Orkin vs Terminix
The EPA estimates that termites cause billions of dollars in property damage every year. Additionally, most homeowners insurance policies don’t cover termite damage, which is why it’s so important to address the problem early.
Pests destroy homes and buildings – termites alone cause more than $5 billion in damage each year, according to the National Pest Management Association. Pests such as insects and rodents also carry disease, contaminate food supplies and generally make our homes and businesses less pleasant places to be.
Perhaps that’s why pest control has grown to a $6.5 billion annual industry.
Orkin’s reviews are less favorable than Terminix. Consumer Affiars rates them 1.7 out of 5 stars. Online reviews are very favorable for Terminix. According to Consumer Affairs, Terminix maintains a 4.5 out of 5 stars. Terminix does not service Alaska, Montana, and North Dakota.
Orkin and Terminix are two of the biggest names in the pest control industry. Over the years, these pest companies have built their brands and expanded their knowledge and skills. They are each solid options for pest control, whether you’re dealing with common household pests or trickier insects like termites and bed bugs. To determine which company is the right choice for you, read on to find out how each compares.
Terminix has more consistent ratings, serves more customers, and offers an online chat. However, Orkin has more experience and a higher Better Business Bureau rating than Terminix. Both Orkin and Terminix offer comprehensive pest control services, a century of experience, and satisfaction guarantees.
Orkin vs. Terminix Overview
Orkin and Terminix each have extensive histories in the pest control industry.
Terminix has over 90 years of experience and was the first company to ever obtain a termite control patent. Its pest specialists include PhD-level entomologists, ACE- and BCE-accredited technicians, as well as ACE members of the Entomological Society of America. Terminix serves over one million more customers than Orkin, with a total of 2.8 million residential and commercial customers.
Terminix rises above the rest in terms of customer service. Unlike its top competitors, Terminix offers an online chat function. Customers can communicate with Terminix representatives in real time, asking questions and receiving immediate answers. We chatted with Terminix several times and found the representatives to be prompt, informative, and not pushy about sales.
Orkin has been in the business for over 100 years. Its pest control specialists have to undergo a rigorous, 160-hour targeted training program, and they serve over 1.7 million residential and commercial customers. Orkin is incredibly transparent about its services online, breaking down the steps and even noting specific products and treatments.
Orkin stands out for its huge array of online resources, in keeping with its commitment to give suggestions and recommendations to its customers. Online, customers can find a thorough pest library, bug bite photo gallery, and many links to blog pages the company has written about specific pests.
Below, you can find a table that compares Orkin and Terminix on key metrics:
|Provider||Overall Rating||BBB Rating||Avg. Cost||States Covered|
|Terminix||B+||$420 – $560||47|
|Orkin||A+||$350 – $550||47|
|Aptive||B+||$400 – $700||24|
*N/A signals inconsistent accreditations and ratings
Orkin vs. Terminix Plans
Orkin and Terminix each offer general pest control services, as well as termite control and bed bug removal. Each company also offers other specific plans for mosquitoes and ticks.
General pest control—pests covered
There’s a lot of overlap over the common household pests that Orkin and Terminix protect against in their general pest control plans. The companies identify these particular pests online and over the phone, but note that some others may be included.
- Clothes moths
- Rats and mice
- “House” ants
- Spiders (non-dangerous)
- House crickets
- Paper wasps
For both pest control companies, the treatment plan starts with an initial visit and inspection, and is followed up by incremental scheduled visits, either bi-monthly or quarterly, depending on the plan and company. Different plan breakdowns are offered in different locations.
Additionally, both Orkin and Terminix offer service guarantees. The Orkin 30-Day Money Back Guarantee and the Nix Pest Guarantee™ both ensure that a technician will return to your home at no extra cost if pests return between scheduled appointments. Orkin will refund your last payment, so long as you stay a customer.
Ancillary And Additional Services
|1) Lawn Treatments — Year-round lawn care includes pests, weeds, and diseases. (Florida residents only)|
2) Moisture Control — Orkin DryCare® protects crawlspaces, attics, and other areas from structural-damaging moisture and monitors moisture levels throughout the year.
