Exterminator Vs Pest Control Company: What's The Difference And Who Should You Hire?

Extermination and pest control: While they might sound synonymous, they serve two different functions when handling unwelcome creatures in your home or business. Extermination focuses on eliminating pests that have already made your property their home. Pest control, on the other hand, develops strategies to prevent future infestations while also dealing with the current issue. This distinction is crucial because different pests, ranging from termites to rodents to roaches, can pose various risks. They can destroy your property and pose serious health risks through the spread of diseases.

The best choice for your situation will depend on various factors, such as the kind of pest and the extent of the issue. Your long-term goals are equally pivotal. Are you looking for a one-and-done approach, or do you want ongoing monitoring and treatment to ensure the pests don't return? Maybe you have kids or pets and are concerned about the chemicals used during extermination, which are often omitted from pest control services. Or perhaps you're dealing with a property with a history of repeated infestations, which suggests you'll need a more sustainable, long-term plan. Ultimately, your choice may greatly affect how long the solution lasts and if you have to deal with the problem again in a few weeks or months. Indeed, understanding these differences between eradication methods and knowing the specifics of each approach can save you time, money, and a great deal of inconvenience. 

When to choose an exterminator vs. a pest control service

Interestingly, most pest control companies offer both services (in fact, the company will likely first want to exterminate active infestations and then move to a maintenance pest control service). Speed is crucial when you've got an urgent, large-scale issue like a rodent or bed bug infestation. An extermination service quickly restores your home to a livable state, focusing on the most effective method of removal rather than the safest or most humane. It's the emergency service of the pest world. However, while you may sleep tight in the short term, you might not get rid of the bed bugs permanently, so there's still risk of a future pest invasion. 

On the other hand, a pest control service is a more comprehensive option if you need a long-term strategy for elimination. For example, if you're dealing with a sudden swarm of flying insects, you might want to know what may have attracted them in the first place. It could be an issue with standing water or exposed food. You'll not only want to eradicate the bugs; you'll also want to address the environment that lured them. A pest control service often involves a multi-tiered approach that eliminates the infestation and aims to solve the root problem. This may include using monitoring stations around your property, bait systems to lure pests away, and slow-acting pesticides that kill on contact. Many pest control services include treatment plans (including regular inspections, periodic re-treatments, and preventive measures) to ward off new intruders. 

What are the differences in cost?

The cost of an extermination service typically ranges between $300 and $700 for a one-time gig, per Today's Homeowner. Don't forget, the type of pest you're dealing with also affects the price. The exterminators will swing by, unleash their chemicals, and you'll be momentarily pest-free. As for pest control services, the initial hit to your wallet is often between $300 and $550 or more (via This Old House). As mentioned, this service often entails an exhaustive initial inspection and a bespoke treatment plan. 

You may need pest control every month, so consider the monthly maintenance plans some pest control companies roll out. Once again, the cost varies based on the type and severity of the infestation but is typically between $40 and $70 per month, possibly more for larger properties. Think of this as a sort of peace-of-mind subscription. The company will keep tabs on your property and intervene before an infestation becomes a crisis. Over a year, that's an extra $480 to $840, but it's money well spent for many. As for termites, given their destructive nature, a full-scale intervention is often needed, potentially costing thousands. 

While the immediate results of an extermination service might be tempting, weigh it against the long-term expenses. Those repeat calls add up, leaving you in a never-ending cycle of infestations. Meanwhile, the ongoing charge for a pest control service is often a wise long-term investment, potentially saving you both money and stress.