Pricing & Plans
Best Pest Control Services
Why Use Pest Control Services?
We spent 85 hours evaluating 10 pest control services by comparing their prices, treatments and pest prevention tips. We contacted various pest control agencies to determine what services they provided and what states they covered. We also spoke with an Environment Protection Agency (EPA) spokesperson and a garden associate from a popular home improvement store to better understand eco-friendly pesticides and effective eradication techniques. Our evaluation helped us determine that Terminix is the best pest control service overall, due to its quick response times, effective treatments plans and extensive list of 288 pest prevention tips. Terminix offers services in 46 states and covers most pests.
Truly Nolen is the best value option for pest control services as long as it operates in your area. You’ll find this company working in 15 states but at a lower price than Terminix. With 24-hour assistance and fast response times, this service can really help you in an emergency whether you're dealing with bugs or other wildlife.
Eco-Wise Pest Control is the perfect choice for the environmentally conscious. This service pays particular attention to its effect on the planet by using organic, low-impact pesticides to control your vermin. You can find this service operating in 32 states eliminating many types of pests.
Why Use a Professional Pest Control Service?
Since you can simply buy a spray or a bug bomb at your local drugstore, why would you pay for professional treatment? The truth is you might not have to. However, while ant traps and other cheaper methods may work for minor problems, an infestation usually calls for more. You can always experiment with a few home remedies before, or even during, professional treatments. Some users swear by electronic pest control devices, which are also referred to as ultrasonic pest control devices. You simply plug a nightlight-sized unit into your wall and then forget about it. It is designed to use the wiring in your house to irritate the nervous system of mice, roaches, spiders and more. If none of the things you try on your own work, it is time to call in professional exterminators.
We spoke with a garden associate who has over 20 years of experience as a licensed corporate pest control agent at a local home improvement store to learn more about safe pesticide practices and prevention techniques. He said that in today’s world, people want immediate solutions to pest problems but that these remedies usually come at a cost. “It can take time to eliminate a pest problem, but people don’t want to wait so they use these chemical products that kill bugs quickly, but they also leave dangerous chemicals in the home long after the invader is gone.”
He also pointed out that many of the bug killers on store shelves have been banned from professional pest control use, yet typical consumers with no professional qualifications have access to them. Pointing to specific chemicals in the pesticides, he explained that some of those chemicals kill by affecting a pest’s nerves or hormones. He warned that humans can be affected by these chemicals as well so you should exercise caution when using them.
If you plan on taking care of your pest problem yourself, make sure you follow the label instructions and use the chemicals responsibly. To make sure you are using a chemical safely, check the EPA website.
Even the pros might not be able to solve the problem right away. Ants, spiders, roaches and other pests can reproduce quickly, and they can be at any stage of development when an exterminator visits your home, so removing them completely can take a while – often requiring 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 the results.
The Best Pest Inspectors
The best services safeguard you and your loved ones or employees from unwanted visitors by having a technician inspect and identify the pest problem, offer an instant quote and then exterminate. When you have a bug problem, you don't want to wait long for someone to take care of it. The best pest control companies will respond to your call within 24 hours. They will handle your current bug problem and help you take preventive measures to ensure bugs won’t return. Techs can use many methods, such as sprays and bait traps, to control several varieties of pests – termites, ants, spiders, wasps, snakes, bedbugs and others.
Beyond common bug problems, we looked for companies that cover such wildlife as snakes, rodents and even birds. The best all-around companies can handle several types of pests, but the right service for you depends on your infestation. Keep in mind that not all services can treat for termites, which can do serious damage to a home.
Pest control companies must also follow regulations for the chemicals they use. And the best companies, like Terminix, use environmentally safe chemicals and spray more powerful poisons responsibly. Some services, such as Eco-Wise, even offer natural and organic pest control options.
We contacted the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), to learn about safe and eco-friendly pesticide usage. One of the most important takeaways they gave us was that you should ask the exterminator what pesticides they plan on using. A spokesperson from EPA stated, “Be sure the pesticides being used are registered with EPA, as necessary, and that the applicator reads and follows the instructions on the label.” With the knowledge found on the EPA website, you can see whether the exterminator is using chemicals correctly or if their technique might place you and your loved ones at risk. Keep in mind that good pest control companies won’t be afraid to share their chemical list with you.
Services Offered by Pest Control Companies
While it's true that many bug problems can be taken care of without expert assistance, some situations cannot. Many professional pest control services, such as Orkin, have specific service packages to help you tackle difficult pests like termites, mosquitos, rodents and bed bugs. You can often choose between a one-time service, seasonal service or a monthly service to keep those bugs at bay, but some situations might be trickier and demand a specific eradication regimen. Many professional pest control companies, like Truly Nolen, cover both residential and commercial pest control treatments.
