Terminix and Orkin are two giants in the pest control industry, each servicing millions of homes across the U.S. and saving thousands of people from pest infestations. Alongside several hundred other pest control companies, these two providers have had to compete to keep up with the evolving methods for treating common household pests, like ants and spiders, and more hazardous pests such as termites or bed bugs.
Read our guide on bed bug removal cost.
They certainly have differences, like localized vs. national branches, plan options, and annual pricing. Our experts have combed through all the crucial factors of each company so you can make an informed decision about which pest control company is right for you.
Orkin is a massive hit with older customers since its technicians tend to stay longer with the company. Also, with Orkin, you can call directly to a local branch and speak with a live person.
On the other hand, Terminix is more streamlined in its scheduling process, offering online chat and a mobile app. Its branch managers are also taking the lead by ensuring the latest equipment is available to its highly-trained technicians.
Orkin vs. Terminix Overview
Orkin and Terminix have been around a long time. They’re both large companies with a worldwide reach.
Orkin was started over 100 years ago by a rat-poison salesman named Otto Orkin. Since then, it has grown into the world’s largest pest control operator, with 400 locations nationwide and over two million customers.
Orkin’s greatest accomplishment is its leadership regarding eco-friendly alternatives. Gone are the days when technicians indiscriminately sprayed chemical pesticides inside a home. The company now focuses on targeted applications that get where pests live; this is a cleaner, safer environment for everyone.
Read our Orkin Review to learn more.
Although Terminix is known for its outstanding termite service, its general pest control offerings have become the envy of smaller operators worldwide. With over 90 years of experience, the company has developed cutting-edge techniques to rid customers of unwanted pests quickly and efficiently.
For example, Terminix offers a six-month guarantee on all its bed bug programs, unheard of in the industry. It also recently added wildlife removal to its menu, which Orkin has been reluctant to do since its founding.
Read our Terminix Review to get the full picture of the company.
Orkin vs. Terminix Services and Plans
Orkin and Terminix offer a wide range of service plans and treatment programs. However, they differ widely in their implementation and pricing. Here, we reveal those differences and compare the companies against each other.
General Pest Control
Orkin and Terminix treat common pests for both commercial and residential customers. Each company also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, with Terminix extending it to six months in some instances.
Below is a list of pests each company covers. However, keep in mind that service availability may vary depending on where you live.
View cost information on rat removal.
- Bed bugs
- Mice and rats
- Bed bugs
- Mice and rats
Both companies offer termite treatments for homes and businesses. Here, we take a closer look at the differences between each one.
Orkin believes that preventing termite damage before it happens is key to keeping costs down for its customers. That’s why it offers free termite inspections, except when tied to a real estate transaction.
Orkin is also one of the few pest control service companies to treat drywood termites. This species does not need contact with the ground to remain elevated in a structure. As a result, they sometimes have to be eradicated from a home using tent fumigation.
Subterranean termites, on the other hand, are somewhat easier to treat. First, Orkin technicians utilize barrier treatments with an insecticide such as Termidor. Then, to ensure lasting control of termites, they place Sentricon bait stations around the outside perimeter. For more details, read our full Orkin termite control and treatment review.
Terminix employs standard barrier treatments for subterranean termite infestations. Its technicians dig a narrow trench around the home or business and fill it with termiticide. Also, as with Orkin, they utilize bait stations for residual control.
One thing that stands out with Terminix is its willingness to explore high-tech options. For example, when treating termites and carpenter ants indoors, the technician may inject foam termiticide into wall voids. This technique pinpoints colony locations and tends to be a safer, more effective alternative to boric acid dust applications. For more info, read our full Terminix termite control review.
Bed Bug Removal
Orkin and Terminix offer targeted bed bug control for residential and commercial customers. However, each one takes a slightly different approach.
Orkin utilizes an integrated pest management plan when controlling bed bugs, and it is the same for a residential customer or a large business. These are the typical steps they follow:
- Conduct a thorough inspection to determine the location of nesting sites
- Communicate with the customer regarding the precise action plan
- Use knockdown sprays and aerosols to eliminate infestations quickly
- Apply residual treatments, including crack and crevice applications
- Schedule a follow-up inspection with the technician for a later date
Check out our full Orkin bed bug treatment review for more details.