3) Attic Insulation — Orkin offers two insulation packages (OrkinTherm® and OrkinComfortZone®) that not only improve the energy efficiency of the home but also protect against invasive pests.
|1) Gutter Protection — Terminix provides professionally installed rain gutters (normally an insect breeding ground) and gutter guards that prevent clogging.|
2) Builder Services: New Construction Termite Pretreatment, also the Complete Insulation Packages, and Moisture Control Services
3) Carpentry Services — Includes substructure repairs, siding repair and replacement, and a suite of other services ranging from floors to ceilings, to drywall, and more.
Winner: Terminix. Both Orkin and Terminix do more than just eradicate pests; however, Terminix offers a wider range of home services than its competitor that extends beyond moisture and attic maintenance. Terminix goes the extra mile by repairing, replacing, installing, and assisting with structural elements of the home that have been damaged by termites or other pests.
Orkin vs Terminix Approaches In Termite Treatment
Both Orkin and Terminix use similar and effective methods for treating termites. They both offer termite baits, liquid soil treatments, and tent fumigation services. Orkin advertises that it uses Sentricon for its bait system and Termidor for its liquid termite treatment; however, it isn’t clear what Terminix is using for their “Bait Defend System” or “Liquid Defend System.”
Sentricon is a subterranean termite control product developed by Dow AgroSciences. It is one of the most extensively tested and effective termite control products on the market. However, ongoing monitoring and re-filling the bait system is required for it to be effective. Termidor is a widely used insecticide that’s effective against a wide range of insects, but it’s also highly toxic.
In addition to chemical treatments, both companies will install spray foam insulation. For the purpose of termite control, spray foam insulation will fill voids in interior and exterior walls, providing extra protection against termite infestations.
Orkin and Terminix each offer comprehensive, targeted termite treatment plans.
Orkin follows a systematic Points of Service approach. This process involves an initial, extensive inspection of your woodwork and a custom-tailored plan to protect your home from existing termites and help prevent future infestations.
To combat termites, Orkin uses Termidor liquid treatments, dry foam and Orkinfoam, and Sentricon bait and monitoring.
If termites return, the Re-Treatment Program guarantees Orkin will eliminate them at no extra cost.
Terminix also breaks down its termite tackling process into a trio of steps. First, Terminix conducts a thorough inspection of your interior and exterior, paying close attention to potential access points. Your service professional will then develop a customized treatment or protection plan and conduct annual reviews.
Terminix’s termite methods include its OnGuard® Protection System bait systems and other curative solutions.
For qualifying homes, Terminix offers the Nix & Fix Termite Guarantee™, ensuring you never have to pay for treatments or repairs from new termite damage, as long as you keep your plan.
Bed Bug Removal
Orkin and Terminix both offer targeted bed bug removal options. Here’s how they stack up.
As with its termite program, Orkin utilizes its Points of Service approach for bed bugs, subbing beds, furniture, rugs, and linens for woodwork. After your treatment, Orkin will come back for follow-up visits to make sure that bed bugs won’t return.
For bed bug removal, Terminix starts with an extensive inspection before removing visible bed bugs and eradicating hidden ones and any eggs before they hatch, using a variety of methods, including steam, encasements, and monitoring devices, as well as its non-toxic RapidFreeze® solution.
The company notes that, “backed by the Terminix Bed Bug Guarantee, if you see evidence of bed bugs in your home within six months, Terminix will return and perform an inspection and additional treatments at no extra cost.”
Mosquitoes are annoying pests that can carry and transmit dangerous diseases, such as the West Nile and Zika viruses, to humans and pets. If you’re looking to treat an existing mosquito problem or prevent one, below are some of the mosquito control approaches taken by Terminix, Orkin, and Aptive.
Terminix QuickGuard Mosquito Service treatment plan is a solid option for immediately reducing mosquito populations on your property while providing you with long-lasting protection with a microbial insecticide. This treatment uses a special polymer layer that protects the active ingredients in the treatment from rain and lawn watering, providing you with weeks of active protection against mosquitoes. Terminix will continue to return to your property for monthly applications to continue building your defense against mosquitoes.
Terminix follows an Inspect, Eliminate, Protect, and Maintain protocol through monthly applications of a targeted treatment. This treatment includes an insect growth regulator, as well as a key active ingredient with a special polymer layer that keeps it from washing away due to weather and lawn watering, allowing for several weeks of protection.
