most cases blocked this area, so no spraying took place in approximately 75% of the home. Had the scheduler provided more info, I could have had the furniture pulled out away from walls. Service provider had me take my plant out which did improve the gnat issue.” — Sandra W, July 31, 2022, on BBB
Terminix is not accredited by the BBB but holds an A rating. Here’s a selection of customer reviews:
“I have had Terminix service for quite a few years now and would highly recommend their service in our area of Horseheads NY. My technician Rob is outstanding, thorough, conscientious and very friendly. I don’t have to worry if I am not going to be home because he is the most honest person at getting the job done. I receive a text the day before my scheduled visit, a text the day of the visit letting me know what time he will be arriving, and a text when he is completed if I am not home. Thank you Rob for your dedication. You get a 10 plus from us.” — Sylvia C, March 20, 2022, on BBB
“I have a complaint concerning my account. I had paid a two year contract in full due to my condition for my mortgage approval and Terminix turned it over to collections which gave me bad credit. I have called Terminix multiple times to resolve this, and have not received a call back. There was an issue with the baits surrounding my house that were not fixed per the contract as well.” — Kristina S, January 31, 2023, on BBB
Terminix and Orkin each offer comprehensive pest control services, decades of experience, and satisfaction guarantees. They have similar general pest control plans and specific treatments for pests such as termites, bed bugs, mosquitoes, and ticks.
Terminix has lower pricing and an efficient online chat function. It also serves more customers and offers complimentary inspections for several pest types. Orkin has more experience and customer resources, such as detailed FAQ sections on its website for each type of pest it treats.
FAQ About Orkin vs. Terminix
Can I do pest control myself?
Yes, you can handle certain pest control on your own if it’s a small problem. DIY pest control is less expensive and works best for minor infestations. However, hiring a professional exterminator is best if you have a recurring or major pest issue, such as a termite infestation.
Is it worth it to spray for pests?
Yes, it is worth it to have a professional exterminator spray for pests. Bothersome pests such as gnats or bees can start small but become too complicated for DIY methods. A professional pest control company can evaluate the problem early on and continue regular treatments until the pest issue has been resolved.
When is the best time of year for pest control?
Early spring is the best time of year for pest control. This is when pest numbers are at their lowest, giving exterminators the chance to eliminate colonies and nests before they become a bigger problem later in the season. This process requires less work and provides effective, long-lasting results.
Our Rating Methodology
The This Old House Reviews Team backs up our pest control recommendations with a detailed rating methodology that we use to objectively score each provider. We review pest control plans, navigate the provider website, speak with customer service representatives by phone and online chat (if available), request quotes, and analyze customer reviews for each provider. We then score the provider against our review standards for plans and services, reputation and customer responses, customer service offerings, workmanship guarantees, financing, and availability to arrive at a final score on a 5-point rating scale.
To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.