Hiring the right company the first time is essential when it comes to pest control: Infestations can worsen quickly (depending on the pest) and may cause severe damage to a home and its contents. Moreover, homeowners want to be sure that the technician who will enter their home, possibly on a recurring basis, is trustworthy and experienced. This is a major reason Orkin is one of the most popular pest control companies in the U.S. and beyond. Orkin puts its employees through an award-winning training program where they receive hands-on, science-based pest control education. Because Orkin has more than 400 franchise locations in 49 states and Washington, D.C. (Alaska currently does not have an operating Orkin location), many homeowners in the U.S. will find that they are within Orkin’s service area. Orkin has also become a one-stop shop for pest protection with services such as insulation installation, gutter cleaning, and moisture control. We explore more of what Orkin has to offer—and what some potential drawbacks may be—in this Orkin review.
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Our Verdict: Over the course of its 120+ years in business, Orkin has become a household name in the pest control industry with over 400 locations worldwide. The company treats dozens of the most common household pests according to its “Integrated Pest Management” approach, which prioritizes the health of people, pets, and the planet. It even offers proprietary products to treat termites, although details on the website are limited.
Perhaps the most impressive feature Orkin boasts is its fleet of over 8,000 employees, who are required to receive at least 160 hours of hands-on training within the first year on the job. By the time technicians enter the workforce, they have received National Pest Management Association QualityPro certification and are licensed and certified in their state. They also receive additional training each year from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about pest-related diseases and infections. Orkin’s commitment to education doesn’t stop there—its website includes an extensive pest library where customers can learn about the most common pests, how to identify them, and what treatments and solutions are available. The up-front investment in personnel education comes at a cost to customers, as Orkin’s prices tend to be higher than that of its competitors—but the cost may well be worth it for the peace of mind that hiring an expert from a trusted company can offer, making this pest control company an excellent choice for most individuals experiencing a pest problem.
Customers can contact the company via phone to receive a quote ahead of their first inspection, and Orkin provides a 30-day money-back guarantee if a customer is not satisfied.
- Pests treated: Ants, bed bugs, beetles, centipedes and millipedes, cockroaches, crickets, earwigs, fleas, flies, mites, mosquitoes, moths, pill bugs, rodents, scorpions, silverfish, sow bugs, spiders, stinging pests, stink bugs, termites, ticks, and wildlife (limited)
- Service area: 49 states and Washington, D.C.
- Scheduling: Online, phone
- Certifications: National Pest Management Association QualityPro, state and locally certified
- Guarantee: 30-day money-back guarantee
- Customer support: 24/7 by phone
- Integrated pest management approach to prevent pest activity and minimize dependency on chemical treatments
- Technicians receive 160 hours of award-winning training
- National Pest Management Association QualityPro–certified technicians
- Technicians receive annual education from the CDC on pest-related diseases
- More than 400 locations nationwide
- Cost may be high compared to national average
- Customer service only available by phone
- Relatively little information readily available regarding termite treatment methods
Orkin Review: Claims
Orkin has named itself the “Best in Pests,” citing its highly trained technicians, specialized treatments, years of experience, and state-of-the-art technology as its competitive edge. The company also claims that its “Integrated Pest Management” approach is designed to minimize harmful effects on humans, pets, and the environment. But do the company’s services and reputation live up to its claims?
Founded in 1901 as a rodent extermination service, Orkin has well over a century of experience in the pest control space. Over the years, the company has expanded to serve both residential and commercial clients and has added a wide variety of pests to its list of services, including bed bugs, cockroaches, termites, and many more. Now boasting over 400 locations around the country, Orkin has become one of the most trusted names in pest control.
Orkin prides itself on its highly trained technicians, who are required to receive a minimum of 160 hours of training before entering the workforce. Employees are given hands-on experience at the company’s 26,000-square-foot learning center. The facility provides access to simulations of real-world homes, commercial kitchens, hospitals, restaurants, warehouses, and more so that trainees are prepared to approach pest control in each of these environments. The center also includes virtual learning options for employees outside of the U.S.
