Western Exterminator is a Rentokil-owned pest control company that operates in several major states west of the Mississippi. For over 95 years, they have worked to become the go-to local pest control company in the areas that they serve and consider themselves an embedded part of their communities. Their technicians live in and around the areas that they work, making it a truly local and community-based company.
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Western Exterminator has been in operation since 1921. A united company, you can expect to find local offices in Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. Today, with over 60 locations across these 6 states, you are almost guaranteed to live close to a local office as they are in all major cities and many smaller ones as well. Western also has a dedicated customer service line that is easy to reach by phone or email and even provides the option to chat with a representative in real time over the Internet.
As a part of the Rentokil family, Western Exterminator enjoys the benefits offered by the largest pest control company in the world, including training opportunities and industry knowledge. Rentokil operates in over 60 countries as of 2017, so they have a wide breadth of knowledge to draw from and a huge amount of experience in pest management in a variety of different settings. While Western began as a locally-centered initiative, there is power in being part of the Rentokil family, even if the company had to give up a part of its claim to fame.
Today, with over 60 locations across these 6 states, you are almost guaranteed to live close to a local office as they are in all major cities and many smaller ones as well.
Have been known to have an unreliable treatment among different exterminators.
Features and services provided
Western Exterminator takes on a large list of pests, including:
Western Exterminator also offer the additional services of fumigations, drain line services, air curtain systems, crawl space restoration, micro-sanitation, and minor construction, so Western can be your one-stop-shop for many of your in-home needs. It also helps in case the technicians find a particularly tricky pest that they need to get rid of through specialized service. Their wide variety of services sets them apart from other companies that only focus on pest control and gives an added layer of convenience that is hard to compete with.
Unlike many larger companies, Western Exterminator will come out and inspect your home entirely for free. When working with a pest control company this is something that is very important to consider because it allows technicians to help you understand the extent of your problem and gives you the tools to make educated decisions about your home’s pest care. If a company does not offer a free inspection, you can ask if they will complete your inspection if you choose to proceed with their treatment recommendations.
When Western comes to your home, they will thoroughly inspect attic spaces, chimneys, garages, basements, cracks in the foundation, windows, doors, and roofs to see if there are any current infestations or any vulnerable spots that could be potential points of entry for pests. The technicians will then develop a personalized pest protection plan for your home based on what they have found and present it to you. If you like what they have to say you can continue to work with them, but if you want a second opinion there are no strings attached to this inspection.
Western Exterminator uses the environmentally-friendly Integrated Pest Management (IPM) system to address pest issues. IPM, which has been advocated for since the 1970s by environmentalists and entomologists alike, focuses on proactive pest prevention and targeted solutions instead of simply spraying your home indiscriminately with harmful chemicals.
IPM in the home focuses on stopping pests before they even enter the residence and it starts with Western’s first inspection of your home. Technicians are specially trained to find weak spots in your home’s pest defense system, such as cracks in the wall or a window that does not seal properly, and provide advice for you about how to best fix them. Because Western even offers minor construction services, they are able to fix the majority of these points of entry themselves and won’t need to call out to other companies for help and expertise, even with larger repair projects.
The third aspect of IPM is using targeted treatments with environmentally-friendly products, if at all possible. Instead of spraying your entire garage for a black widow’s nest, companies like Western that use IPM will only treat the areas that are absolutely necessary to prevent the pest from returning. When combined with effective monitoring of your home’s defense mechanisms, these targeted treatments are typically more than enough to keep the pests at bay.
Western Exterminator provides training to every technician that joins their team, regardless of their experience level, to ensure that they are fully up-to-speed with IPM strategies and the latest methods for pest eradication. In addition to classroom instruction and basic training, the company emphasizes a “train as you work” model so that technicians learn in real-life situations what they need to do.
This “train as you work” method seems somewhat dubious and shortsighted and is uninspiring to anyone who is in need of a pest control company. When compared to larger national companies like Orkin who proudly advertise their 160 hours of intensive training, it’s easy to think that Western’s training is insufficient. However, Western Exterminators is backed by Rentokil—the world’s largest pest control company—and because of this, it is safe to assume that technicians receive adequate training before they start the job.
Free inspections and a targeted IPM method to help reduce environmental impact.
“Train while you work” raises questions.
Western Exterminator generates very mixed reviews across the Internet. Some of their customers took to the web to rave about how wonderful their service was, while others were very frustrated by their technicians and the company in general. This is a general trend in the pest control business, so when evaluating a company you have to read between the lines and assume that the reviews represent the best and the worst of the service and that the truth lies somewhere in the middle.
