How Much Does A Bed Bug Inspection Cost
Bed bug inspection
Bed bugs are a real threat to properties, as they are quite sneaky and can spread in a building, creating anxiety and potentially damaging your brand image. Also, when a bed bug problem exists for a while without action being taken, it is harder to control, so it’s crucial to detect it as soon as possible. If you have seen signs that suggest bed bugs could be present, you should get in touch with a pest control company for an inspection at the first chance you get.
Ehrlich conducts thorough inspections that will assess whether bed bug activity is present, we have a great depth of expertise in bed bug control, and we can tailor our treatments toward your needs. Although you may think you can tell whether these pests are inside by yourself, you may miss hiding places or signals that they are there. The Ehrlich inspector who visits your home or business will be trained in bed bug inspection, so you can be confident that any problems will be caught.
How to inspect for bed bugs
When Ehrlich does bed bug inspections, we look for some signs that indicate they could be present. Red flags include:
- Fecal spots – on a soft surface they can look like marks from a fabric marker and on a hard surface they can look like a black bump.
- Shed bug bug skins – bed bugs shed their skin multiple times during their lives.
- The actual bed bugs – learn more about bed bug identification here.
- Blood spots on pillowcases and sheets – this comes from human blood.
You should look for these signs as well around your property so you can tell whether you need to contact a pest control professional. Also, if you’re traveling and notice any bed bug warning signs at a hotel or other location, speak up about the issue.
Bed bug inspection cost
How Ehrlich conducts a bed bug inspection
Before you have a bed bug inspection with Ehrlich, it is helpful to know what to expect. One of our representatives will speak with you about your issue. The Ehrlich representative may ask you about the factors that suggest you are dealing with a bed bug problem and the areas where you and other property inhabitants sleep or spend a lot of time sitting so we know where to inspect. The inspection will begin in a place where people within the property sleep, rest or sit – commonly this will be your bed. It could also include a couch or a reclining chair.
Ehrlich provides bed bug inspections for both residential and commercial properties, so whether you own a home or operate a hotel, hospital or other business, we can assess your situation and figure out the best way to solve it. The amount of time needed for the inspection will depend on the number of places that bed bugs could be infesting. You can expect to receive a thorough inspection but we remain respectful of your time and aim to work in an efficient manner.
You should not need to prepare much for the bed bug inspection; however, please remove trash or dirty laundry that happens to be lying around.
After the bed bug inspection
If we have found bed bug activity during the inspection, we will usually make an appointment for treatment to take place on a separate date. Ehrlich provides bed bug services that include conventional treatment and heat treatment. We can determine the solution that best fits your circumstances and takes care of the issue.
Additionally, Ehrlich offers canine bed bug inspections, so if you are interested the use of a bed bug dog, get in touch with us to see if this service is available in your area.
Attempting to eliminate bed bugs without the proper training or materials is not likely to work, so your best step is to alert a pest control company right away if you think bed bugs have invaded your home or business. Still, it’s smart to learn more about the habits of these bugs and their appearance so you can avoid problems or spot them before the issue becomes worse.
Ehrlich is a great choice for bed bug inspection, so reach out today if you suspect these pests have entered your premises.
How Much Does Bed Bug Extermination Cost?
On average, most homeowners spend between $1,000 and $2,200 to exterminate bed bugs. Depending on the level of infestation, you can expect to pay $200 to $400 per room for bed bug treatment. Get free instant estimates from bed bug exterminators near you.
Average Bed Bug Exterminator Costs
On average, most homeowners spend between$1,000 and $2,200to exterminate bed bugs. Depending on the level of infestation, you can expect to pay$200 to $400per room for bed bug treatment. Costs depend on how big the house is, how widespread the infestation is, the treatment used, the number of treatments, and where you live. For a small isolated issued in a single bedroom might cost you$300, whereas a large home fumigation will cost about$4,800.
|National Average Cost||$1,579|
|Average Range||$1,000 to $2,200|
Maybe you’ve tried your own methods of pest control and bed bugs are still there. It’s highly recommended you call a professional bed bug exterminator as there may be health risks involved. Pest control experts will not only exterminate your bed bug problem, they will also teach you how to prevent bed bug infestations in the future.
Table Of Contents
Bed Bug Exterminator Costs By Home Size
Pest control professionals will charge by the room, by the total square footage, or give you a flat fee, but most infestations will require more than one visit. For bed bug heat treatment, most homeowners report spending$300 per room, or$1,579for their whole home. Here are the average prices based on home size for a standard treatment.
|Bed Bug Extermination||Average Cost|
|1-Bedroom Apartment||$300 – $800|
|2-3 Bedroom House||$400 – $1,200|
|Whole House||$1,000 – $2,500|
|Per Square Foot||$1 – $3|
Bed Bug Treatment Cost
Your bed bug extermination service might suggest one or more of the following ways of treating your infestation, depending on how extensive it is:
|Bed Bug Treatment||Average Cost|
|Heat Treatment||$2,000–$4,000 ($1–$3 per square foot)|
|Fumigation||$4,000–$6,000 ($4–$8 per square foot)|
|Chemicals & Pesticides||$200–$400 per room|
|Steam Removal||$250–$1,000 per room|
|Freeze Treatment||$500 per room|
|Monthly Pest Management||$110–130 per month|
Bed Bug Heat Treatment Cost
This is a chemical-free treatment where heat of over 120 degrees is used to drive air into the space infested with bed bugs. This treatment method is 100% effective and kills bed bugs at every stage of life. It doesn’t harm electronics, and exterminators will often use their own generator to make sure your electric bill isn’t exorbitant that month. Expect to pay$1-$3 per square footto treat the infected areas or around$2,000–$4,000for your whole home.