You can expect one-time mosquito treatments to cost about $150, while ongoing treatments cost around $60 a month. Please keep in mind that Terminix does not offer this treatment plan in all states.
Orkin offers a more robust mosquito control plan than other pest control providers. It uses different types of treatments that disrupt mosquito life cycles. In addition, these treatments may include traditional insecticides, insect growth regulators, and microbial insecticides. Unlike many providers, Orkin may also lease out mosquito traps to its customers.
Orkin protects against Zika, Chikungunya, and West Nile by implementing several treatments to interrupt the mosquitoes’ life cycles in either monthly or one-time applications. These applications include microbial insecticides, traditional insecticides, and insect growth regulators.
Orkin offers both one-time and monthly treatment plans for mosquitos. A one-time visit for an average-sized lot will cost around $75 to $150.
Depending on where you live, mosquito services can be extremely useful.
Ticks are unpleasant, parasitic insects that feed on blood from humans and other mammals, like dogs and cats. They can also carry dangerous diseases, making them a pest you don’t want to trifle with.
Orkin offers its Points of Service process, inspecting ideal tick hiding spaces like tall grass and heavily wooded areas before creating a treatment plan and performing follow-up visits.
Orkin works to modify the tick’s habitat in your yard by reducing pest-friendly areas, which will discourage ticks from gathering and breeding in your yard. This plan can include exposing pest-friendly areas to sunlight, which decreases the available moisture for pests. Your Orkin exterminator may also recommend removing any thick ground cover, fallen logs, firewood piles, rock piles, and dense shrubbery that ticks tend to flock to. Chemical applications may also be applied in high traffic tick areas, such as cover vegetation, ornamental plants, and where your lawn meets the woods. This reduces how easy it is for ticks to come into your yard and home. If you have a tick problem indoors, your technician will likely recommend using diatomaceous earth, which is safer for families to be around but still effective against many types of pests, including ticks. Extensive tick treatments can cost $300 or more from Orkin, but this will vary dramatically based on your property size and specific situation.
The Tick Defend System uses a four-step approach that kills ticks in every part of your yard. The first step is a thorough inspection, where the technician will identify pest-friendly areas in your yard, such as shrubs, transition areas, and grass. Then, they will make recommendations and a custom plan for your tick problem, followed by treatment, which is typically a combination of granular and liquid treatments that creates a strong barrier against ticks. Finally, Terminix does monthly services which minimize the tick population in your yard, giving you the ultimate peace of mind. For this service, you can usually expect to pay anywhere between $150 and $300.
Terminix follows an Inspect, Prevent, Treat, and Maintain protocol, including a monthly service. After a thorough inspection of your yard, Terminix makes recommendations to make your yard less appealing to ticks and applies liquid and granular treatments to eliminate existing ticks and create a protective barrier.
Orkin vs Terminix Locations And Nationwide Availability
While both Orkin and Terminix have expansive coverage in the United States, there are some notable differences that will affect residents and business owners in certain states. Currently, neither company has branches in Alaska or South Dakota. So, residents in those states will need to look elsewhere. The only other state that Orkin does not provide services in is Wyoming. While Terminix has a branch in Wyoming, it does not have locations in either North Dakota or Montana. Residents of North Dakota and Montana should consider Orkin instead.
Orkin and Terminix are both available in 47 states. Orkin is available everywhere except for Alaska, South Dakota, and Wyoming. Terminix does not service North Dakota, South Dakota, or Alaska.
|More than 400 locations. |
Available in every state, except the following: Alaska, South Dakota, and Wyoming
|More than 300 locations. |
Available in every state, except the following: Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Vermont
Winner: Orkin. Although both pest control companies boast an impressive national presence, Orkins wins the category. Not only is Orkin represented in more states, but the company also operates across more than 400 locations, as opposed to the approximate 300 locations from Terminix.
Orkin vs. Terminix Cost
Annual inspections average around $300 to $500 per year for both companies. However, Orkin tends to be more expensive than Terminix. If you already have a pest infestation, expect to pay $475 to $2,000 or more per year for monthly or quarterly pest control treatments.
Orkin’s general pest control cost for a 2,000-square-foot home in Houston, Texas, would be $575. Terminix’s general pest control plan for a home of the same size in the same area would range from $550 to $700.
