Choosing a Pest Control Company

- I prefer local companies for routine service -

Summary: When choosing a pest control company your first decision will be whether you need a large national franchise, like Orkin or Terminix, or a small, local company. I prefer local firms for routine service but national franchises for work that might require specialized equipment.

Jack DeAngelis, PhD
OSU Ext. Entomologist (ret.)

Local or National Company?

Here at 'Bugs we encourage people to tackle many of their own pest control needs themselves with help from us and with supplies and equipment that are available online. We recognize, however, that not everyone wants, or is able, to preform these tasks. In addition, there are some pest control operations that should never be performed by homeowners because they require some special expertise or are simply too dangerous (see this DIY Pest Control article for a list of which is which).

For those times when you need help first look over Five Things to Consider When Selecting Pest Control and also carefully think about whether or not you need a national franchise like Terminix or Orkin, or if a local company in your area might be a better choice (see below).

fumigation tent on warehouse

Tarp-style fumigation tent covering a small warehouse. Photo by Art Antonelli

National pest control companies

National franchise companies like Terminix and Orkin have access to expertise and specialized equipment that may not be available through your local pest control company. So, for example, a complicated procedure like structure, or tent, fumigation may be best left to a large national franchise company.

On the other hand, these companies will probably be more expensive for routine pest control and they tend to push what I believe are unnecessary "periodic maintenance treatments" with aggressive marketing. I'd suggest that you use large national firms only when you really need their equipment or specialized services. For routine treatments, if you are unable to do them yourself, it might make more sense to hire a local company.

Local pest control companies

Local companies have the advantage of not being tied up by marketing campaigns from a national headquarters and so may be better able to customize a treatment schedule to your needs. They would be my choice for routine pest control services, if you are not going to do it yourself. Be sure to ask for references and check them.

Related Articles

Things to Consider When Selecting Pest Control

Do-It-Yourself Pest Control Projects

On -Line Pest Control Suppliers

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