Bed Bug Fumigation Cost
Fumigation cost is based on your home’s square footage. The average cost of fumigation is$4 to $8 per square foot, or$4,000–$6,000total. Your home will be sealed off and filled with fumigation gas to kill all the bed bugs, but it will mean you’ll have to vacate the home for a few days so as to avoid chemical poisoning and breathing in high VOCs. If done properly, it will kill all the bed bugs in the house. Fumigation costs 3–5 times more in the North than in southern states.
Structural Fumigation Cost
If the foundation of your home is found to hoard bed bugs, you’ll possibly need a structural fumigation as well, which can cost as high as$30 per square foot. It is unlikely that your homeowner’s insurance policy will cover the cost as it falls under home maintenance/preventative damage costs.
If the infestation is so bad that your house must be fumigated, be sure to put everything you own into a trailer or storage unit and fumigate that as well. Trailer fumigation can cost less than$1,000and ensures you won’t bring the bed bugs back into the house once it’s been treated.
Chemicals & Pesticides Cost
Bed bug-killing chemicals will be laid or sprayed throughout the home. Direct spraying into cracks and crevices is effective. Bed bugs are beginning to develop resistance to pesticides though. While you can buy bed bug spray and spray the mattress, your treatment plan needs to be all encompassing. Expect to pay$200–$400 per roomfor professional chemical treatment.
Bed Bug Steam Removal Cost
Machines produce 200+ degree steaming heat which will kill bed bugs at all stages in the life cycle on contact. They are especially effective at reaching into cracks and crevices. The process takes about 7 hours and does such an effective job that no follow up is required unless more bed bugs are brought into the home. Dry vapor steam is also an option. On average steam bed bug removal costs$250–$1,000 per room
Bed Bug Freeze Treatment Cost
Machines use a dry ice snow powder to freeze all bed bugs at all stages in the life cycle on contact. Cryonite machines use a pressure hose to convert liquid carbon dioxide into a dry ice solid. They are a good alternative to steam vapor because they don’t cause any moisture damage. The process is much easier and faster than heat treatment, saving money. However, bugs can appear dead and then become active again once they are warm. Bed bug freeze treatment costs$500 per roomon average.
Integrated Pest Management Cost (IPM)
IPM combines the use of pesticides and chemicals with monitors, box spring and mattress covers, heat treatment, and Hepa-filter vacuums into a monthly plan. It is much more likely that your exterminator will use a multi-faceted approach to your extermination project. Monitors can come in the form of detection kits, under the bed leg detectors, bed bug lures, and bed bug traps. As soon as one is detected, you can treat again and prevent all future multiplication. A monthly pest management costs$110–130/monthon a bi-annual plan.
Bed Bug Inspection Cost
Many bed bug exterminators will offer a free inspection while some will charge an average of$70–$175. Visual inspections carried out by professionals will include a thorough look at all the areas mentioned below. Sometimes these inspections can last as long as four hours. How does an inspector tell if you have bed bugs?
These will pick up as many live or dead bed bugs, and their feces and eggs, as possible and give you a good idea of how bad the infestation is.
Bed Bug Sniffing Dog Costs
An inspection by bed bug sniffing dogs can detect bed bugs with 95% accuracy, both before and after treatments. Well trained dogs have a higher accuracy level than humans. They are especially useful when locating bed bugs in large buildings and are capable of discovering even low levels of infestation.$300–$600
Signs of Bed Bug Infestation
- By sight- They are usually too small for the naked eye to see, but you’ll see the evidence they leave of brown spots or smears of poop on the sheets.
- By smell- Sometimes you can smell something like slightly rotting raspberries, which is the odor they can give off.
- By location- You’ll most often find them in your bedroom because they enjoy living in bed frames and mattresses so they can be near their food source at night . you. They are also often found in luggage, furniture, clothing, pillows, picture frames, pets’ bedding, loose wallpaper, boxes, and any cracks and crevices they find. Your bed bugs love the dark, and they’ll hide out near beds or sofas in large extended families which grow by the minute. They’ll stay hidden, and they love clutter.
- Movement- They don’t fly, but they move quickly.
Preparing For Bed Bug Treatment
In order to prepare effectively for the bed bug treatment and prevent a re-infestation, the homeowner will have to remove every possible infected item from the infested rooms and place them outside. They can’t be brought back in until they and the room have been treated and follow-up has been done.
- All fabric– Put all clothing and other soft fabrics—bed linens, bedding, soft toys, drawer contents, drapes—into zipped or tightly sealed disposable bags and put them outside. Run all of the above through a dryer cycle on high for 30 minutes. Drop off all dry-cleaning items at a dry cleaner’s in sealed bags and inform them of the possible infestation. Throw away all disposal bags containing infected fabric. Only bring dried clothes back in innewbags after first AND follow-up treatments are done.
- All furniture– Pull all furniture at least 6” from the walls. Remove all furniture that cannot be heat treated and treat it outside the house with an alternative method. Throw away any furniture that cannot be treated. Don’t leave it on the curb to infect other homes.
- Fixed elements– Remove electrical plates and tape outlets. Disconnect or cover smoke detectors.
- Carpet/flooring– Vacuum and throw used vacuum cleaner bags in the outside trash.
