Comparing Orkin vs. Terminix: An In-Depth Review

Whether you are dealing with a current termite infestation or are simply looking to take preventative measures, finding a reliable termite control company to work with (like Terminix or Orkin) is critical. According to the EPA, termites are one of the most common household pests and cause billions of dollars in property damage every year. Additionally, most homeowners insurance policies don’t cover termite damage, which is why it’s so important to address the problem early.

That said, termite control isn’t something to skimp on. While some forms of non-chemical treatments can be effective, most termite control involves the use of chemical pesticides called termiticides. If used improperly, not only will termiticides be ineffective, but they can actually contaminate your home and drinking water. For these reasons, it’s extremely important to choose a pest control company that is licensed and well-experienced.

In the sections below, we compare two of the best termite services in the pest control industry: Orkin vs. Terminix. We look at the similarities and differences in their termite treatment options, cost, customer service, and reviews, as well as some of the other pest control services they offer. For a more comprehensive overview of the termite control industry, see our recently updated guide on the best termite treatment companies and methods.

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Company Overview & Values

Orkin and Terminix are two of the most well-known pest control companies in the business. While not officially the oldest pest control company still around, Orkin has a rich history dating back to its founding by Otto Orkin in Pennsylvania in 1901. Orkin Pest Control remained a family-run business for decades until it was ultimately acquired by Rollins Inc. in 1964.

Throughout its long history, Orkin has actively engaged in research projects with public universities and the CDC to study insect behavior and biology. Orkin also sponsors various initiatives aimed at educating young people about the natural world, including the Junior Pest Investigators Program, the Orkin Man School Presentations, and the Orkin Children’s Zoo in Atlanta. Orkin makes its commitment to education, public health, and environmental responsibility a top priority. Today, Orkin’s 8,000-member team serves 1.7 million residential and commercial customers from over 400 locations worldwide.

Similar to Orkin, Terminix also has a long history, dating back to the 1920s. Originally the Bruce-Terminix Research Laboratory, Terminix is now a subsidiary of Rentokil. Over its 90+ years in business, Terminix has authored scientific research, obtained termite control patents, and developed termite control products for the government. Terminix was the first termite control company to become a franchise and also the first company to provide termite protection guarantees to customers in its contracts. Today, Terminix’s roughly 12,000-member team of pest control specialists serves more than 2.9 million residential and commercial customers in the U.S. and abroad.

Orkin vs. Terminix Locations

While both Orkin and Terminix are among the best pest control companies with expansive coverage throughout the United States, some notable differences will affect residents and business owners in certain states. Currently, neither company offers services in Alaska. Terminix is also absent from North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana. Residents of these states should consider Orkin instead. You can find Orkin’s locations here and Terminix’s locations here.

Termite Treatment

Both Orkin and Terminix use similar and effective methods for termite treatments. They both offer termite baits, liquid soil treatments, and tent fumigation services. Both companies use Sentricon for their bait systems and Termidor liquid treatments.

Sentricon is a subterranean termite control product developed by Dow AgroSciences. It is one of the most extensively tested and effective termite control products on the market. However, ongoing monitoring and re-filling of the bait system is required for it to be effective. Termidor is a widely used insecticide to combat termite infestations—both as an initial treatment and for ongoing management. It’s effective against a wide range of insects, but it’s also highly toxic.

In addition to chemical treatments, both companies will install spray foam insulation. For termite control, spray foam insulation will fill voids in interior and exterior walls, providing extra protection against termite infestations.

Service Agreements & Customer Service

Similar to a general pest control plan, termite service agreements ensure that pest control professionals will return to and inspect your property for infestations and damage throughout the contract. Both Orkin and Terminix use a similar approach to their termite treatment agreements that involves an initial inspection, the creation and implementation of a customized plan, and ongoing monitoring. However, the companies differ in their warranties.

While Orkin’s services used to come with the Orkin Repair Guarantee, the company recently did away with the program. Previously, Orkin guaranteed that if termites caused damage during the contract, the company would not only retreat the termite infestation but it would also cover the costs of any repairs needed. Now, Orkin only offers a Re-Treat Guarantee with both its termite and pest control plans.

Terminix, on the other hand, offers two options for customers. Terminix’s Nix Termite Guarantee is similar to Orkin’s, covering retreatment should new signs of termite activity appear while under contract. However, its upper-tier pest control plan includes the more comprehensive Nix and Fix Termite Guarantee, which covers fixing any new termite damage up to $250,000.

For residential general pest control customers, both companies offer a 30-day money-back guarantee for their work. For commercial customers, they take it a step further. Orkin offers three different 60-day guarantees. These 60-day guarantees provide complimentary service by them or by another provider if the commercial customer is not happy with their services. Terminix allows commercial customers to try Terminix Commercial for 90 days, after which they will refund all paid services plus another 10% to unsatisfied customers.