Orkin describes its approach as “Integrated Pest Management.” This term encompasses the company’s commitment to minimizing the amount of harm done to the environment as well as ensuring the safety of customers and their families. The company has partnered with the CDC to educate its technicians on pest-related diseases and infections. Orkin also uses products that are not toxic to people or pets and are tested and approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
What to Expect From Orkin
When a homeowner hires Orkin, they know that their technician will be experienced and certified through the company’s award-winning training program. They can also expect to benefit from Orkin’s methodical six-step approach to eliminating pests: Investigate, Protect, Fortify, Keep Watch, Report, and Follow Up. During the initial inspection, an Orkin technician will do a thorough investigation of the entire property for evidence of pests. They will then apply the appropriate treatments around the outside of the home or business, removing any nests (if applicable). Then, they will identify any potential areas where pests may be entering, such as gaps or cracks, and seal them with caulk. Treatments are also applied inside the building or home with pest monitors being placed in areas of heightened activity. The customer is provided with a detailed report of the services that have been performed, as well as suggestions for keeping pests at bay. Finally, Orkin will check in periodically to assess if the treatments are working. If the customer sees pests in between follow-up appointments, a technician will return to apply additional treatments at no extra cost. Orkin also has a 30-day money-back guarantee, so if a customer is not convinced that the treatments have been effective, they can contact the company for a full refund.
Orkin’s Services and Plans
Orkin understands that every home’s pest control needs are unique, so the company tailors its treatment to individual customers. First-time customers will need to schedule an inspection to receive a custom treatment plan. If they have a pest that is on Orkin’s list of 13 common household pests (ants, centipedes, cockroaches, crickets, earwigs, mice, millipedes, pill bugs, rats, scorpions, silverfish, sow bugs, and spiders) they have the option to sign up for an annual plan. An Orkin exterminator will come to the home every 60 days to apply the company’s general pest treatment. The exterminator will also seal any areas of the home where pests may be entering. This option is also available for homeowners who do not currently have an infestation but would like the service for prevention purposes. Customers can also choose to schedule a single visit, and treatment will only be applied once. Because bed bugs and termites require highly intensive and specialized processes to exterminate, services will be scheduled accordingly.
Orkin does offer free termite inspections; however, inspections for other pests may not be free. Orkin also offers an inspection designed specifically for new homeowners to check the home and surrounding property for unwanted “visitors” before move-in day. Furthermore, customers can hire Orkin for additional services that support pest prevention such as insulation installation and moisture control programs.
Orkin treats the following pests:
- Ants of all varieties are treated near nesting sites using insecticides. Targeted treatments for carpenter ants are also offered.
- Bed bugs are among the toughest pests to exterminate, so Orkin’s specialized process “disrupts the bed bug life cycle” to keep them from coming back.
- Beetles can make themselves at home in pantry foods as well as rugs and furniture. Orkin customizes beetle treatments to the home and targets cracks and crevices where the insects are suspected to enter.
- Centipedes and millipedes can cause allergic reactions and may even bite when threatened. Orkin’s process combines prevention and removal to keep these common pests at bay.
- Cockroaches are notorious for resisting traditional insecticides. Orkin’s targeted treatments for cockroaches include bait traps and insect growth regulators to mitigate the problem.
- Crickets are noisy insects, but they can also eat certain fabrics and even bite. Orkin considers crickets to be an ongoing problem, so the company’s treatment includes multiple applications of special insecticide formulas.
- Earwigs’ rapid reproduction rate can become even worse during periods of inclement weather. Orkin’s earwig treatment plans are tailored to the home and region.
- Fleas can hitch a ride into homes on pets and stick around in carpets and on furniture. Orkin customizes flea treatments to particular homes and targets likely infestation spots.
- One or two flies aren’t uncommon in the summer, but if they lay eggs in a home, the problem can intensify. Orkin’s fly treatment can be applied for drain flies, fruit flies, and common house flies.
- Mites are a particular nuisance for those who are allergic. Orkin can help identify these microscopic pests and develop a customized treatment plan.