Although several options are available to eradicate bed bugs, Terminix prefers an alternative method. Instead of spraying and fogging, its technicians employ bed bug heaters to raise the room temperature above 125° F, killing live insects within 90 minutes.
It typically takes about three hours to complete the treatment process. During that time, the technician monitors the temperature remotely. Then, they come back to the home, laying down natural insecticides to create a lasting defense against bed bugs. Check out our full Terminix bed bug removal & treatment review for more details.
Each company offers tick treatments in most regions of the U.S. Below are the comparisons between the two.
Since every tick infestation is unique, Orkin starts their service with a thorough inspection of your yard, looking for signs and causes. Then your technician utilizes both natural and chemical means to control all stages of the tick lifecycle.
After a complete inspection, your specialist sprays the yard with a residual insecticide that lasts up to 90 days. To further aid in protecting your home, the technician may also apply granules around the outside perimeter. For more information read our full review on Terminix Tick Treatment & Control.
Orkin and Terminix both offer mosquito control. However, Orkin utilizes biological controls and spraying, whereas Terminix exclusively uses hand-fogging.
Before using any spraying devices or foggers, Orkin technicians ensure that the homeowner’s role in mosquito control is clearly understood. They also employ safe biological controls to disrupt the mosquito’s lifecycle, limiting the need for pesticides.
Read our Orkin mosquito control service review for more details.
Terminix goes to work right away, eliminating large mosquito infestations with targeted fogging. It also provides the customer with information on steps to decrease mosquito populations around their home or business.
Read our Terminix mosquito service review for more details.
Orkin vs. Terminix Availability & Locations
Available in all states, except:
- South Dakota
Available in all states, except:
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
Orkin vs. Terminix Cost
Orkin pest control plans cost between $45 and $55 per month. Termite control is priced from $1,500 to $5,000, depending on the size of the home. In most cases, bed bug treatments run anywhere between $500 and $1,500.
Terminix charges around $50 to $75 per month for general pest agreements. Termite treatments cost a minimum of $2,000, whereas bed bug eradications generally stay under $1,200.
Orkin vs. Terminix Customer Reviews
Online reviews provide insight into how each company might treat you after signing on the dotted line. Here are a few examples of what people are saying about each company
Angela R. From Dallas, Texas, likes the overall value of Orkin’s services:
“Orkin is absolutely the way to go for any pest control. They have amazing service and are very knowledgeable about whatever issues you have. Our tech Aaron goes above and beyond and is incredibly friendly, and always on time. The service is well worth the money, and especially the mosquito service they offer is AMAZING. You can literally see when it’s time for them to come back, but there are almost no mosquitoes up until then. Orkin service is worth every penny for sure.” – Angela R.
Lee K. appreciates how Orkin technicians go the extra mile for their customers:
“We have used Orkin for several years for outside insect control and, in particular, crawl space rodent issues. They have always done a great job. In particular would like to single out Blaine, who has now been to our house the last two times for scheduled treatment. The owners of this local business seriously need to consider giving him a raise for his thoroughness and congeniality.” – Lee K.
Kathy R. from Elberta, Alabama, raves about how efficient and thorough her Orkin Technician was:
“We had a serious bug problem and couldn’t get rid of them on our own. We tried another exterminator, and they literally cheated us. They told us there was a guarantee and then didn’t back it up when the first treatment failed. So we called Orkin. The tech was personable and friendly. The things we had to do to prepare were much more thorough than the other exterminators. But we were terrified of these fast-breeding bugs that wouldn’t go away, so we were happy to comply. The service was done swiftly (they would’ve come the next day, but we had to prepare, so they came the day after that). We saw one or two bugs after that, but they were probably dying. We squished them. And now, several weeks later, no more bugs. Thank you lord! The bugs are gone! Orkin uses the highest quality chemicals available, and they were actually cheaper than the other guys.” – Kathy R.
