Pricing & Plans
Best Pest Control Services
Finding the Best Pest Control Company
Best Overall – Terminix
We looked for companies that are widely available, have fast response times and cover a wide range of pests. Terminix fit all of those parameters. They cover almost anything that crawls, buzzes or slithers. If it is in your space uninvited, they can probably get rid of it. They offer one-time treatment or lots of different plan styles. They also offer free inspections and quotes if you are just discovering a pest problem and are unsure what to do.
One potential drawback is price. When we were getting quotes, we found Terminix prices generally higher, though not dramatically so. Terminix also guarantees their services and offers around-the-clock assistance by phone. If they come out for a treatment and you are not satisfied with the results, you can call them back. Their website also has a large library of pests, so you can learn more about what is going on and get tips on how to stop the infestation and lessen the impacts.
Read the full review here: Terminix.
- They can help with almost any pest.
- Their prices were slightly higher.
Best Value – Truly Nolen
This pest control service is not as widely available as Terminix, but if they operate where you are, it is definitely worth a look into. In our research we found the prices to be lower. Truly Nolen offers fast response times and it guarantees its treatments. They can often respond on the same day or at least within 24 hours. This company also offers a decent educational element on its website. You can browse 100 different pests in their online library and find out about how to deal with the creatures that have invaded your space. The website also gets very specific about what is included with interior and exterior treatments. Truly Nolen covers commercial properties as well as residential, and you can get free inspections and estimates if you are unsure about treatment.
Read the full review here: Truly Nolen.
- Their prices were more reasonable than many competitors.
- Truly Nolen is only available in 15 states.
Most Environmentally Friendly – Eco-Wise Pest Control
All of the pest control services we reviewed use chemicals that are considered safe and relatively friendly to the environment, when used correctly. Eco-Wise Pest Control takes it to the next level. They take the time to find treatments that are not only safe to the humans who will live in a treated area but also the environment as a whole. They look for treatments that are from more natural sources, avoiding chemical use whenever possible. They do things like sealing cracks in order to prevent pest invasions rather than using full-force pesticides as a first line of defense. One drawback is that this company does not cover as many states as some that we compared. Also, the response time isn’t as speedy as others. Their technicians will come out as soon as possible but it might be more than 24 hours. Their site does not offer as many educational materials as some we reviewed, but what they have is interesting and potentially helpful as you try to stop an infestation.
Read the full review here: Eco-Wise Pest Control.
- Natural treatments are less likely to cause an allergic reaction.
- The site offers less educational materials than some.
How We Evaluated
When 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. Based on our research, the most reasonable pricing for a one-time treatment is usually around $150, while the best pricing for a one-year treatment is typically around $500. Additional factors can raise or lower the cost of your treatment:
- 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.
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.
What to Look For
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.
How Long Should You Wait Before Re-entering Your House After Fumigation?
According to bugstopper.net, it can take anywhere from six hours to a week before it is safe to re-enter your home after fumigation. The length of time will vary depending on the severity of the problem, the ventilation of your house, the current temperature, the size of your home and other factors. If you’re fumigating your home through a company, they will let you know when it is safe to return.
Pest control companies must be licensed and follow strict rules in order to fumigate. Ask as many questions as you need to feel comfortable with the fumigation procedure. If you’re doing DIY fumigation, read the instructions thoroughly before starting the fumigation process to know how many devices you need and how long you should stay away. You might need to plan a vacation away from home during the week of the fumigation to avoid any complications. Check out our reviews of Hotel Booking and Online Travel Sites if you need them.
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.
Contributing Reviewer: Rebecca Spear