- Clutter– Empty all nightstands and shelving units. Leave nonfabric items bagged in the room. Throw out any magazines, paper, clutter you can. Wash all baby toys in hot soapy water and seal in a trash bag.
- Pets and food– remove all pets, plants, food, pet food, etc. close food utensils in cabinets.
Bed Bug Prevention
Bed bugs ride into the house on anything they can from the outside world—clothing, bags, used furniture can all give them access to your home. Once in, your bed bugs are happy to inhabit your world. And so begins the drama.
How to Avoid a Bed Bug Infestation
- Enclose your mattress and box spring in a bed bug mattress cover. Covers cost$18–$50, with the SafeRest brand getting the top reviews.
- Remove clutter.
- Check mattresses and drawers for signs of an infestation before sleeping in hotel rooms.
- Check the Bed Bug Registry before booking your hotel room to see if anyone has reported bed bugs in hotels you’re considering.
- Seal clothing and belongings in plastic bags when traveling.
- Wash all clothes immediately on returning home.
- Fill any cracks and holes in the walls and trim. Glue down loose wallpaper.
- Don’t bring used furniture into the house until it’s been checked for bed bugs.
- Monitor all the rooms in your house with bed bug interception devices for returning bed bugs.
A good bed bug extermination service will also teach you what to look for and how to prevent any future infestations. They also usually leave you bed bug monitors so you can call them if you see any bed bugs.
Health Risks Of Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are not inherently dangerous themselves according to the CDC. A bed bug’s only food is blood, and it’s partial to yours. While they’re not great at spreading disease, bed bugs can give you skin rashes, itching, and blisters. Some people may also suffer from an allergic reaction to bed bug bites which will require immediate medical attention.
In addition, all pesticide products used in bed bug extermination must be registered by the EPA and your state’s department of agriculture. Keep in mind these products can be an irritant to the skin and eyes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where do bed bugs come from? How do you get bad bugs?
Bed bugs ride into the house on anything they can from the outside world—clothing, bags, used furniture can all give them access to your home.
What do bed bugs look like? What are bed bugs signs and symptoms?
They are usually too small to see until they mature, but sometimes you’ll see the evidence of their presence—they leave spots or smears of poop on the sheets. Bed bugs can give you skin rashes and blisters, and you might find yourself with an allergic reaction to bed bug bites. The usual way to treat bed bug bites is with antiseptic or antibiotic creams or lotions to prevent infection.
How much does it cost to exterminate a 1-bedroom apartment?
At a rate of $250 per room or $0.75/sqft, a 1-bed apartment can cost $500–$600 to exterminate, and more if the infestation requires additional treatment measures.
How to kill bed bugs in leather, cotton, or foam furniture?
Vacuum with a Hepa-filter vacuum, steam, or treat with a disinfectant spray like STERI-FAB Bed Bug Spray (contact spray).
Are there safe, non-chemical ways to get rid of bed bugs?
Yes. A trusted part of natural DIY treatment includes desiccants like food-grade diatomaceous earth powder. It’s a natural killer of bed bugs, dehydrating them until they die. It will kill indefinitely and is safe for pets and children to be around, but powder must be applied with a mask due to inhalation risks. Boric acid tablets can also be placed in dark corners inaccessible to pets and children. Neem oil can be applied to all cracks and crevices as a preventative measure.
How much does a bed bug mattress cover cost?
The top-rated bed bug mattress cover designed specifically to prevent bed bugs from taking over is made by SafeRest. Covers cost $18–$50.
Can bed bug professionals get rid of other pests?
Yes, most pest control services are licensed to get rid of any unwelcome bugs or pest in the home.
How do I get rid of bed bugs myself?
Depending on the type of treatment you choose, you can try and exterminate bedbugs yourself for 25%–50% less than when paying a professional to do it, but keep in mind that you must also do follow-up treatments, use ongoing preventative measures, and absorb the cost of replacing all bedding, linens, and clothing. For treatment alone, expect it to cost about $50–$150 for treatments and kits you can buy yourself.
Hiring An Exterminator
To find your bed bug extermination company, look for him or her to fulfill as many of the following requirements as possible. Then ask for a detailed proposal from your top three and pick the one that appears best.
- Licensed contractors – Licenses may be verified by calling the various state departments of agriculture.
- Offer a warranty on labor
- Are bonded and insured
- Have an A or A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau
- Have excellent ratings on social media sites
- Include setup and complete cleanup costs in the quote
- Provide excellent communication from your first phone call or e-mail
Make sure you pest exterminator includes a warranty in the contract, because it’s normal for him/her to have to treat your home 2 or 3 times to achieve full eradication. Most contractors will offer a 30-day warranty on labor.
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Bed Bug Sniffing Dogs: The Truth about Canine Inspection
This golden retriever (named Jola) is sniffing for bed bugs under a mattress.
Thinking of hiring a trained dog to detect bed bugs? If so, it’s going to cost you about $350 regardless of whether the dog finds bugs or not.
Does scent detection work?
Below, we one visitor that claims it’s a waste of money and a K9 scent detection company’s response as to why it failed – but the general consensus is yes, it works extremely well, BUT only if:
- The dog trained by a reputable canine detection program for bed bugs only and not cross trained to detect other insects (reduces false positives)
- The handler is trained (accredited certification) to work with and understand alerts from the dog
- Dog can accurately detect as little as one or a few bed bugs
- Dog can detect live bed bug eggs
- The handler will work to confirm dog’s findings and point out the infestation
A university study on dogs that completed a special canine bug detection training program found they had a 97% accuracy rate, but they dogs from that special program. Unfortunately, some inspection services use this statistic to promote their services even though they never had the same training. Make sure the canine used is trained using an widely recognized program.
