The top performers in our review are Terminix, the Gold Award winner; Orkin, the Silver Award winner; and Truly Nolen, the Bronze Award winner. Here’s more on choosing a service to meet your needs, along with details on how we arrived at our ranking of 10 pest control services.
Whether they fly, creep, crawl or jump, pests can interrupt your everyday life and need to be eliminated or removed. Pest control services safeguard you and your loved ones or employees from unwanted visitors. The best services do this by having a technician inspect and identify the pest problem first for free, offer an instant quote, and then he or she will exterminate the infestation. After which, the tech will take preventive measures to ensure the bugs won’t come back.
Most pest control companies offer emergency services and year-round protection from pesky critters such as termites, ants, spiders, wasps, snakes and bedbugs, among others. The best companies will use an Integrated Pest Management system, which means they use the least amount of pesticide that’s possible while remaining effective. In addition to exterminating bug colonies and nests, technicians also employ a variety of prevention methods so the bugs won’t come back, such as bait traps. They are likely to use products inside and outside of your home or business, and they can even seal cracks and crevices. If you have an annual plan, your exterminator is likely to monitor your home or business to be sure the treatments worked and continue working.
Ants, spiders, roaches and other pests can reproduce quickly, though, and they can be at any variety of stages when an exterminator visits your home, so removing them completely can take a while – often only after several treatments. Most pest control companies offer at least a 30-day guarantee on one-time treatments, so you can request a return treatment within that period if you’re unhappy with results.
You will find that exterminator prices vary greatly between companies for many reasons. The size of your home or business is one factor, so the larger your space, the more expensive the treatment. Pest control cost may be higher due to the severity of the infestation or type of pest that needs to be removed. In addition to the region in which you live being a factor, the rarity of a pest problem could hike a price up. So, if you live in an area that isn’t known for alligators and you suddenly need a service to remove an 8-foot reptile from your basement, you may need to pay a premium. Overall, pricing is similar for most pest control companies.
To provide the best information for the most people, we chose companies that serve at least four states in the United States. Most of these services handle common pests, termites and wildlife control for both residential and commercial properties, though there are exceptions. Pest control companies such as Steritech and ECOLAB provide services for commercial properties only, so we omitted them from our lineup. Western Exterminator Company is well known in California, and the company has expanded to include offices in Arizona and Nevada, but it just falls short of the minimum of four states.
The best pest control services will guarantee their treatments. Treatment guarantees mean the company will return to your home for additional treatment, even if you see pests coming back the next week. You can learn more about bugs and how to control them in our articles about pest control. Of course, if you’re ready for professional help, you want to find the best service, so we've laid out the most important criteria to consider when picking a company:
We looked specifically at professional pest control companies that cover both residential and commercial pest control treatments. It is standard practice for pest control companies to offer emergency services, and most companies will respond within a day or two to treat your home or business. Technicians should tell you exactly what procedures you are paying for. All of the companies we researched give you a breakdown of where treatments occur and what pest control products technicians will use. Most companies will give you free inspections for termites, ants and bedbugs, and then supply you with a quote. You can expect most companies to use products and methods that are safe for you, your family, your pets and the environment.
Types of Pests
Pest control companies vary in the pests they can treat. All of the pest control companies we reviewed cover common pests like ants, wasps, termites and spiders. However, many companies take it one step further and control other pests that are specific to your area. Look for companies that cover such wildlife as snakes, rodents and even birds. If bedbugs are common in your area, choose a company that can take care of bedbugs. Also, be aware that not all companies are certified to cover termites, so if you need termite protection, be sure the pest control company can take care of them.
An important factor to look for in pest control services is a treatment guarantee. A company that guarantees its work will generally return as often as you need them to until they've effectively take care of your bug problem. Many exterminators monitor areas that have been treated and make sure pests don't return to that area. Also, look for services that offer 24-hour support and let you manage your own account online, particularly if this level of support is important to you.
Many company websites give you a pest guide that will help you identify which pests you have in your home. Some websites offer prevention tips and solutions for current problems so you can try to reduce minimal pest activity on your own. So, if you’re a do-it-yourselfer, the online libraries could be very useful tools for you to utilize.
Three services stood out from the rest. Our Gold Award winner, Terminix, provides the most services, the most information on its website and the shortest response times of any other service we researched. Orkin came in as a close second, winning our Silver Award with its comparable services, but its response time may be a bit slower. And Truly Nolen snagged the Bronze Award for its similar services and availability – it simply serves a small region. All of them scored well in each category, and any of them would be excellent choices for your pest control needs in your home or business.
There are other services that may be better suited to your needs, so be sure to check out other services in our lineup. Presto-X offers most of the same services as our top-ranked companies, but possibly at a lower cost. Eco-Wise will use every preventive method possible – such as removing food and water sources, blocking access to the area and changing the environment – before resorting to pesticides, which makes this a great choice for those who are concerned about environmental impact. The company uses natural pesticides that are derived from natural products, when possible. Otherwise, the technicians apply spot treatments in low concentrations.
You can expect pests to be around all year, so finding a good pest control service is essential. Overall, remember that pest control is just that: control. It takes time and you will not see 100 percent improvement in one treatment. However, if you choose the right exterminator for your area, you should see positive results in minimal time.