Ask Consumerists: Orkin or Terminix?

Wesley asks via the tipline, Orkin or Terminix, who’s better?

He’s researching getting his home treated as a preventitive measure against the wood gobblers and has found several complaints against both companies.

Any thoughts, good or bad, especially in reference to their termite plans?

Having a house with no wood touching the ground is a good way to go. Even still, termites can traverse these with mud tunnels!

Here’s a short primer on identifying if you have termite infestation.

Although it’s a pretty good sign “Yes” if your house looks like this.


Edit Your Comment

  1. SamC says:

    Preventitive spraying might be a waste of time; You should get an opinion from a professional engineer on your potential vulnerability.

    Tthere are other things you should do to minimize your risk for termites (or other wood-destroying bugs). Damp/rotten wood is what those pests like best, so keep up on your wood maintenance – siding, porches, etc. Trimming back trees and shrubs from the house will help. You want your siding to stay nice and dry.

    Also, pulling the dirt away from the side of the house can help too. A bit of crushed stone around the exterior makes a good pest barrier as well.

    Should you need to call an exterminator, a local engineer (or even the local code enforcement office) would be able to give you a better recommendation. Orkin and Terminix are both franchise operations, so quality between offices might vary greatly. Also, there might be a local operation which is better.

    Anyway, dumping a lot of poisonous chemicals into your local environment should be your LAST option. As I noted above, there are a lot of other things you can do to prevent pests.

    Start here: National Association of Building Inspection Engineers (NAB…

  2. The Unicorn says:

    oh my god, where did you find that disgusting picture?! (the link)

  3. AstridWoodpecker says:

    Go with a local, reputable company. Contact the BBB and ask around, or check angies list.

    I would always go with a local reputable company before I would use an orkin or terminix. Their overhead costs are just so high that they have to charge more, where the local company may not have commercials on TV but are just as capable and less costly.