If the company is as good as they say, they shouldn’t have a problem providing you with a sealed pin-holed plastic vile containing a few live adult bed bugs that you can hide in a room for testing. They will explain that conducting the test near a vent or up high may prevent detection.
Below is Jenifer’s story on how sent detection repeatedly failed her.
Scent Detection That Didn’t Work
Jennifer’s bad experience & a canine detection company’s response
About 2 1/2- weeks ago I noticed my wrist itched at work. upon inspection, the bites looked and felt just like mosquito bites. When I got home later I inspected my body and counted 2 bites on my right finger (about 1/2 ” apart), 2 or 3 bites on my right wrist, and one bite on my left thigh (just above the knee).
Just to be on the safe side, the next morning I had an exterminator come and do an inspection of my home to make sure I was safe and pest free.
The exterminator who came to do the inspection told me that my bites looked a lot like classic bed bug bites and explained that he needed to do a thorough inspection of my house … especially of the bedrooms. He turned my house upside down looking for bed bugs. After a long search he said that he felt very certain that I did not have bed bugs and went on and on about all the telltale signs of bed bugs and how nothing in my home shows evidence of any (except for my bites!).
Anyway, after a week or so of bite free, restful sleeps in my bed, I woke up last Tuesday morning with 8 or 9 bites on my left wrist and arm! I was/am upset, disgusted, frustrated and in pain. I envy those who are not allergic to these awful bites. Consider yourselves lucky. The following morning, I called my dermatologist and he saw me that afternoon. My dermatologist said that he was 95% certain that I had bed bug bites and 100% certain that they are insect bites either way. At this point I am really starting to lose my mind. Not only have I spent $40 on a doctor visit copay, but $185 on pest inspection and nothing has changed: (
Now I have spent nearly 200 dollars, lost a lot of sleep, and look like I have some sort of a skin condition you could catch. not a pretty picture. I spent nearly all of Wednesday night becoming a web MD/expert on and about bed bugs. After doing all my online research while I was paralyzed by fear of falling asleep – I decided the smartest thing I could do is to hire special dogs to come and sniff the exact location bed bugs!
Okay, so I hired this company with hounds that only can identify the scent of bed bug. Scam? who knows? I certainly didn’t care because I was/ am so desperate to get these things out of my house! So here is what happened. Yesterday the man with the dog came over to my home. The dog goes up to the beds in my house and apparently really reacts to something on both the bed in my master bedroom and the bed in my guest-room. You can’t imagine how excited I am that I am THIS close to hard evidence of real, live, disgusting, blood sucking bed bugs! I am this close to a solution!
Okay, the bed bug dog, handler, and I go back to the bedrooms to hone in on the exact spots the dog reacted to. This way I can find out where I need to treat the infestation. The doggy is good and shows me the spot again. I look at the box spring and then at the guy and dog and say “Uh, okay- umm can we see them… or like one”? the guy tries to find one for me but goes on to say “how hard it is to find these little suckers” and “gosh they are just so sneaky”. Ughhh. My hope of the beginning of the end of bed bugs has quickly been deflated. All I can think to myself is what a crazy, gullible idiot I have turned into in a mere 2 weeks. I will not even say how much money I spent on this. It is shameful…
Believe it or not that was my day yesterday. C’mon people- HELP ME!
Response from the owner of a bed bug dog company
I own a Bed Bug dog scent detection company that detects the odor or LIVE bed bugs and viable eggs with the use of dogs. The team here at BadBedBugs contacted me to see if I could shed light on this matter for you.
I first want to start off by saying that using dogs to detect bed bugs is certainly not a scam. In fact, scientific studies have been done on the dogs to prove the accuracy of their findings. Now here is where that last sentence gets tricky. Yes, the University of Florida has done extensive studies in regards to the use of dogs and posted that their findings were that dogs were averaging 98% accuracy. But what you need to understand is that the University used dogs that were trained at special Canine Academy. And because the University released their report without discussing who’s dogs they used, now everyone with a bed bug dog now thinks they have the right to say that their dog is 98% accurate, when in fact, that statement is completely inaccurate.
All dogs should be single scent dogs and certified via a third party and not an in-house certification program.
Now onto the situation at hand….
I don’t know what the rules and regulations of the company you used are, but I will say this, when we do an inspection we rely 100% on the accuracy of the dog. If our handlers start second guessing our dogs, then that defeats the purpose completely. And so that you know, the extensive study that the University did stated that humans were only as high as 30% accurate in finding bed bugs. Which is the other reason we don’t search for them after the dog alerts.
Now, it is true, bed bugs can be elusive. especially if they are nymphs (babies). In some cases they can actually hide within the fabric of your bed making them almost impossible to find. Also keep in mind that they could be elsewhere in your living space. Nightstand, couch, chairs, carpet, clock radios, etc etc. And for that reason alone, this is why using a dog like the ones we use, are a perfect fit for your situation. Secondly, if you were able to just see them on your bed, then you wouldn’t need a dog to begin with.
I recently had a customer go through the exact same thing as you. She had 4 pest management companies come in and none of them found a single bug. She then called us in and the dog alerted us to bed bugs on each side of her mattress. I wrote in my report that the dog alerted to both sides of the bed and was also trying to crawl under the mattress. So I suggested that if her pest control company wanted to find them to look on the mattress and under the bed.