Terminix offers several perks for commercial customers managing multiple locations that we didn’t see offered by its competitors. First, Terminix assigns a dedicated account representative that understands the needs of the customer’s company as a whole. Then, this rep will work with the client to create customized strategies for each branch of the business. Additionally, Terminix provides a web portal for commercial customers to view reports and manage multiple properties from a single location.

An important thing to keep in mind is that termite control usually requires a separate contract, as termites are not typically covered under general pest management services.


While both Terminix and Orkin offer initial termite inspections for free, the cost of any one-time treatment or ongoing contract will vary widely based on location, the type of home, the size of the property, and whether there is an existing infestation.

To compare costs across both companies, we obtained estimates for one of their most common services: the termite bait system. The house that was inspected was a 3,800 square-foot home in the Northeast with no signs of termite damage or active infestation. Our quotes were as follows:

Bait station setup & treatment$1,800$1,600
Ongoing monitoring$300$300
Retreatment guaranteeYesYes
Damage repair guaranteeYesNo

Both companies quoted us the same price for their annual monitoring plans ($300 per year). While Terminix did come in slightly more expensive than Orkin for the initial bait station setup ($1,800 vs. $1,600), it’s important to note that the Terminix quote included the damage repair warranty, which Orkin does not offer. To summarize, while the costs across the two companies were very close, we felt that the Terminix offer provided a better value.

Other Pest Control Services

When it comes to other pest control services, Orkin stands out with its extensive online library of common house pests. Compared to other pest control companies, Orkin has far more resources for interested customers looking to learn more about common pests. When it comes to actual differences in services though, Terminix and Orkin have a very similar list of pests that are included in their standard contracts. Both companies require separate contracts and/or additional fees to treat more exotic pests like poisonous spiders, fleas, ticks, carpenter ants, bees, and mosquitos, among others.

In our experience dealing directly with representatives from both companies, however, Orkin’s management and back-office teams were truly a notch above the rest. The level of knowledge, customer service, and attention to detail we experienced during our initial inspection, scheduling, and reviewing estimates with Orkin was outstanding. With regards to the actual pest control technicians that came to the house for services, we were happy with the staff from both companies.

Orkin & Terminix Reviews

While both companies have A ratings or above with the Better Business Bureau, they each suffer from fairly poor customer reviews across some platforms like ConsumerAffairs and Yelp. When browsing both Orkin reviews and Terminix reviews, the complaints you will see are similar across both companies, many of which pertain to the services being slightly overpriced and/or not effectively mitigating certain pest problems.

It’s important to note though, that the industry as a whole suffers from worse customer reviews than many other industries. Part of this could be the result of happy customers not wanting to advertise to the world that they had a pest problem. On the flip side, only very dissatisfied customers might feel compelled to leave a scathing review. Reading through hundreds of Terminix reviews, it was rare to see complaints about their termite control services. The same can be said about the Orkin reviews we’ve seen. Most negative reviews mentioned rodents, roaches, and other insects.

All that said, fortunately both companies offer very generous guarantee policies that its customers should make use of in the event that they are not satisfied with the work done. In our experience working with both companies, management is incredibly eager to maintain customers’ business. Any time we had an issue with a service that was done, they immediately sent a representative back to address the issue.

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Terminix vs. Orkin: The Final Verdict

Overall, few companies have been in the business as long as Orkin and Terminix. When it comes to termite control, both companies bring a high level of experience and expertise, and their residential service offerings are fairly similar. That said, for homeowners looking for the most comprehensive termite guarantee, Terminix does stand out by covering the cost of repairs.

For business customers, Terminix also offers many convenient services that allow business owners and property managers to easily stay on top of multiple properties/locations. If you are looking for commercial termite control services across multiple properties, Terminix might be the better option.

Finally, location is an important factor when it comes to choosing between Orkin and Terminix. If you are in a major metropolitan area, you shouldn’t have a problem contracting with either company. If you live in a more rural area or smaller city, you’ll want to make sure that the company has a local branch office near you. As stated earlier, neither company has offices in Alaska. North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana residents should go with Orkin since Terminix doesn’t currently service those states.

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Brandon Medina
Brandon Medina

Brandon is a senior researcher for Construction Coverage and also works full-time in BIM modeling for a major concrete contractor in Southern California. He has previously held positions as a senior VDC engineer with Truebeck Construction and project engineer with Gordon Prill, Inc.

Brandon grew up in California and graduated from California State University with a degree in Construction Management. Through his formal education and work, Brandon has gained invaluable experience across all aspects of the construction and logistics industries, including commercial trucking and shipping.