Clark Pest Control and Terminex are scammers.
Orkin is awesome.
I woke up last week with some bugs crawling on me, immediately assumed they were fleas but was informed that they were not. Found some on my bed and concluded after an internet search that they must be bed bugs. We isolated my room and I slept downstairs for like a week, we found a few bugs over the course of that week but nothing much. Called exterminators to see how big of a problem it is. Clark was the first to come by. He walked in my room, said he could smell them, and pointed a flashlight at where the carpet meets the wall and said he could see them. He then went on to say it was a pretty bad infestation that had been there around 5-6 months, then looked around my house (it's pretty big in a pretty nice area) and quoted me $3500 to tent the entire house and fumigate. He told me it had definitely spread all over the house and that fumigation was our only option and that we should do it as soon as possible.
Obviously I was pretty shocked about all this as it didn't seem that bad and I was not expecting it to cost in the thousands of dollars. I then called Orkin, who had a $95 fee but said that this allowed their inspectors to be more truthful and it would be applied to the cost of the extermination if we went with them. I also called Terminex and had them come out as well.
Terminex came out first and basically told me the same thing as Clark but at a slightly cheaper price. He measured the house first, then came in and took a look around my room, said he saw a bed bug and that we'd need to tent the house and fumigate. He claimed the infestation was pretty bad and that we'd need to get it done immediately. He also told me that if you don't do anything then it goes on the house's record that it had a bed bug infestation that wasn't dealt with and it makes it hard to sell the house in the future.
A couple hours later Orkin came. He went into my room, got down on his hands and knees and sifted through carpet. He unscrewed the cable jack in my room and looked inside the wall. He meticulously went through both of my mattresses. All of this took about a half an hour. He found two carpet beetles and not a single bed bug. I told him what the bugs that I found looked like and he seemed to think that it sounded like mites and not bed bugs. I explained to him what the other companies had said and he was shocked, but mentioned that the $95 fee means he works on salary and not commission. The other guys are basically forced to try and get you to buy their product so they can get paid. They use scare tactics in nice neighborhoods to get people to unnecessarily fork out money. When I told him that they wanted to tent the house he was blown away and said he wouldn't even recommend that if he had found bed bugs. I also mentioned how the Terminex guy said that it went on the house's record and he had never heard of that ever happening despite having spent time in real estate as well.
Orkin guy said all we needed to do is vacuum hardcore and get rid of the pigeons that live outside my room. He also told me he'd be happy to come by at no cost if we have any issues, even if it's months from now.
My mind is absolutely blown right now. If what the Orkin guy said is true, and I'm inclined to believe him, then the other two companies were actually trying to scam me into blowing $3000-$3500 on a service I didn't need which would pump very toxic chemicals into my house. I'm honestly hoping I can get the NBC investigative unit to look into this because I imagine A LOT of people are getting scammed right now as bed bugs have become a pretty common and serious issue lately.
Anybody had a similar experience to this? I'm pretty much never using a "free estimate" again for anything. People seriously can't be trusted.