- Mosquitoes are a common seasonal pest that can make spending time outdoors unpleasant. Orkin identifies areas with standing water (where mosquitoes breed) and treats them with insecticide.
- Moths can tend to go unnoticed for a time since they inhabit dark areas like storage spaces. But that doesn’t mean they don’t cause significant damage to clothing or food, so Orkin applies a treatment that halts moths’ life cycles.
- Pill bugs thrive in outdoor environments with lots of moisture, and they may take the opportunity to come indoors if it presents itself. Orkin will apply treatments both indoors and outdoors to quell a pill bug infestation.
- Orkin rodent control consists of a combination of traps, deterrents, and prevention methods.
- Scorpions are found in hot and dry climates and may sting when threatened. Orkin has recommendations for making outdoor areas less susceptible to scorpions and can apply pesticides to keep them out.
- Silverfish are not only unpleasant to look at, but they can also wreak havoc on books and clothing. They tend to be accompanied by other pests like carpet beetles. Orkin will identify what is attracting silverfish to a home and devise a plan to keep them out.
- Sow bugs are often mistaken for pill bugs and can also be a problem in the garden. Orkin’s general pesticide treatment is effective against sow bugs.
- Spiders are a phobia for many, and sometimes for good reason. Varieties like the brown recluse or black widow are highly dangerous. Orkin eliminates spiderwebs, then applies insecticides to prevent remaining eggs from hatching.
- Stinging pests can include hornets, bees, yellow jackets, and more. Identifying nests is the first step to getting rid of these insects, and these areas are also treated with insecticide.
- Stink bugs get their name from the odor they emit when injured or smashed. They also use this scent to attract fellow stink bugs, making them difficult to eliminate. Orkin’s approach is to keep them out by blocking off areas of entry and applying insecticide.
- Termites can cause an incredible amount of structural damage to homes. Orkin’s proprietary Orkinfoam can be used to fill in hollow areas, and its liquid termite treatment keeps future termites away.
- Ticks carry Lyme disease, a serious illness that can affect people and pets. Orkin inspects outdoor areas and makes recommendations to make the property less hospitable to ticks, in addition to applying insecticide.
- Wildlife control has been added to Orkin’s services in select parts of the country. Customers will need to contact their local Orkin office to find out if wildlife control is offered in their area.
Getting a Quote
First-time Orkin customers can initiate service by requesting a quote from the company. Orkin pest control prices are not listed on the company’s website, so requesting a quote is the best way to get an idea of how much the service will cost. One option is to fill out a short form on the Orkin website. Customers will need to provide their home address, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms in the home, and the size of their yard. If Orkin has a location in that service area, the customer is then prompted to choose whether they have a specific pest or are interested in pest prevention. For a specific problem, they can choose from a list of covered pests, then answer additional questions about where and when the problem is occurring. Finally, after providing their name, email address, and phone number, customers will get a customized quote for their first inspection with a list of what will be included in the visit.
Customers can alternatively request a phone call by inputting their name, phone number, email, and ZIP code, as well as their desired service. They will then be contacted by a representative who will ask for more details about the pest problem, provide a quote, and schedule a home inspection. The last option is to call the company directly at the number on its website and be connected with the nearest branch.
Orkin’s website does not support online scheduling—customers will need to speak to a representative in order to put their first inspection on the calendar. This typically takes place during the initial call to request a quote. When the inspection takes place, the technician will formulate a customized service plan that is unique to the home and establish a date for the next visit. Finally, Orkin will schedule follow-up visits to assess whether the treatments are working. After receiving an account number, customers can create an Orkin MyAccount, where they can schedule future appointments. Customers can also schedule visits in between follow-up appointments if they have concerns or are still seeing pests.
Since Orkin operates worldwide, pricing can vary greatly based on location. Costs will also depend on the size of the property—the owner of a large 4-bedroom home on several acres of land will pay more than someone in a 1-bedroom condo without a yard. Finally, the severity of the pest problem and the type of pest will affect the final cost of treatment. While it is possible to receive a rough quote online, customers will want to keep in mind that the true cost of service may be higher or lower than the initial estimate.