Word on the Street
A major negative trend that extended beyond any single location was that Western’s customer service was very frustrating to work with. Communication seems to be a struggle for Western and several people complained of the company continuing to bill them after their accounts had closed. However, an almost equal amount of people were very satisfied with their service and commented their technicians on a job well done.
It is worth noting that during the writing of this review, the author found the customer service of Western to frustrating to cooperate with. The customer service representative did not know a lot of answers to the questions that were asked about basics of service plans and was not very friendly to work with.
Punctuality and Professionalism
People are more likely to leave a negative review of a company than a positive one, so it says a lot about Western’s services that they have been able to generate enough positive reviews to balance out the negative ones. Across the board, people wrote that their technicians were on time and easy to work with. As one reviewer wrote:
“I’m glad I choose Western Exterminator Company for my rodent problem. Mike Williams is a great exterminator. He’s punctual, patient, polite, professional, and prepared for the job. My quote was reasonable and the service was excellent. I recommend Western Exterminator Company for rodent control.”
However, some reviewers commented that their technicians did not seem to know what they were doing during their service, which makes us question the “train as you work” model that Western Exterminators follows.
There were several negative comments about Western Exterminator’s persistence, and many people had a shared feeling that Western only did about half of the work for a job before claiming that more services than were agreed upon were needed.
At the same time, however, it seems that Western is actively trying to solve issues of persistence with their clients. After one reviewer wrote a very negative comment about how the company handled some mice in their rental unit, a Western Exterminators customer service representative got in touch with them and sent another unit out to fix the job. As the reviewer wrote after updating their review to 5 stars:
“I had to amend my previous post because not long after I complained, I received a notice that the company was sincerely interested in what happened and wanted to fix it. And they really escalated things for me, which I greatly appreciate. At issue was a mouse or mice in a rental unit. The tenants didn’t communicate very well or frequently, so it was hard to tell where the ball dropped. But Western Exterminator came back, went above and beyond the call to fix things, didn’t charge us for it, and they really were sincere about making sure they solved our problem.”
The fact that Western also puts in the effort to respond to negative reviews that arise online and address the issues that people are facing is a major bonus point for their customer service initiatives. Many companies don’t take this extra step and it demonstrates that Western cares about their reputation online.
Western’s reviews on effectiveness were also mixed across the board. While the largest complaints of the company by far concerned their administrative disorganization, a lack of effectiveness was the second biggest problem people had. Many reviews began with “Don’t waste your time with this company,” followed by details about how Western was unable to get rid of a pest problem in someone’s home.
That being said, the fact that Western was able to maintain a 3-star rating across several different locations does speak volumes about their ability to control pests. Enough people were impressed enough by Western’s pest control service to leave a 5-star review that it counterbalanced the number of bad reviews that were also left. This is an accomplishment because people are significantly more likely to leave negative reviews than positive ones.
While there were a number of negative trends that stuck out across Western’s locations, what matters in the end is that the company had a high number of positive reviews and was working actively to communicate with posters of negative reviews on Yelp.
High number of positive reviews reflects a willingness to go the extra step for customers.
Some negative reviews show that exterminators were sometimes unprepared for the amount of work.
Like with other pest control companies, cost is hard to evaluate because it varies so much on geographic location and the nature of the infestation, but we have gathered some information that affects price points and your buying decision.
Free Initial Inspections
Without an inspection, it is virtually impossible for a technician to fully understand the nature of your pest problem. However, some companies don’t offer free inspections and instead offer over-the-phone consultations or even give you a price quote online. While these options are nice should you simply want to schedule a routine maintenance check, if you have a real problem an inspection is necessary for the technician to be able to give you an accurate price quote. Western provides free inspections for all pest control matters and will come to investigate all areas of your house, including hard-to-reach places like attics and chimneys.
No Annual Contract
Unlike some other companies that insist that you pay for four yearly treatments, Western Exterminators does not force you to buy an annual contract. This is great because it allows you to be flexible in your purchasing option and you can book a one-time service for a special occasion like a wedding or a barbecue.
No Money-Back Guarantee
Western does not offer a money-back guarantee of any sort for their services, which is a major red flag for a pest control company. Every other company reviewed has had a guarantee of some sort as a protection for consumers in case a treatment fails or the pests return. The fact that Western does not offer this is a sign of a lack of confidence in their ability to treat the problem the first time and should be a warning sign for consumers.
Western Exterminators’ lack of a guarantee of any time sank their score in the cost category.
No annual contract necessary.
No guarantees whatsoever.
While Western offers a huge variety of services and has an aggressive stance on the environment, their customer service and lack of a quality assurance guarantee serve as major warning signs for this company. When combined with their limited geographic location, their overall score is relatively low. Western Exterminator has some room to improve.
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