The customer called me back 2 days later crying saying that the pest control company did not find anything at all. I asked if the pest control company completely searched the bed and box springs. She said yes. I asked how and she told me they had flash lights out looking all around the bed. When I asked if they took the fabric off the bottom of the box spring she replied NO. I suggested to look there, as I stated before the dog was trying to crawl under the bed. She called me back 30 minutes later again in tears apologizing to me stating that she found the evidence she was looking for. At last, they identified bed bugs.
I truly hope this restores your faith in the accuracy of a trained dog’s ability to sniff out bed bugs.
Scent Detection That Worked Great
Mimi’s great experience where a bed bug sniffing dog did what the pest control companies couldn’t
Mimi hired pest control companies to help her find bed bugs and in the end, it was the bed bug sniffing dog that solved the problem! Her story is listed below:
My nightmare started exactly 2 weeks ago today. That is when I caught my first bed bug on my body around 2 am. I feel “lucky” that I caught the little *#%@ because I had suspected there may have been an issue a couple of weeks prior but could not find any of the evidence in my room or on/around my bed, sheets, box springs, night stands, curtains, picture over my bed, light sockets, etc.
Late November I had to go to Cincinnati for business and about 2 weeks later I received my first “spider” bite. It was the worst bite I have ever experienced! Red, extremely itchy, and swollen. About a week later, low and behold, I got another spider bite. a few days later 3 in a row on my elbow. I even went to my doctor because my boyfriend said it looked like MRSA. After the Dr swabbed the infected area, I told him I thought it could be bed bugs. He said Mimi, you do not have bed bugs.
Well, a week later is when I caught the thing red handed biting me in the middle of the night. That night it woke me up because my neck was itching so badly. I got up to see what was wrong with my neck when I spotted her on my white t-shirt. I freaked when I caught it because blood squished out of it’s body! That’s when I knew I had bed bugs. I put her in a plastic container and looked up images on the internet.
I had three pest control companies come out (Terminix, Orkin, and OPC Pest Control), all did what I thought was a thorough inspection but none of them found any bed bugs.
So next I called this guy in Northern Kentucky who has dogs that smell live bed bugs and their eggs. His dog identified a bag that contained my down comforter (I madly cleaned, vacuumed and bagged everything the day I found the bed bug).
Broke down my whole bed and vacuumed every crack and crevice of my furniture and light socket. I have been vigilant in my search for bed bugs, exoskeletons, larvae, and eggs but still cannot find anything except for that one bed bug I caught. I know that there must have been more than that one as I had 15 bites on my neck 2 weeks ago.
The bed bug dog handler said the one I caught was a female so I am waiting to see what happens in the nest 2 weeks.
It’s been 2 weeks today since my last bite but I still wake every night with nightmares of bed bugs crawling on my neck. I wake myself up scratching my neck but, thank God no bites…. yet! I am going crazy
I think I have caught this early and if I have total faith in the dogs, only my comforter was compromised but time will tell!
Wish me luck and I wish all of you luck as well as this is the most emotionally devastating experience I have gone through to date.
A bit about the bed bug sniffing dogs that were used.
The dog service was $360. For me it was worth it as I feel his dogs are well trained and were invaluable in helping to find their location in my house! I am keeping my fingers crossed as it’s been 3 weeks since I realized I had bed bugs and no bites!
He had two dogs. The first dog he called “the sweeper”. She is a black lab and she indicated the plastic garbage bag I had put my comforter in the night I found a bed bug. (He had opened all the black plastic garbage bags that I stuffed all bedding into so the dogs could get a whiff of them).
The second dog, a terrier, was brought in after the first dog and he said was his pin point dog also only indicated on the same bag. Both dogs went through the whole house (3 levels) and all closets, dresser drawers, and my car.
He lives 1 1/2 hours away from me so my charge was reflected in my bill. He had been a pest control specialist in the Cincinnati area before he got into training these dogs and he is very knowledgeable about bed bugs as he has had a lot of experience in the Cincinnati area.
I was a little skeptical at first but he told me there is no guarantee but, he has a lot of confidence in his dogs. As of now, I do as well!
How much does bed bug extermination cost?
Nationally, the average cost for bed bug extermination ranges between $320 and $400. Pricing will vary based on your geographic location, the severity of the bed bug infestation, the number of rooms affected, and what type of treatment is required to eliminate the little pests. Pest control pros may charge for bed bug treatment by the square footage of the property to be treated, at a flat fee per room, or by the hour of labor.
If you have bed bugs, it doesn’t mean you have a dirty home or office, or have done something wrong. It just means that these resilient parasitic insects have hopped a ride into your life — usually via luggage, backpacks, secondhand furniture and clothing or a visitor — and made themselves at home. Fortunately, bed bugs are not known to transmit infectious disease, but they do cause itching and scratching, bite marks, and allergic reactions — and can spread easily.
Bed bugs multiply quickly, don’t disappear on their own and bed bug infestations get worse, never better, if left untreated. The minute you notice signs of a bed bug infestation, call a professional bed bug exterminator. If you deal with the problem early on, you will prevent the infestation from spreading to other parts of your home or office, and from passing the bed bugs on to visitors who will then carry them to other locations.
What’s in this cost guide?
- What affects bed bug extermination costs
- Room size and number
- Cleanliness and clutter
- Home type
What affects the cost of a bed bug extermination?
