There’s no doubt about it: Pest infestations are a nightmare. Whether it’s ants, cockroaches or bed bugs, these uninvited little tenants can wreak havoc in your home. And, if you’ve already tried the DIY methods without much success, it might be time for professional help.
So, which pest control company should you call?
We’ve done the homework and have some answers — read on for our list of the best pest control companies of 2021.
Our Top Picks for Best Pest Control
- Orkin - Best-Trained Employees
- Terminix - Best for Best for Termite Infestations
- Aptive - Best for Environmentally Responsible Solutions
- Rentokil - Best for Commercial Buildings
- Critter Control - Best for Wildlife Control
Best Pest Control Reviews
- More than 120 years in the market
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Free revisits between treatments if pests return
- Last service refund, if they're unable to solve the problem
- Online pest library with up-to-date information on common household pests
- No online booking
- Orkin's employees are trained in a full-size house training facility — the Rollins Learning Center.
- 47 states including HI — does not operate in AK, WY and SD
- Services Offered
- Termites, Bed Bugs, Moths, Crickets, Fleas, Spiders, Ticks, Hornets, Roaches, Mice, Scorpions, Centipedes, Carpenter Ants, Earwigs, Silverfish, Mites, Beetles, Wheel Bug, Springtail, Mosquitos, Bird Control, Rodents
With over 400 locations across the country, Orkin is one of the largest residential and commercial pest control companies. They treat more than 25 common household pests, including bed bugs, termites, mosquitoes, fleas, ticks, cockroaches, rodents and some wildlife. In addition, they offer some home maintenance services, such as attic insulation, lawn care and moisture control.
What sets Orkin apart from other pest control companies is their extensive training program, which has won them a spot in Training Magazine’s Top 125 list for over 13 years. Their full-size house training facility has more than 50 learning stations (including a termite pavilion and a garden center) where pest technicians trainees practice for over 160 hours during their first year. Technicians also participate in a variety of learning and personal development activities throughout the career.
Orkin’s service is backed by multiple guarantees, including a 30-day money-back and a satisfaction guarantee. This means that if you’re not satisfied with their service after 30 days you can request a refund. Additionally, if a re-infestation occurs they’ll treat the area again for free.
They also offer a 60-day guarantee specifically for food and hospitality businesses. This means that, if the business has been an Orkin client for at least 60 days, Orkin will repay any expenses incurred if a customer sees a rat, mouse or cockroach during their visit or stay.
- 300 branches across the country (in 45 states and Washington D.C.)
- Offers commercial pest control services with dedicated account representatives
- Free re-treatments if pests return in between services
- Offers online account management for updates and scheduling
- Doesn't service Montana, South and North Dakota, Vermont and Alaska
- Terminix covers treatments for termite infestations or repairs from new damage.
- 45 states (does not operate in MT, SD, ND, VT, and AK)
- Services offered
- Termites, House Ants, Spiders, Cockroaches, Earwigs, Mice, Rats, Moths, Mosquitoes, Crickets, Paper Wasps, Silverfish, Centipedes, Millipedes, Scorpions, Bed bugs and some wildlife such as Raccoons, Opossums, Squirrels and Skunks
Terminix has been in business for more than 90 years offering residential and commercial pest control. Its long history and (almost) nationwide availability have made them one of the most well-known names in pest control.
While it might be famous for its termite control services — the company was one of the first to obtain a termite control patent — Terminix also treats a variety of common household pests such as cockroaches, spiders, centipedes, ants, bed bugs and some wildlife like skunks, raccoons and opossums.
Like most pest control companies, Terminix offers customized pest control treatments tailored to your specific needs and the severity of the infestation. Some of its termite treatments include baiting systems, subterranean liquid and home fumigation.
In addition, Terminix has one of the best guarantees for termites in the industry, covering treatments or repairs from new termite damage for as long as you keep a plan with them. Do note, however, the guarantee isn’t available in some areas of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi.
- Website offers pest library with tips on how to control common pests
- Can request quote online
- Free re-visits between treatments, if needed
- Fairly new to the market (founded in 2015)
- Doesn't treat termites or bed bugs
- Aptive donates a portion of their profits to the United Nation's Nothing But Nets campaign, aimed at stopping the spread of malaria in different countries.
