Home » Archives » What is the difference between pest control and an exterminator? Are they the same thing?

What is the difference between pest control and an exterminator? Are they the same thing?

When it comes to the removal of pest infestations in your home, it’s important to understand the role that the experts play. For example, what is the difference between a pest control expert and an exterminator? Are they the same thing?

In this article, we’re going to address these important questions, so that you can be certain that you are hiring the correct service for your situation. 

What is the difference between pest control and an exterminator? 

So, what is the difference between pest control and an exterminator? Are they the same thing? One of the biggest differences between pest control experts and exterminators is in the name:

Exterminators are all about eradicating the pests by any means necessary, and this is typically done through the use of harmful chemicals and pesticides. 

Pest control, on the other hand, is not only about removing the pests from your home, but ensuring that they do not return, whilst protecting the environment both inside and outside your home. 


  • Pesticides and other chemicals that can be harmful both to humans and our environment 
  • Total eradication (by any means necessary) 
  • A quick-fix 
  • Fumigate the entire property 

Pest control: 

  • Look to identify the cause of the infestation (why are they there?)
  • How can they alter the conditions to prevent pests from returning?
  • If chemicals are necessary to handle the pest problem, safer and non-toxic alternatives will be used 
  • A focus on long-term solutions 
  • Targeted to specific areas (as opposed to the whole property)
  • Look for more humane alternatives to dealing with certain pest problems 

Pest control is the conscious alternative 

Understandably, when it comes to dealing with pests, the word “exterminator” can be much more exciting, definitive, and even attractive. After all, if you have a phobia of cockroaches—that, coupled with the fact that they are in no danger of going extinct makes an exterminator an attractive option. The image of hundreds of dead cockroaches laying belly-up in your home is a comforting prospect. 

However, exterminators and their methods are dated. There are safer and certainly equally effective means of dealing with pest infestations. 

For example, for every pesticide and deadly chemical used by exterminators, there is an equally as effective alternative that is both safer for humans and better for our environment. 

You see, many of the pesticides used by exterminators often require that you leave your home for an extended period of time while they fumigate your home. This is because if you were to remain in your home during this process, it would be especially harmful to you and your family. That, and what you will often find is even after the process is complete, your home can smell of residual pesticides for weeks to come. 

Whilst pest control, on the other hand, they use odourless alternatives that are far less harmful to humans. Additionally, rather the fumigate the entire property, pest control experts will find the route cause of the problem and use a highly targeted approach to handling the situation. 

Pest control has more humane ways of handling pests 

For many of us, the thought of eradicating the entire nest of pests can be seen as a positive. For others, if there is a more humane way of dealing with it, then that would be the preferred option. 

This is typically the case when it comes to dealing with rodents or bees for example. An exterminator will simply eradicate the pests no matter what. A pest control expert may be able to find humane alternatives, such as relocating the bee’s nest and catching said rodents alive for release into the wild. 

That being said, in some cases, the most humane thing to do is simply find a less painful way of killing the infestation, as relocating isn’t always an option. In which case, you either learn to live with them in harmony (lol), or you wipe them out entirely. 

Who should I choose? An exterminator or a pest control expert? 

Ultimately, the decision falls to you. It all depends on the situation and what you want to achieve. If for example, you have a pest problem in the workplace, then hiring an exterminator isn’t the best option. This is because they will use harmful chemicals to handle the problem, and you will have to leave your establishment while they fumigate it. 

A pest control expert, on the other hand, will be able to find ways of dealing with the pest problem without you having to close down for an extended period of time. 

In many cases, pest control experts can be discreet and come in after-hours to deal with the pest problem, allowing you to carry on business as usual. 

In the same breath, some of your employees might be averse to the use of an exterminator when there are safer alternatives. As a business owner, you have a duty of care to opt for the less invasive/harmful pest control alternative

If you have a pest problem in the home, hiring a pest control expert is the smart choice if you want to avoid the issue in the future. Again, pest control experts try to address the why, as opposed to simply wiping out the issue and being done with it. 

When you know why the pests have chosen to invade your house, measures can be taken to prevent an infestation from happening again in the future.  


In conclusion, both exterminators and pest control experts are effective means of handling a pest problem. However, if you are looking for a safer, environmentally friendly, and long-term solution to your infestation, then a pest control company, such as Expert Pest Control in Blue Mountains, will be the conscious thing to do. 

In any case, we wish you the best of luck with dealing with your pest problem.