The annual plan, which covers general pest control year-round, is billed monthly, and costs will depend on the location. One-time treatment costs also vary by city. For example, a homeowner battling a flea infestation in their 3-bedroom home in Charlotte, North Carolina, will pay about $247 for a one-time visit. However, for a home of the same size in Kansas City, Missouri, costs are estimated at $288. Again, customers will need to provide Orkin with details about their property in order to receive an accurate estimate. Quotes for some types of pests cannot be determined without an inspection as they require a specialized approach—for example Orkin bed bug treatment costs will not be available on the website. The same is true of Orkin termite treatment costs.
Orkin now offers an option to autopay for services through its customer portal or by calling customer service. It also offers financing, and customers must request details from their representative to find out what options are available.
In addition to treating an impressive variety of common household pests, Orkin also offers “Full Property Coverage” services that help homeowners maintain healthy, comfortable homes.
- Orkin’s attic insulation service is not just a pest control measure, although it does block potential access points for insects and animals. OrkinTherm is the company’s eco-friendly blown-in insulation. Customers can alternatively choose to have Orkin install traditional rolled batting insulation. Orkin also offers ComfortZone, a radiant heat barrier that can increase a home’s energy efficiency.
- Orkin LeafStopper is a product that keeps gutters clear, eliminating the need for regular gutter cleaning. An Orkin technician will install an insert on the existing gutters, which prevents them from becoming clogged with leaves and debris and also keeps out pests. This can also help prevent gutters from overflowing, which can lead to water damage.
- Moisture control is vital to keeping a home healthy. Excess humidity is known to lead to mold, mildew, and poor air quality, as well as attracting pests. Orkin’s DryZone program takes steps to monitor especially damp parts of the home, such as the basement, and install moisture barriers.
- Lawn treatment is an Orkin service specific to Florida. Orkin can test a property’s soil and plants, then identify potential threats to the health of the lawn. Technicians can also make recommendations on what attracts certain pests to the lawn and how to get rid of them.
- Wildlife management is still a new service for Orkin, and it may not be available in all areas. Orkin takes an environmentally conscious approach and primarily uses exclusion and trap-and-release methods.
- VitalClean is Orkin’s disinfection service for businesses and workplaces. VitalClean kills bacteria and viruses while being “eco-friendly and low toxicity.” Currently, this service is only available for commercial businesses.
Customer Service and Support
Orkin’s main customer care team can be reached via phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Customers can also get in touch with their local office with questions or concerns during the company’s business hours. Local branches can be found by typing a ZIP code into the “Find a Branch” box at the bottom of any page of the Orkin website. Alternatively, customers can fill out a short form on the Orkin website with their name, contact information, account number, and a short description of their concern and a team member will get back to them. The support team can handle billing issues, scheduling, providing quotes, and receiving feedback from customers.
No pest control method is completely foolproof, so to ensure customer satisfaction Orkin backs up its work with the “Orkin Guarantee.” If a customer is not satisfied with their service, they are entitled to a 30-day money-back guarantee. Orkin also pledges to return in between scheduled appointments for no additional charge if a pest problem persists. Customers can inquire about receiving refunds or additional treatment by calling their local Orkin branch or Orkin’s general customer service phone number.
Pest Control Resources
Orkin’s website includes a pest library where visitors can find information on all the pests Orkin covers, as well as some that are not listed under its treatment plans. Clicking on a particular animal or insect leads to a page with photos for identification, information about the pest’s behavior, answers to frequently asked questions, and a short description of the company’s approach to getting rid of them. The pest library also includes information from the CDC on threats and diseases associated with each pest.
The “Definition of Terms” page is a dictionary of pest control vocabulary including entries for medical terms, extermination methodology, and descriptors for biological processes. Another helpful page on the site features photos of common insect bites and a description of their symptoms. Each entry links to a more detailed page on the bite—for example, the bed bug bite page features additional photos, more possible symptoms, how and why bed bugs bite, and comparisons to flea and spider bites, which can look similar. Lastly, clicking the “Ask Orkin” link leads to 20 pages of articles answering common pest questions like, “How do I know if I have a termite swarm?” and “What are the big red spiders on my porch?” Customers can use this wealth of information to understand their pest problem and how to deal with it before committing to scheduling professional service.