- 30 states (does not operate in AL, AK, AR, CT, DE, HI, IA, LA, ME, MI, MT, NV, NH, NM, ND, RI, SC, SD, VT, and WY)
- Services offered
- Crickets, Cockroaches, Millipedes, Snails, Pillbugs, Earwigs, Aphids, Ants, Spiders, Rodents, Stingers, Biters, Pantry Pests
Aptive is available in 30 states and provides environmentally friendly services against common household and garden pests including roaches, ants, spiders, snails, pantry bugs, stinging insects and rodents.
Aptive’s year-round protection plan includes a revisit after the first visit and four quarterly service appointments. In the first visit, technicians perform an initial inspection where they assess your residence and all risk areas to develop a customized treatment for your infestation. Like most pest control companies, Aptive offers free revisits if the pest returns in between treatments.
New customers can request a quote online whereas existing customers can create an account on Aptive’s online portal where they can check service bills and set up payments. In addition, Aptive offers a $50 reward whenever your referrals sign up and receive their initial service.
Aptive is a member of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Pesticide Environmental Stewardship, a program that aims to reduce pesticide risk in agricultural and non-agricultural settings. They also donate part of their profits to the United Nation’s Nothing But Nets campaign in an effort to stop the spread of malaria mosquitoes in different at-risk countries.
While Aptive gets good reviews overall, do note that some customers mention aggressive sale tactics. Additionally, in 2019, the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General alleged Aptive failed to provide consumers with copies of their service contracts and to cancel services agreements when consumers asked.
- Available in 46 states
- Treats a variety of pests including bed bugs, termites, rats, flies and birds
- Offers drone disinfection for high-traffic event areas, such as stadiums
- Quality Pro and Green Pro certified
- Not available in Alaska, Montana, North Dakota or Hawaii
- Only serves businesses and commercial accounts
- Offers pest solutions to a wide range of businesses in the service industry.
- 46 states (does not operate in AK, HI, MT or ND)
- Services offered
- Bed bugs, Rats, Termites, Birds, Cockroaches, Flies, Ants, Wasps, Mosquitoes, Spiders and others
Rentokil offers commercial pest control and disinfection services to most business sectors, including food, retail, hotels, pharmaceutical and healthcare facilities.
Available in 46 states, Rentokil provides services tailored to each business’ pest control needs and can handle a wide variety of pests including bed bugs, flies, fleas, rodents and birds. In addition, they offer on-site sanitation and disinfection services, including COVID-19 disinfection through fogging and the use of drones for large venues.
Rentokil also provides residential services around the country through their different pest control brands which include Ehrlich, Western Exterminator, Anderson Pest Solutions, Presto X and Oliver Exterminating. Together these four subsidiaries cover almost the entire mainland and Puerto Rico.
- Specializes in wildlife removal, including raccoons, rats, bats, snakes, skunks, armadillos, squirrels, bees, porcupine, iguanas, birds and weasels
- Offers prevention services, minor damage repairs, feces cleanup and sanitation
- Doesn't treat common household pests, except for bed bugs
- No online quotes
- Removes a wide range of wildlife animals.
- 37 states (does not operate in AK, AR, CT, HI, ID, MN, MT, ND, RI, SD, VT, WV, or WY)
- Services offered
- Bed bugs, Raccoons, Rats, Bats, Squirrels, Badgers, Armadillos, Moles, Opossums, Otters, Rabbits, Shrews, Skunks, Weasels, Mountain Beavers, Chipmunks, Gophers, Marmots, Porcupine, Birds, Iguanas, Snakes, Bees, among others
If you’re having trouble with wild animals in your yard, basement or attic, consider calling Critter Control, one of the few national companies that specializes in removing wildlife safely and humanely.
Critter Control manages a wide variety of animals that most pest control companies don’t handle. Their expertise goes from removing the classic raccoons, opossums and squirrels (which some pest control companies do) all the way to otters, porcupines, deer, coyotes, foxes and even bobcats.
Critter Control has a service called CritterSafe which consists of using techniques that are safe and humane for handling wildlife. These include species-specific no-trap animal control with one-way doors and excluders, reuniting offspring with parents, and using eco-friendly repellents to discourage the animals’ return. In addition, they offer prevention services to eliminate entry points and recurring invasions along with cleanup of animal feces, sanitation, disinfection and minor animal damage home repairs.