Miles M. from Charlotte, North Carolina, loves how Terminix keeps its promises to its customers:
“I called Killo, and they charged me $180 for a one-time treatment where they treated the inside and outside. Although it reduced the number of ants, it pushed many of the outside ones into the house, so the problem was not eliminated. I called Terminex at Indian Trail at a guy named Randy came out who has been with the company for around 15 years. He knows his stuff and is very service-oriented. I signed up for a full-year service contract at $440, and that gives me quarterly treatments to take care of the bugs. Randy also gave me his cell number and told me to call him anytime if I still had any problems. I called him about some ant nest in the back porch, and he’s coming out to treat it at no extra charge. I wouldn’t give 5 stars lightly, but these guys did the job right and for a reasonable price. They also stand by their word which is more then a lot of other service companies do these days. Make sure you get Randy to come out and talk with you about your problem, as he really knows his stuff and works with you to eliminate the problem. BTW: no more ants in the kitchen, even by the dog food.” – Miles M.
Debbie L. in Southern California finally found a pest control company she could get along with in Terminix:
“I had the best experience with a technician that came to my home. His name was Doug and he was so friendly, and professional. I’ve had bad experiences in the past with exterminators, but Doug definitely changed my mind. I’m so happy that I went with Terminix and got the best technician out there. Thanks Doug! You are awesome!” – Debbie L.
Rebecca Z from Pensacola, Florida, is ecstatic about switching to Terminix.
“After struggling with another pest control company for 5 years, I am ecstatic about switching to Terminix! Throughout the entire process, from scheduling to payment, Terminix makes it simple and stress-free to obtain the most effective pest control. Moreover, Terminix employee Charles Bowman conveys the highest standards of professionalism. Mr. Bowman’s ethical standards reflect the ultimate goals of Terminix: prioritizing the safety of my family and pet (Shih Tzu) and caring for my home and property as if it were his own.” – Rebecca Z.
Orkin vs. Terminix Final Thoughts
Whether you live in Florida, California, or somewhere in between, Orkin has a treatment plan to eliminate almost any pest problem in your home or business. And with its 30-day satisfaction guarantee, you will have peace of mind knowing you’ll receive quality service at a reasonable price.
Still, we prefer Terminix over Orkin by a narrow margin. That’s because its technicians tend to eliminate pest infestations quicker. Also, the company appears to be at the leading edge of the pest control industry, making sure it’s always up to date on the latest methods and technologies.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best pest control company?
Both Orkin and Terminix receive high marks from the Better Business Bureau. However, while each company takes care of most pests, Terminix comes away with a slight edge. Not only are its technicians in tune with their customer’s pest control needs, but they cheerfully make a second visit when pests return between service calls.
Is it safe to use an exterminator?
Insecticide products used by licensed exterminators are closely regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Conversely, off-the-shelf DIY home remedies are fraught with danger when mixed in the wrong quantities.
For those reasons, hiring a reputable pest control company like Orkin or Terminix is the safest option.
How long does it take to get rid of bed bugs?
No matter the pest control provider, it usually takes a few weeks of diligent effort to eliminate bed bugs. However, with that said, Terminix appears to have the edge when eliminating this ferocious pest since their managers are more willing to provide cutting-edge equipment and training to their service techs.
What about rodents?
Orkin and Terminix both have rodent control plans, either separately or as part of their general contract. The service typically starts with a thorough inspection to identify nesting sites. Then, your technician utilizes a combination of bait systems and traps to eliminate the infestation.
Today's Homeowner Rating & Methodology
Our research process involves a multi-step process to get real insights into the customer experience for each company. We contacted each pest control company directly and spoke to representatives via phone and online chat (if available). This allowed us better understand the company’s treatment offerings and customer service. We also consider BBB accreditation and what customer reviews say about each company. Additionally, we fact-check and update company data regularly to ensure accurate and up-to-date information.
We developed a 100-point rating system to compare the companies numerically.
- Plan options (35 points): Companies with more plans and flexibility on services to address specific issues were given a higher score.
- State Availability (5 points): Those that offer coverage in fewer than 45 states were deducted points for availability.
- Trustworthiness (10 points): This is based on whether companies have money-back guarantees, service guarantees, and additional satisfaction assurance measures.
- Customer Service (30 points): We considered accessibility (including on weekends and holidays) of technicians and customer support.
- Additional Benefits (20 points): Companies that offer further conveniences such as an app, comprehensive resources, and other benefits were rated higher.