Whether you are looking for a termite inspection for help with termite control, in need of getting rid of an army of ants, or wondering if your home is riddled with silverfish or bed bugs, searching for a pest control company can be overwhelming. With so many to choose from and so many services offered, it’s hard to know where to even begin to put an end to that potential termite damage.
Arrow Exterminators and Orkin are two of the big names in the pest control industry. Orkin was one of the first pest control companies in the U.S. and has locations in 46 states and Arrow is a smaller family-owned enterprise that is slowly but steadily expanding across the South. While both of these companies are known for their service, they do have a number of pros and cons.
In this piece, we compare Orkin and Arrow Exterminators across four different categories: reliability, features, and services provided, customer service and reviews, and finally cost. We’ve compared the good and the bad of each company to help you make the right choice for your home’s needs.
Reliability is extraordinarily important in a pest management company and this is why it was the first category we reviewed. Pest control is not the kind of service that you want to take a gamble with because you want someone that will be able to come out and solve problems quickly and efficiently during an emergency.
United vs. Franchised Company
Arrow wins this section of the reliability category because it remains unified despite the fact that it is growing. While Orkin only has 58 franchises out of their 400+ locations around the country, Arrow’s unified status helps ensure a standard level of service across the company. Even as Arrow expands and grows, it does not see franchisement in the future. One of their ultimate goals is to become the largest privately-owned pest control company in the country, so they actively expand through acquisition of existing pest control companies rather than licensing out their rights to franchisees.
Years in Business
Both Orkin and Arrow have been in business for quite some time, though Arrow is of a different generation than Orkin. Orkin was established in 1901 and was one of the leading groups that turned pest control into an actual industry, making a problem that had previously been a do-it-yourself fix for homeowners and businesses into a profitable enterprise. Arrow, on the other hand, was established in 1964 but has still made a name for itself in the 53 years that it has been active. Both have gone through major transitional times for the industry, including the environmental movement of the 1970s, and have had many years to master their craft.
Orkin ultimately wins this category because of Arrow’s limited reach. Arrow mostly operates in the southern United States, covering Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida. Orkin, on the other hand, has locations in 46 different states and covers most major metropolitan areas. They also have over 400 locations around the country so they have plenty of coverage of the states that they do operate in.
|Unified Branch Locations|
|Years in Business||116||53|
|National Reach||46 States||11 States|
Features and Services Provided
Both companies scored very high in terms of the features and services that they offer their customers, but Arrow was able to push a little higher than Orkin. Both have a great pest control portfolio, but Arrow was able to give a different commitment to their customers than Orkin was through their free inspections.
Both Arrow and Orkin offer protection from a large number of pests and it’s unlikely that you will find one that the company does not cover. They also both offer protection from wildlife like bats and raccoons—something that many pest control companies do not cover. However, Arrow does offer a variety of services that Orkin does not, including handyman services, moisture control, and lawn care, which are added bonuses on top of pest control. Arrow has the possibility to be your main home-care provider, whereas Orkin’s role in the home stops at pest control.
Orkin is a hard company to beat in terms of technician training because they have one of the highest standards for their technicians of any company in the industry. As a subsidiary of Rollins, Inc., Orkin enjoys access to the Rollins Learning Center in Atlanta, Georgia, a state-of-the-art facility where technicians undergo 160 hours of classroom, computer-based, and simulation training in their first year alone. This is double what many other companies require of their technicians and helps ensure that technicians have a full understanding of the pests they encounter while on the job. Orkin is well-known for its commitment to education and Arrow does not have the power or resources to compete with Orkin on their level.
This, by no means, suggests that Arrow has unqualified technicians. In fact, Arrow Exterminators has received a Quality Pro Mark of Excellence for their training program. This ensures that all of their technicians are trained to state standards and that Arrow must ensure that they are up-to-date on the latest pest control technologies and solutions. While Orkin’s technicians are more uniformly trained across the board, Arrow’s still meet a high standard of excellence.
Free Inspections and Estimates
Arrow offers free inspections for all of their pest management services, putting them ahead of Orkin in this category. The inspection is a crucial part of any pest control service and a no-strings-attached visit to your home will help you as a homeowner better understand the steps that you will need to take to protect yourself from pests.