Several factors can affect the average cost of a professional bed bug extermination. This includes the number of rooms affected, severity of infestation, amount of furniture, cleanliness of the area and the construction of the home or office. Most pest control professionals do a walk-through before providing a quote so they can assess the space, recommend a the right treatment and price accordingly.
Number and size of rooms affected
The more, and larger, the rooms that need treatment, the more you’ll spend on bed bug extermination. Pest control professionals may charge a set rate per room, plus the cost of materials. They may charge a higher rate for the same size room if any other factors — like infestation severity and clutter — come into play.
For example, Alamo Pest Management in Fort Worth, Texas, charges an average of $250 per 10-foot by 15-foot bedroom with standard furniture (bed, night table and dresser) for a light to moderate infestation.
Severity of infestation
Another reason to call an exterminator early: the more severe the bed bug infestation is, the higher the cost. To determine how bad the infestation is, the pest control professional will inspect the entire area, looking for telltale signs of bed bug infestation such as exoskeletons and fecal matter. They’ll look to see if it impacts the entire room, or just part of it, and to what extent.
Heavier infestations cost more to treat because exterminators need more product, time and sometime additional employees to take care of it. For example, Alamo Pest Management charges an average of:
- Heavy bed bug infestation: $300-$400 per bedroom
- Light to moderate infestation: $250 per bedroom
- Preventative treatment for rooms with no infestation: $200 per room
Because bed bug populations multiply so quickly, it’s important to get on top of treating your infestation quickly, so your light infestation doesn’t turn into a heavy infestation.
The more furniture you have in an infested room, the higher the cost you can expect to pay to treat that room. For example, most pest control companies charge an average of $50 for every piece of additional furniture, like a chair or cabinet, in a bedroom beyond the standard bed, two nightstands and dresser.
This is because exterminators have to inspect and treat all the furniture in each infested room. Each additional piece of furniture adds 30-60 minutes to the time it takes to treat a room, and requires more product. For example, if you have three extra pieces of furniture in your bedroom, that’s an extra 90-180 minutes of the pest control professional’s time — which means higher labor cost.
Level of cleanliness and clutter
Dirt doesn’t really affect whether bed bugs hang around your house, but clutter does. They love nooks and crannies to hide and lay eggs in. If you need help clearing the clutter and organizing your home, consider finding a home organizer in addition to your exterminator.
It also affects the level of work and cost of getting rid of them. If a home is messy or has a lot of clutter, the rate per room will be higher. According to Alamo Pest Management, clutter creates more work in two ways:
- Employees must sort through and clear the clutter to prepare the area for treatment.
- Employees must spray more product to treat all of the excess clutter.
Alamo Pest Management charges $450 per bedroom with a standard bedroom set, heavy infestation, and large amount of clutter or obstacles — which is $50 – $150 more than a clutter-free bedroom.
The construction of home
How your home is built can also impact the overall cost of services. If your entire home is infested, you may need to spray under the house. Homes with pier-and-beam construction can harbor bed bugs underneath the house, and pros can dry-dust the area to terminate colonies there. Both of these services cost more. Alamo Pest Management, for example, charges an average of $50 minimum to dry-dust under a pier-and-beam home.
Slab homes (homes without any space between the home and the foundation) usually don’t need this treatment.
Whether or not you need fumigation
Depending on your situation, the pest control pro may also recommend fumigation. This is a more extreme solution as it involves completely sealing your home (often with a massive tarp) and pumping in a pesticidal gas. You and your family must leave for one to several days, and costs may range on average anywhere from $3 to $8 per square foot — which can add up quickly if you have a large home. The good news is fumigation will eradicate all signs of bed bugs.
Do bed bug exterminators charge hourly rates?
Yes. Bed bug extermination companies may charge an hourly fee rather than a per-room rate. The hourly rate may reflect the type of pest control services the pro will employ, and the cost of travel to your location, materials and employee time. The hourly rate will also take into account business overhead costs such as insurance, licensing and equipment.
For example, Pest Solutions in Wappingers Falls, New York, charges an average base rate of $75 for 45 minutes of bed bug control services. A pest control management company that offers an hourly rate will typically do an onsite assessment. They will then provide a quote that lists the work they will need to do, as well as an estimate of the total hours and cost.
Getting a free quote
Free quotes are fairly standard practice for larger extermination projects. Because the factors involved in determining treatment are so complex, most bed bug extermination companies provide free, on-site quotes to give an accurate cost estimate and treatment plan.
Once you schedule a quote, the professional will come to your home or office, ask you to point out your areas of concern, and also perform a complete visual inspection to assess treatment need. Reputable pest management companies will recommend an integrated pest management approach.
How do I know if I have bed bugs?
The easiest indicator that your home or office has been infested is when you actually see bed bugs, or the red exoskeletons their larvae shed as they mature. You may also find itchy bites, which often appear in lines or clusters, on your skin. Since not everyone reacts the same way to bed bug bites, it’s best not to go off skin reactions alone, since they could be a sign of another bug problem, like fleas. Instead, check your area for other signs as well.
Another indicator is their fecal droppings — rusty in color, thanks to blood — found on bedding and furniture. If you have amazing vision, or you’ve come across a large cluster, you may be able to spot their eggs, which are clear or yellowish and about the size of a pinhead. Smell can be another symptom. Bed bug infestations tend to create a sweet, musty odor, so pay attention if you smell something out of the ordinary.
If you spot any of these symptoms and aren’t too squeamish, you can also do a preliminary search to discover their hiding places — but be very careful, as disturbing them may lead to wider dissemination throughout your house.