Note that Critter Control doesn’t treat common household pests, except for bed bugs. Additionally, they don’t remove stray cats or dogs — so if that’s the issue around your home, it’s best to contact local animal shelters or rescuers.
Other Companies We Considered
We researched over 30 different options to find the best pest control companies. The following list includes some of the companies we considered, but that didn’t quite make the cut.
- Treats over 20 pests, including scorpions, rodents, weevils and roaches
- 100% money-back guarantee if you're not completely satisfied
- Only available in 18 states and Puerto Rico
- Treats common home pests including bed bugs, roaches, fire ants, carpet beetles and a variety of wasps
- Offers free re-service in between treatments
- Customer portal online
- Quality Pro-certified and Associate Certified Entomologist
- Only serves nine states: Colorado, Kansas, Utah, Idaho, Texas, Washington, Oregon, Missouri and Illinois
- Treats termites, common pests and wildlife, including bats, snakes, opposums and skunks
- Offers specialized home services, such as insulation, lawn care and moisture control
- Performs real estate inspections and termite home inspection letters for home sellers
- Quality Pro- and Green Pro-certified
- Only covers 12 states
- No online quotes
- Insight Pest Solutions
- Free online quotes
- Free re-treatment if pest returns between services
- Money-back guarantee, they'll credit your last payment if pests are not controlled after two visits
- Only serves 15 states
Pest Control Guide
This guide covers information on the types of pest control methods you can expect from pest management providers and how to determine whether a pest control plan is worth your money. In addition, it includes important factors to consider when you’re looking for the best pest control services.
Types of pest control
There are many tactics for treating pests, but in general, most pest control companies use a strategy known as integrated pest management (IPM). This approach uses a combination of techniques that take into consideration things like the life cycle of pests, their behavior and their environment. IPM focuses on long-term prevention and on minimizing the risk to people, properties and the environment.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, a solid IPM program includes four steps:
- Setting action thresholds, to define the best plan and the point at which the pest’s presence may become a health hazard or nuisance.
- Identifying and monitoring the type of pest and its activity to determine the appropriate treatment.
- Preventing pests, by removing all possible conditions that may attract pests, such as clutter, stagnant water, possible pest shelters or food.
- Controlling pests, if their presence surpasses the threshold limit.
In addition, IPM can include methods such as:
- Biological pest control: the use of natural predators, parasites or pathogens to suppress pest populations.
- Chemical pest control: synthetic, non-synthetic and preventative pesticides that incorporate chemicals and/or botanic ingredients such as plants, pheromones or fungus.
- Physical pest control: includes traps, barriers or other physical means to prevent pests from accessing the area.
- Electronic pest control: though less common, it can include the use of electromagnetic or ultrasonic devices that emit high-frequency sounds to repel rodents and insects.
Are pest control companies worth it?
|Safer (and more effective) than using over-the-counter chemicals from your local store.||Possible difficulties canceling your plan.|
|Services are guaranteed, meaning the pest company will re-treat your house for free if the pest comes back between services.||Sometimes costly, annual plans can cost anywhere from $400 to $600.|
|Expert technicians have both the knowledge and resources to deal with specific types of pests effectively.|
Hiring a pest control company is definitely worth it if you’re dealing with a pest infestation, especially if it's a pest that can harm your home like termites, or that may keep you awake at night like bed bugs.
But there’s no need to wait until you have a full-blown infestation in your house to take action. The best way to deal with pests is to avoid them in the first place, which is why considering preventative pest control may be worth your money too. In fact, most homeowners can benefit from having a pest control service in the long run.
When left unchecked, wood destroying organisms such as termites and carpenter ants can cause serious structural and non-structural damage to your home. This includes floors, ceiling supports, posts, wall studs and items such as cabinets, furniture and drywall. The cost for covering termite damage repairs can be expensive ranging from $3,000 to over $10,000, and most of the time, it’s not included in homeowners insurance coverage.
Preventative pest control can also help you avoid vermin such as rats, mice and racoons, which can damage your home systems or appliances. Ultimately, this may cause your home warranty claim to be denied, since most home warranty companies exclude damages caused by animals.