Orkin Reviews by Customers
There are a handful of glowing reviews on Orkin’s website from happy customers across the country. Many reviewers claim to be long-time customers and mention their technicians by name—with some even calling them “part of the family.” But companies are bound to hand-pick the best reviews to display for future customers. So what do Orkin pest control reviews report elsewhere?
The company has an impressive score of 4.8 out of 5 stars on ConsumerAffairs. Reviews on this site highlight Orkin’s friendly and respectful technicians, flexible scheduling, clear communication, and effective treatments. By contrast, Orkin reviews on Trustpilot average 1.7 out of 5 stars. One common complaint is that requests for refunds were either ignored or refused. Some reviewers feel that they were overcharged or did not receive adequate service for the amount that they were billed.
While online reviews can be a valuable resource when vetting a company, they should also be taken with a grain of salt as they only represent one side of the story. Disappointed customers may post reviews to vent their frustrations and neglect to give an update if the issue is resolved. It’s also important to keep in mind that Orkin has over 400 independently owned and operated locations, so experiences will differ from one franchise to the next.
How Orkin Stacks Up to the Competition
Orkin’s many years of service, award-winning training programs, hundreds of locations, and environmentally conscious practices are all reasons the company tops our list of the best pest control companies. Orkin’s stellar service may also make it a pricier option; however, pricing can vary greatly by location.
Orkin’s closest competitor is Terminix, which has a comparable reputation, history, and service area. Both companies offer treatment for a similar selection of pests, as well as a 30-day money-back guarantee. Customers may find Terminix’s pricing to be slightly more transparent. Additionally, those looking to hire a pest control expert specifically for a termite problem may want to more strongly consider Terminix, as the company specializes in termite treatment. However, Orkin has the edge when it comes to technician training as well as customer reviews.
Other pest control companies like Ehrlich and Aptive stand out for their more explicit emphasis on eco-friendly practices and nontoxic treatments. However, they also have much more limited service areas. Customers will want to carefully consider what services they need, what options are available in their area, and their budget to decide which pest control company to hire.
Should You Hire Orkin?
Homeowners in need of pest control services have many companies to choose from. So why should they hire Orkin over one of its competitors? Orkin pest control may be out of budget for some, especially if they anticipate needing more than a one-time treatment. Because Orkin’s pricing is not as transparent as it could be, it may be unclear whether a customer can afford the service until they have already had an inspection, which is not always free. On the other hand, customers tend to report that Orkin’s stand-out service is worth the high price tag. Ultimately the decision will depend on the customer’s specific needs, but there are plenty of reasons homeowners will find that Orkin is worthy of consideration, including:
- Reputation: Orkin has been a pre-eminent name in pest control for over a century. Its many years of experience have made it a trusted brand in the U.S. and beyond.
- Highly trained employees: Orkin does not dispatch technicians to the field until they have undergone many hours of training and passed a certification course. Not only does this mean that technicians have plenty of hands-on experience, but it signals that they are committed to their career—they did not get into the pest control business on a whim.
- 49-state service area: With locations in every U.S. state (including Washington, D.C.) except Alaska, Orkin can provide access to a franchise for many homeowners.
- Commitment to sustainability: While Orkin does not publicize what chemicals are included in its pesticides, the products the company uses are “tested, proven, and registered by the Environmental Protection Agency.” It also offers additional services that help to increase the energy efficiency of customers’ homes.
- Commitment to public health: Technicians receive annual training from the CDC on pest-borne diseases. Additionally, Orkin’s website provides valuable resources about the risks of disease and information about insect bites.
In need of pest control? Get in touch with Orkin today.
We independently reviewed this service by weighing the company’s claims against first-hand experience with its professionals. However, due to factors such as franchising, human error, and more, please note that individual experiences with this company may vary.