How to spot a bed bug
Bed bugs are tiny, smaller than a lentil, and are no thicker than a credit card — unless engorged with blood. This makes them hard to spot. Bed bugs don’t have wings and cannot fly, but you may see the adults run across a bed, molding or piece of furniture.
If you think you have spotted a bed bug, check to see if the bug has six legs a short antennae that points forward, and that it is rust or mahogany in color. If you see a bug of the same shape and color but with eight legs, it may be a mite or a tick.
Then, there’s the eggs. Adult females lay white or clear eggs that are no bigger than a pinhead — approximately 1 millimeter in size. The eggs hatch within 4-12 days, producing white-yellow or clear nymphs that begin to grow. As nymphs grow from approximately 1.5 millimeters to approximately 4.5 millimeters, and progress to the next developmental stage, they shed their current exoskeleton. So flaky bed bugs skins are a strong indicator of a pest problem.
Common symptoms of bed bugs
Bed bugs are primarily nocturnal; most nymphs and adults feed on sleeping or resting humans in the darkness, although they will come out in the daylight if they’re hungry enough. This is why bed bug activity is often discovered on or around mattresses and bed frames — they like to stay close to their meals.
They take advantage of exposed skin, so your neck, arms or legs are often easy targets while you sleep. Bed bugs mainly feed on human blood, but some strains also have adapted to other mammals, such as your pets.
Where bed bugs are found
As their name implies, they are often found in mattress seams, bedding, and dark crevices of bed frames. Beyond the bed, bed bugs can fit almost anywhere and seek out dark, tight hiding places. Scan curtains and furniture seams; behind picture frames and mirrors, inside cracks in the wall or around window and door frames; in tightly cluttered spaces like closets; in luggage, briefcases and backpacks; and even inside electronics.
Bed bugs will often crowd together into cozy cracks and crevices together, but are also prone to going off alone, especially the females. If you find one grouping of them, that does not mean you have discovered them all, and treating just that area may not control the whole infestation.
What types of treatments can be used?
There are a variety of techniques available to treat bed bugs. According to Indiana University, heat, steam, freezing and pesticides are all viable ways to eliminate bed bugs when done by a professional exterminator.
Heat treatments are a great non-chemical option. During heat treatments, hot air is pumped into infested areas until ambient room temperatures have reached between 130 and 150 degrees. Bed bugs begin to die at 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Exterminators use thermometers to verify that all areas of an infested room have reached the proper temperatures. Insecticide is used as a follow-up treatment to the heat method to eliminate any possible survivors.
During steam treatment, your exterminator will use a professional low vapor or dry steam machine with variable output rates. Steam is applied directly to infested areas and kills bed bug adults, larvae and eggs. The one drawback to steam, according to Indiana University, is that steam is only effective as far as it can reach — meaning you must hit each infested area directly with steam to ensure complete extermination.
Freezing is also effective. You will get the best results with a professional treatment such as the Cryonite freezing technology, according to Indiana University. The technique uses carbon dioxide snow to kill bed bugs, leaving no pesticide residue. If you try freezing infested items such as clothing in your own freezer, the bed bugs may actually survive and thaw, returning to haunt you again once they’ve come out of the freezer.
Pesticides are another effective treatment for fighting bed bugs, but shouldn’t be done on your own. Hire a pest control professional to apply pesticides, since doing it wrong can be harmful to your health and that of your kids and pets. Misuse can also cause bed bug infestations to spread to other areas of your home or office, and even contribute to bed bug resistance to pesticides.
According to Indiana University, the categories of pesticides used to exterminate bed bugs include:
- Liquids: used to exterminate bed bugs residing in cracks and crevices, and along moldings or carpet edges
- Aerosols: work well for furniture, cracks and crevices, and the treatment of bed frames and box springs.
- Fumigants (also called gases) used to handle large-scale bed bug infestations. The pest control management company will completely seal your home or office and then fill it with an insecticidal gas that should kill all bed bugs inside. Indiana University explains that standard foggers (also known as bug bombs) are not effective for extermination.
Although the EPA recommends the least possible damage to the environment, they are not opposed to the properly applied pesticides. In fact, the EPA states, "although bed bugs may sometimes be controlled by non-chemical means alone, this approach is often very difficult, potentially less effective, and usually more resource intensive." Working with a professional will help you navigate all your options.
What is integrated pest management?
Integrated pest management isn’t a fancy marketing term exterminators made up to sell you products.
The EPA explains integrated pest management programs "use information on the life cycles of pests and their interaction with people and the environment. This information, combined with available pest control methods, is used to manage pest damage by the most economical means, and with the least possible hazard to people, property, and the environment." An integrated pest management solution will not only treat those bed bugs that are currently alive, but also exterminate any unhatched bed bug eggs.
When researching which pest company to hire, look for those companies that champion an integrated approach. This will net you the best results in the long run.
How can I prevent bed bugs?
Whether you want to prevent bed bugs from ever coming into your house, or from returning, follow these tips from the EPA for preventing a bed bug infestation in your home:
- Carefully inspect secondhand furniture, beds or couches for any signs of bed bug infestation before bringing them home.
- Check clothing purchased from vintage or thrift shops for any signs of bed bugs.
- Use a protective cover (called a mattress encasement) over mattresses and box springs. Select an encasement in a light color to make bed bug spotting easier. Also choose one made of a strong material that won’t tear, and check often for holes.