Additionally, if you’re planning on buying a home, a pest control company can help you by performing a home inspection and ensuring it’s pest-free before you buy it. Some companies, like Arrow Exterminators, offer real estate pest inspections and termite inspections to provide pest clearance. You could consider getting inspection protection as well, which can cover major structural repairs if an inspector missed the issue before the closing date.
How to find the best pest control company
When you’re looking for the best pest control company for your situation and needs, you should consider the following factors:
In most cases, a quick search online may suffice to find pest control companies that work in your area. However, you can also use website aggregators like Local Pest Control Pro or Porch which can help you connect with contractors in your area, and provide a free quote once you enter some basic information such as name, zip code and email address.
Our top five picks have a strong national, and sometimes international presence with offices across most states — however, there are advantages to choosing a reputable, local company near where you live. For one, local companies may have experience handling specific regional pests, particular geography and the types of constructions that are typical of the region. Nonetheless, as we point out below, don’t forget to evaluate whether the company has the proper certifications and licensing to provide extermination services and favorable reviews from customers.
Types of Pest
Most pest control providers are equipped to treat common household pests such as cockroaches, ants and spiders, but not all have experience with regional pests or particularly difficult infestations like termites and bed bugs.
Depending on the type of infestation, companies may be able to offer you specialized treatments. Many companies list the types of pests they’re prepared to treat and general information on how they do it. However, if you have questions on how they’ll protect your home against specific pests and what type of products they’ll use, make sure to ask the technician during the initial inspection visit.
Terms of Service
As with any type of contract, read all terms and conditions before you sign on the dotted line.
Check the length of contract, the pests and services covered by your plan, payment and fees, the calendar day you’ll be charged (most services require you to enroll in auto-pay), possible increased costs and changes over the term of your contract.
Additionally, verify whether the contract automatically renews, and if so with how many days in advance you have to cancel services.
Note that some companies may also charge interests for overdue payments and disclose your information to credit reporting agencies.
Because prices can depend on a number of factors that would only be evident during an inspection, pest control companies don’t generally disclose prices on their websites.
Generally, you can request an estimate online or over the phone. Nonetheless, keep in mind that a technician would still need to perform an in-home inspection to give you a more accurate price.
You should also check the company’s billing process, whether it’s a one-time payment or quarterly billing.
Most pest control companies offer service guarantees that typically consist of free re-treatments between visits or a partial refund if pests return.
Guarantee terms can vary by provider, and some may even have different guarantees for specific services. For instance, Orkin offers to repay charges incurred by foodservice and hospitality businesses, if a customer sees a rodent or cockroach during a visit, as long as it’s within 60 days of treating their facilities. Similarly, Terminix offers a 30-day bed bug guarantee and one of the most comprehensive termite guarantees, which includes repairs from new termite damage, if you maintain your plan with them.
Whether you’re considering a pest control company or an independent exterminator, it’s important to verify that they’re licensed, certified and trained to properly handle pesticides. You can typically find this information on companies’ websites or by giving them a call.
Look for companies accredited by Quality Pro. This entity sets the standards for pest management companies and ensures they follow the best pest control practices.
In addition, check if they have certifications such as Associate Certified Entomologist or Green Pro. These are endorsed by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) and let you know the company and its employees met the standards set by the association, ensuring they’re qualified to offer effective and environmentally safe services.
You can also check this information with your state’s Department of Agriculture.
You’ll want to make sure that you’re hiring a company that’s trustworthy, transparent and reliable. The best way to check this is by asking friends and acquaintances for recommendations; however, online customer reviews can be very useful as well.
Note that, when it comes to pest control companies, it’s common to find complaints from customers who have had problems canceling their services — companies we included in our list were also the subjects of these types of complaints.
Our recommendation is that you read the cancellation process very carefully, and note the number of days in advance you must request it. Additionally, keep a record with the name of the representative you speak with and the date you request the cancellation.
How We Chose the Best Pest Control Companies
We evaluated over 30 different pest control companies and focused on four factors: availability, types of pests treated (or service offerings), guarantees and customer service.
To ensure the selected companies were available in most areas, we gave particular consideration to companies that had a strong national presence, offering either nationwide services or at least in 30 states or more.
We preferred companies that treated a wide variety of pests and that offered multiple service guarantees. Lastly, we checked customer reviews online and each company’s standing with the Better Business Bureau.