Orkin does offer a free consultation for their pest control services, but this is not the same as a free inspection. The consultation is helpful to receive a price quote, but it also is subject to miscommunications and misunderstandings, potentially resulting in an inaccurate price quote that won’t be discovered until a technician is actually on your property. Inspections help technicians and homeowners better understand what work needs to go into a home and reduces the likelihood of “surprise” costs that might arise and they are also a demonstration of good faith and quality service from the company.
Guarantees and Repeat Treatments
Both companies also offer a 30-day satisfaction guarantee in which they will come out to retreat your property for free if they are unable to solve the problem the first time around or will refund your money at the end of the 30-day period. Orkin does take this guarantee to the next level and offers to pay for another company to service the property if you are so deeply unsatisfied with Orkin’s service, which is an unusual promise but is confidence-boosting for consumers. This extra detail of Orkin’s guarantee demonstrates not only how confident they are that they can fix the problem, but also how committed they are to helping your home be pest free, even if they are not the company to do it.
Customer Support and Reviews
Arrow and Orkin could both stand to do better in the customer service category, but Orkin ultimately wins because of Arrow’s shortcomings in their corporate organization. As a smaller company it can be hard to compete with larger national corporations, but despite the fact that Arrow is a unified company it seems that there are a number of issues with their centralized billing and customer service system.
Punctuality and Professionalism
Most of the negative reviews of Arrow center on the fact that there seem to be major issues with company-customer communications, including having customer phone calls and requests fall through the cracks. It was also common to see complaints of technicians failing to show up when they were scheduled to. The general trend was that it was hard to get the technicians into the door, but, once they were there, they were kind and knowledgeable. Orkin also received several bad reviews in this regard, but they did not receive the same complaint so consistently that it became an obvious trend.
Both companies had mixed reviews on persistence, but Orkin ultimately prevailed as the winner of this category because there were no specific examples of the company inventing reasons that they could not come back and retreat. Arrow was not so lucky and one specific story stood out. After spending almost $5,000 for repairs to prevent wildlife from entering the home, this reviewer was frustrated to see the problem return in just under a year. After calling Arrow out to look at the problem again, the company claimed it was the result of another company improperly installing the heating/AC unit and voided their warranty. The customer then reported this:
“We called a different animal removal company and had them come take a look at the problem. They tell us the reason the squirrels were able to get back into the house was because of SLOPPY work done by Arrow in the first place. This company took me through their survey step by step, showing me the problems, and I was able to see the shortcuts Arrow took. It made m[e] furious.”
While this type of story is most likely an anomaly in Arrow’s service record, it does make a big impression and casts a dark shadow over Arrow’s professional reputation. This was a lot of money that Arrow had charged for a very poorly done job and as consumers that is frustrating to see.
Both companies were plagued by bad reviews of their services, claiming that they were entirely ineffective. However, we can assume that these are the exception to the rule since there weren’t thousands of reviews repeating the same thing. These companies have specialized in pest control for over 50 years and the fact that they remain as household names is a testament to how effective their services are.
Because people are significantly more likely to leave a negative review of a company than a positive one, it’s likely that the fewer positive reviews found are more representative of normal interactions with these companies. Both received high praise for how quickly they were able to get pests out of homes and how thorough technicians were.
Costs for pest control are incredibly hard to review because they vary so much based on the location of the property, the size of the property, and the nature of the pest control project. A full-on cockroach extermination of a 4,000 foot home in a rural is going to cost more than seasonal pest control for an urban house that is 1,500 square feet. As a result, in our analysis, we look mostly at the options that companies provide in order to control costs, including their satisfaction guarantees and whether or not they provide free inspections for pest control services.
If you’re trying to decide between using Orkin or Arrow Exterminators, either would be a good choice for the pest problem you’re having. However, Orkin’s high-rated customer service puts it slightly above Arrow in its overall rating. Even though Arrow has a great amount of services at an affordable cost, we all know how important customer service is when it comes to finding services for your home.
|Features & Services Provided||9.5||10|
|Customer Support & Reviews||9.5||8.5|