Annual inspection and protection plans run anywhere from $300 to $500 per year. These are for homeowners who have NOT yet discovered an infestation. The service covers annual inspections, as well as the cost of pest control services if a future inspection uncovers a problem. Consider it like pest insurance.
If you do have an infestation, the cost is much higher. Expect to spend anywhere from about $475 to $2,000 or more per year for monthly or quarterly pest control treatments, depending on the pervasiveness of the problem.
Orkin is usually a little bit more expensive than Terminix, although some consumers say the treatment is more thorough. However, keep in mind that customer experiences vary from one region of the country to another because franchises are individually owned.
So our cost evaluation can be:
Terminix tends to have higher online reviews than Orkin. Orkin’s services cost a little more than Terminix. Both pest control companies offer free initial inspections and both guarantee their work. They are also both franchised companies so quality may vary by location.
It’s hard to estimate the exact cost comparison, because what you’ll pay ultimately depends on the type of pest you’re dealing with, the degree of your pest infestation, the size and location of your home, and how many individual treatments you’ll need. To get the most accurate quote, Orkin and Terminix will need to perform an inspection of your home.
|City||Zip Code||Average Price Paid|
|New York City||10001||$254|
Terminix offers a wide variety of pest control plans. Its Ultimate Protection Package is a customer favorite because it provides coverage against both general pests and termites, along with an included 10 percent savings for the package. Bed bug treatments will typically cost $500 or more, depending on the infestation’s severity and the size of your property. Depending on the specific situation, you can expect to pay several thousand dollars for termite treatments, anywhere from $2,500 and up.
Terminix’s general pest control plan, which includes common pests like roaches, ants, and spiders, will cost around $500 to $700 for a home around 2,000 square feet. Again, this will also vary based on your location.
Like Terminix, Orkin offers a general pest control plan that covers various common household pests, such as wasps, ants, cockroaches, and rodents. Its seasonal outdoor pest control can help prevent pests from infesting your yard and property during their peak seasons, eliminating the chances of a future pest problem for you.
You can expect to pay between $550 and $750 a year for a general pest control plan with Orkin, making them, on average, slightly more expensive than Terminix. Bed bug treatments will usually cost at least $400 and can easily cost several thousand dollars depending on the infestation and size of your property. On the other hand, termites can be even more costly, especially if you need fumigation, which can easily cost $10,000 or more. Typical termite jobs for subterranean termites will cost substantially less, around $1,700 to $3,000 usually. These numbers will fluctuate based on the custom quote your Orkin technician gives you but can help you get a general idea of what to expect cost-wise.
The cost of any pest control agreement varies widely based on location, construction methods and materials, and the size of the property, among other factors. However, for a typical residential customer looking for preventative pest control, annual plans run in the $350-$550 range. For residential customers already dealing with an infestation, costs are substantially more and can be upwards of $2,000.
As pricing varies so much based on the property, location, and level of infestation, it’s difficult to compare the two companies head-to-head on cost. However, customers tend to report Orkin being slightly more expensive than Terminix.
Orkin vs Terminix Customer Service
Termite service agreements ensure that the company will return to and inspect your property for infestations and damage over the course of the contract. Both Orkin and Terminix use a similar approach to their termite treatment agreements that involves an initial inspection, the creation and implementation of a customized plan, and ongoing monitoring. In the event that new termite activity appears during the ongoing monitoring process, both companies will treat the home and take care of the problem at no additional cost (so long as you keep your service agreement).
For residential customers, both companies offer a 30-day money back guarantee of their work. For commercial customers, they take it a step further. Orkin offers three different 60-day guarantees. These 60-day guarantees provide complimentary service by them or by another provider if the commercial customer is not happy with their services. Terminix allows commercial customers to try Terminix Commercial for 90 days, after which they will refund all paid services plus another 10% to unsatisfied customers.
Terminix offers a number of perks for commercial customers managing multiple locations that we didn’t see offered by its competitors. First, Terminix assigns a dedicated account representative that understands the needs of the customer’s company as a whole. Then, this rep will work with the client to create customized strategies for each branch of the business. Additionally, Terminix provides a web portal for commercial customers to view reports and manage multiple properties from a single location.