In order to legally eliminate termites, each pest control company must pass certifications provided by the state they are in. For this reason, not all pest control companies can handle termite removal. Similarly, not all pest control services handle wildlife, so if you need to remove that pesky raccoon from your basement or those messy bats from your attic, make sure the service you call can handle your problem.
What Can I Do to Control Pests?
There are many things you can do to prevent bugs from entering and settling into your home:
- Bugs often thrive in dark, warm or humid places, so it's best to keep your home clean, uncluttered and dry to discourage bugs.
- Pet food bowls are easy targets for rodents, ants, roaches and other pests, especially if bowls are always left on the ground and are hardly ever cleaned.
- Keeping your outdoor plants at least 2 feet from your house lowers the likelihood of pests wandering straight from bushes or tree branches to your house walls.
- Any area of your home with openings like chimneys, windows, vents, pipes or cracks in the walls can be front doors for pests. You can fix many of these problems by adding screens, filters, weather stripping and caulking to your home.
If preventive measures do not work or the problem is already past prevention, there are many home remedies and store-bought pest poisons and traps that you can use to deter or kill unwanted intruders.
- Break open your seasoning cupboard because there are several natural insect repellents. Common cooking ingredients like mint, red chili powder, cinnamon, black pepper and turmeric repel and deter ants. Sprinkle these powders in ant-heavy areas to act as natural ant pest control.
- Consider wiping down your pantry and kitchen with vinegar. This not only repels ants but wipes away their chemical trail so they can't easily find their way back.
- Mixing borax into sugary water can eliminate ants, roaches and other bugs. Borax slowly kills by messing with a bug's digestive system. Ants will take their sugary borax load back to their homes and spread the treat with their friends, which will eventually kill the entire colony.
Ideally, eliminating and discouraging pests yourself is the best way to go, but if these approaches don't work or if they seem like too much work, you might want to call a professional.
Why Trust Us
We spent 85 hours contacting and researching 10 exterminator companies to determine which ones offer the best prices, most thorough services and fastest response times. We made a list of each company’s services and compared them against each other to determine the best of the best. To get a more in-depth understanding of pesticides and safe exterminating practices, we contacted both the EPA and a garden associate at a popular home improvement store. Our goal was to give each pest control company an unbiased evaluation by standardizing our comparison as much as possible. However, this was difficult since the services don’t all operate in the same states. We chose to evaluate companies that operate within a larger number of states since this would make them more likely to offer services in your area.
How We Evaluated
When it came to determining a price range score, we wanted to give each pest control company an unbiased evaluation. While the best way to do this would have been to get a quote from each service for the same location and pest, these companies don’t all operate in the same states. We tried to standardize our information by getting as many quotes as possible for a 2,500-square foot home in California, since this was the most common state the services operated in. Whenever a company didn’t operate in California, we located a 2,500-square foot home in the region where they operate and got a quote for that home. It isn’t perfect, but it is the closest we could get to a controlled test. In our evaluation, companies with lower priced services scored higher than higher priced services. Overall, we found that pricing is relatively similar for most pest control companies.
The cost of pest control is determined by several different factors:
- The size of your home or business – the larger your space, the more expensive the treatment.
- The severity of the infestation or type of pest that needs to be removed.
- The region in which you live – warm, wet places with plenty of foliage like Florida can be more inviting for pests than cold dry places like Wyoming.
- The rarity of a pest problem – like an unlikely Africanized bee infestation.
There are many things to look for beyond price, though. Most pest control companies cover common pests like ants, wasps, termites and spiders. If your area has a native pest that isn’t common in other places, you’ll want to make sure the service you call can handle it. This especially applies to wildlife removal, which not all services offer.
We awarded more points to services that offer 24-hour support since this can really give you peace of mind during an emergency. We also scored services higher if they offered a treatment guarantee. A company that guarantees its work will generally return as often as needed until your bug problem has effectively been eliminated. Also, look for services that let you manage your own account online, particularly if this level of support is important to you.
We awarded more points to companies that offer extensive pest libraries as well as prevention and control tips. This resource can help you identify which pests you have in your home to help you determine if you can handle the problem on your own or not.
It is standard practice for pest control companies to offer emergency services, and most companies respond within a day or two to treat your home or business. Companies that responded faster were scored higher in our evaluation. All of the companies we researched give you a breakdown of where treatments occur and what pest control products technicians use. Most companies offer free inspections for termites, ants and bedbugs, and then supply you with a quote. Companies are required to follow EPA rules so you can expect them to use products and methods that are safe for you, your family, your pets and the environment.
Whether they fly, creep, crawl or jump, pests can interrupt your everyday life and need to be eliminated or removed. You can expect pests to be around all year, so finding a good pest control service is essential. Remember that modern 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.
Contributing Reviewer: Rebecca Spear