- Eliminate as much clutter as possible in your home.
- Vacuum your home regularly and dispose of sealed vacuum bags carefully.
- Shared laundry facilities can lead to bed bug exposure. Transport laundry in plastic bags (if you have an active infestation, use a new bag for the journey home). Remove clothing from the dryer directly into the bag and fold your items at home. Use high heat to kill any potential bed bugs.
- If you live in a multi-family home, or apartment building, you can isolate your unit by installing door sweeps on the bottom of doors to discourage movement into hallways and sealing cracks and crevices around baseboards, light sockets, etc., to discourage movement through wall voids.
In the past two decades, bed bug infestations have been on the rise due in part to increased travel, lack of public knowledge about bed bug prevention, bed bugs’ increasing resistance to existing pesticides, and ineffective pest control practices.
Although bed bugs frequently are transported via travel and hotel rooms, they are also in schools, daycare centers, public transportation such as subways, trains, and buses, college dorms, and more. Any place is susceptible to bed bugs. Bed bugs don’t discriminate, but they aren’t a sign of a dirty home or dirty life.
Prevention tips while traveling
When you’re staying in a hotel, hostel, Airbnb, or someone’s home, there are some simple precautions you can take to prevent bed bugs from coming home with you.
- Set down your luggage on an elevated location such as a luggage rack or shelf, since bed bugs can’t fly.
- Don’t place luggage or belongings near cracks, picture frames or electronics that could house bed bugs.
- Always check your mattress, especially the seams, for signs of bed bugs, like exoskeletons, fecal droppings, or bed bugs themselves.
- Also lift up the mattress and look underneath, then run your hands down and around the mattress frame.
If you have clothing or items you think have been exposed, store them in a sealed plastic bag until you have access to a dryer; place the items directly into the dryer and heat them on high for at least 30 minutes.
What are the benefits of a bed bug exterminator?
While you might be tempted to take a do-it-yourself approach to getting rid of these pests, a professional exterminator is always a better choice. Professional exterminators can perform inspections to confirm whether or not you have a bed bug problem (even if you think you’re certain, there’s always a chance it’s something else).
In addition to one-time removal or termination, many also provide recurring bed bug control services. Finally, a good exterminator will provide recommendations on how to prevent them from returning. Here are a few other tips to keep in mind when hiring an exterminator:
- Some pest control professionals offer a 100 percent guarantee, which may be good to look for if you have a bad infestation. For example, Steam Kill Bed Bugs in Little Falls, New Jersey, promises that their treatment will rid you of bed bugs, or they’ll return to do additional treatment for free.
- Ask for a signed contract that outlines the treatment plan, cost, and any follow-up or warranty that will be provided.
- Always research your pest control pro and make sure they have the appropriate licensing, insurance and certifications as required by your region — as well as good customer reviews. For more, check out our tips for smart hiring.
How Much Does a Bed Bug Exterminator Cost?
If you’ve noticed signs of bed bugs in your home, it’s time to consider contacting a bed bug exterminator. Prices may vary from business to business, though. While do-it-yourself methods may seem to be cheaper, they may not always work and may end up costing more in the long run. That said, it’s important to recognize the benefits of professional pest management. When vetting exterminators, consider their treatment options and make sure they’re flexible enough to align with your needs. Here are some elements that can determine how much a bed bug treatment may cost.
Cost of a Bed Bug Exterminator
So, how much is bed bug extermination? Costs vary depending on treatment and environments. Some homes need more extensive, hands-on operations, while others only need a one-time treatment. Additionally, a preference for non-toxic solutions may also impact your cost. Not sure if professional treatment is for you? Terminix technicians can conduct a FREE bed bug inspection. From there, you can decide whether to proceed with the recommended treatment. Likewise, Terminix offers FREE follow-up treatments. If bed bugs return, a technician will return to your home free of charge during the warranty period.
Treatment Options for Bed Bug Extermination
Non-toxic methods can include theRapidFreeze® solution. This method makes use of carbon dioxide, which is then converted to dry ice. Upon contact, this compound can freeze insects, including both eggs and their nymphs. This method can still be fast and effective but keeps customer preference in mind. In addition to the RapidFreeze solution, Terminix also offers other effective treatments to meet the needs of each home. These can include steaming, heat, vacuuming and trapping monitors. You’ll want to make sure that your exterminator is using the best method for your home. Experience can also be a good sign that your exterminator knows what they’re doing. For example, Terminix has been helping homeowners tackle termites and pests for over 90 years. Our customers can vouch for our knowledge and success in treating infestations.
Benefits of Hiring a Bed Bug Professional
With so many DIY treatments, many people overlook the benefits of professional extermination. According to theNational Pest Management Association, 84% of professional exterminator requests for bed bugs were actually a different pest. In fact, 71% of cases were fleas and 28% were cockroaches. Terminix technicians are trained to recognize differences in pests, know the common hiding spots and identify signs of infestation. Additionally, exterminators have access to effective treatment options that aren’t sold commercially. As so, they have the skills needed to successfully and safely apply these solutions in your home for an effective treatment.
Schedule Your Bed Bug Extermination
Many people stray from the professional route when they are researching bed bug exterminator costs. Average homeowners may choose to attempt extermination on their own instead. If methods are unsuccessful, infestations may worsen. As so, it’s important to let the professionals step in right away. Byscheduling an appointment with Terminix, a trained technician can help you achieve more success. With robust knowledge and unparalleled experience, they can help keep your home free of bed bugs.
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