An important thing to keep in mind is that that termites usually require a separate contract, as they are not typically covered under general pest management services.
|The Orkin Guarantee||Terminix Ultimate Protection® Guarantee|
|1) Provides additional treatment at no charge if pests return.|
2) Refunds last service payment if the problem is not solved.
|1) Same-day solution — attempts to resolve complaints within 24 hours|
2) Re-treats home at no extra charge if pests return
Refunds services within 30 days of treatment
Winner: Terminix. While both companies offer customers competitive guarantees that include free re-treatment as well as a refund, Terminix has taken additional steps to ensure customers are completely satisfied. The company’s same-day solution guarantee gives it a slight edge over Orkin.
Orkin and Terminix Customer Reviews
Orkin and Terminix both have mixed reviews online. Each has multiple pages with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) for different branch locations. Orkin’s BBB ratings vary from page to page, while Terminix holds an C+ rating.
While Orkin has some inconsistencies, its owner Rollins’ headquarters page is BBB-accredited with an A+ rating. Here’s a sampling of Orkin reviews.
Christopher W. said:
“Shreveport Louisiana Office Inspector Damien M******* came out at my request to perform a termite inspection. Mr. M******* was very professional. He completed a thorough inspection of my home. After the inspection, Damien presented me with a diagram of my home and termite prevention options. I elected to go with the baiting system. On the day of installation, I met with Damien and Josh. Josh performed the baiting system and was very knowledgeable and did an excellent job. Kudos to the Orkin Shreveport office!! The Termite Team is jam up and jelly tight!!!”
Elmer H. said:
“I had them come out to do an initial rat termination service for me, and before they performed the service they had me sign a contract for a one-year service agreement without providing me with detailed information about the one-year plan. They told me my initial service would entail at least four follow-ups without a charge. However, when I later cancelled my year service contract within the 72-hour ( Washington State law gives a consumer the right to cancel a contract within 72 hours) period allowed by law; I received a call from Orkin inquiring why I canceled, and I told them why. I was informed by Orkin that I would still receive 2 free follow-up visits as part of Orkin initial service. Orkin then scheduled an appointment for me and did not keep the appointment at the appointed time. I called them the next day to find out and they told me since I cancelled my service I was getting my promised free follow-up as promised.”
Terminix’s headquarters page shares the A- rating and has mixed reviews, as well.
Lisa F. said:
“Terminix is a company you can depend on for quality service, professional employees, and great products that really work to kill pests around your home. I highly recommend them to anyone who needs pest control. Our technician, Ronald***** R****, has been amazing! Very courteous, informative, always explains what is being done. I was concerned about having treatment with our animals, but he assured me that it is not going to hurt them. I have never been told that with any other company and it actually is true. We had an ant issue that was not on our scheduled service month and Ronald **** R**** came out as soon as possible. He was not only able to get rid of the ants but keep them away. I will always use Terminix because of the kindness and respect I receive from my technician. The service is affordable and it works!”
Eric B. said:
“Terminix customer service is nonexistent. I had an appointment for [a] termite inspection on 3/16/2020, and when nobody showed up, I called the service center and was rescheduled for 3/17/2020 between 8 and 10 am. Again, nobody showed up so I called again and asked for a supervisor and was told there were no supervisors at that location, they would take my information, and I will get a call in the next 48 hours. (Really) I guess that Terminix thinks it’s no problem for people to miss work two days in a row just waiting to see if they may show up if they feel like coming. They can’t even make a phone call to let the customer know they will not be coming. With no supervisor at the call center, I guess that they just don’t care about customer service.”
Both Orkin and Terminix have received multiple certifications from the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), a nonprofit organization that represents the interests of the pest control agency:
- QualityPro Certification — To be QualityPro-certified, companies must pass a 16-point professionalism checklist that spans from more general items like regular drug and background checks, to more industry-specific items such as proper pesticide handling and storage and service agreements that meet industry requirements.
- GreenPro Service Certification — GreenPro-certified companies focus on not just the prevention of pests, but also on the protection of humans, non-targeted animals, and the environment. To become GreenPro-certified, pest control companies must maintain high safety and professionalism standards, without sacrificing the effectiveness of their pest control solutions.
Winner: Both. Being both QualityPro- and GreenPro-certified sets these companies apart from less reputable pest control companies. Customers can be assured that both Orkin and Terminix maintain high standards in the people they hire, the products they use, and the pest control practices they implement.
Orkin vs. Terminix Verdict
When it comes to other pest control services, Orkin certainly stands out with its extensive online library of common house pests. Compared to other pest control companies, Orkin has far more resources for interested customers looking to learn more about common pests. When it comes to actual differences in services though, Terminix and Orkin have a very similar list of pests that are included in their standard contracts. Both companies require separate contracts and/or additional fees to treat more exotic pests like poisonous spiders, fleas, ticks, carpenter ants, bees, and mosquitos, among others.
Overall, there are few companies that have been in the business as long as Orkin and Terminix. When it comes to termite control, both companies bring a high level of experience and expertise, and their residential service offerings are fairly similar. That said, for homeowners concerned about the chemicals being used in their termite treatment, Orkin is far more transparent, listing exactly what is uses on its website. Terminix wouldn’t disclose what insecticides it uses without having someone come out for an inspection.
For business customers, Terminix offers a number of convenient services that allow business owners and property managers to more easily stay on top of multiple properties/locations. If you are looking for commercial termite control services across a number of properties, Terminix might be the better option.
Finally, location is an important factor when it comes to choosing between Orkin and Terminix. If you are in a major metropolitan area, you shouldn’t have a problem contracting with either company. If you live in a more rural area or smaller city, you’ll want to make sure that the company has a branch office near you. You can find Orkin’s locations here and Terminix’s locations here. As stated earlier, neither company has offices in Alaska or South Dakota. Wyoming residents should go with Terminix, since Orkin also doesn’t have offices there. North Dakota and Montana residents should go with Orkin, since Terminix doesn’t currently service those states.
As you can see, each company offers comprehensive services, over a century of experience, and money-back, satisfaction guarantees. Their general pest control plans and approach to pests like termites, bed bugs, mosquitoes, and ticks, appear similar.
In terms of differences, we do find that Terminix skews cheaper, has more consistent ratings, serves more customers, and offers a very efficient online chat function. Orkin, on the other hand, has more experience and a greater number of customer resources.
If Terminix piqued your interest, call the company or fill out this form for a free quote. If you’d like to get a quote from Orkin, call or fill out this simple form.
Terminix vs Orkin Comparison
|Our Overall Score out of 100||98.5||94|
|Superlative||Best Customer Service||Most Customer Resources|
|Annual Cost for General Pest Control||$550–$700||$575|
Company Overview & Values
Orkin and Terminix are two of the most well-known pest control companies in the business. Orkin was founded by Otto Orkin in Pennsylvania in 1901. Orkin remained a family-run business for decades until it was ultimately acquired by Rollins Inc. in 1964. Over the course of its long history, Orkin has actively engaged in research projects with public universities and the CDC to study insect behavior and biology. Orkin also sponsors various initiatives aimed at educating young people about the natural world, including the Junior Pest Investigators Program, the Orkin Man School Presentations, and the Orkin Children’s Zoo in Atlanta. Orkin makes its commitment to education, public health, and environmental responsibility a top priority. Today, Orkin’s 8,000 member team serves 1.7 million residential and commercial customers from over 400 locations worldwide.
Orkin has a specialized program it puts its pest control specialists through that includes 160 hours of targeted training and testing before its specialists are allowed into the field. Today, Orkin has over 400 global locations, with its headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia currently. The company offers clients a 30-day money-back guarantee to give them peace of mind that they’re covered should pests return to their home.
Similar to Orkin, Terminix also has a rich history, dating back to the 1920s. Originally the Bruce-Terminix Research Laboratory, Terminix is now a subsidiary of ServiceMaster. Over the course of its 90+ years in business, Terminix has authored scientific research, obtained termite control patents, and developed termite control products for the government. Terminix was the first termite control company to franchise and also the first company to provide termite protection guarantees to customers in its contracts. Today, Terminix’s 10,000 member team serves more than 2.8 million residential and commercial customers in the U.S. and abroad.
Today, its headquarters is in Memphis, Tennessee, and it has over 10,000 member teams throughout the United States and abroad. Terminix pest specialists include PhD-level entomologists, which gives it an edge over the competition. Its technician training is also considered some of the best worldwide. Unlike the competition, Terminix also offers online chat functions so that customers can easily access 24/7 support for their pest control needs.