How Much Does Bed Bug Treatment Cost?
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Bed bugs are non-flying insects that are often mistaken for small ticks or cockroaches. About the size of an apple seed, these bugs will feed by sucking on the blood of humans or animals, usually during the night where people sleep such as your mattress, headboard or bed frame. Extremely hard to get rid of your own, you may find out that you’re going to have to call in the professionals to get rid of them for good.
How much does bed bug extermination cost?
- Before we get into the pricing, you first have to understand there will be three parts to the process: inspecting the property, preparing the property and treating the property.
- If you plan on hiring a professional, the first they will want to do is come to your home and assess the damage. During this session, they won’t treat the bed bugs, but instead, they will verify you do have bed bugs and will determine a plan of action. Most companies will charge about $50 to $280 for this inspection visit; however, some may apply this fee to a future treatment session if you decide to use their services.
- This price will be higher if you decide to use a dog that’s capable of sniffing bed bugs out. These dogs have up to a 96 percent accuracy rate, and if the company uses one, they may charge anywhere from $300 to more than $700 for the confirmation only. This price can be much higher if the dog is needed in a larger building such as a hotel or nursing home. Most services won’t offer this option, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.
- Once bed bugs are confirmed in your home, the extermination company will want to start some sort of treatment plan. Most companies will want to charge by the room, but some may charge by the job, especially if the entire home has to be treated. On average, plan on spending close to $300 to $1,000 per room, depending on the size, the method they use, the company you use and the degree of the infestation. Most infestations will require follow-up visits and some companies may charge an additional fee, whereas others will include this in their total quote. When everything is said and done, don’t be surprised if the total treatment costs you $1,000 to $6,500 or more. Refer to our table below to see what most companies will charge on average.
- Orkin and Terminix, which are both major corporate pest control firms, charge anywhere from as little as $400 to several thousand dollars to clear out a home or apartment. The costs, like mentioned above, will depend on the severity of the issue. According to this Fox Business article, for instance, a representative from Orkin backed up these fees.
|Fumigation||$4 to $7 per square foot|
|Heat||$2,000 to $4,500 for the average home (1,700 square feet)|
|Pesticides||Varies, but it will be about $250 per application and several will be needed.|
|Steam||Again, varies, but will be about the same as pesticides -- $250 per session and multiple sessions will be required.|
What is going to be included?
- If you choose to hire a professional, a professional exterminator will come to your home and assess the damage. He or she will be able to pinpoint the exact problem as well as recommend what solutions can be provided. During this session, they are going to check the furniture, rugs and surrounding areas for any sign of infestation. This could include looking for molted shells, fecal material, eggs or living/dead bugs. If a dog is brought to the inspection, the dog can simply sniff the area for confirmation, similar to that of a drug-sniffing dog.
Pest control companies use a variety of ways to get rid of bed bugs, which includes fumigation, heat treatments, pesticide application or via a steam treatment.
- One method, which tends to be the most popular, will be via a heat treatment. With this method, the home will be heated to 120 degrees or higher to kill the bugs since they are not able to withstand temperatures higher than this. However, since there is no chemical residue, there’s no guarantee the infestation comes back.
- If the company doesn’t use this type of method, then there’s a good chance they will use some sort of spray pesticide and will apply it like they would any other pests inside the home. This chemical may also be intertwined with these other methods as well, depending on the company you’re using. With this method, powders will be left in open spaces, while a liquid-form wil be left inside the cracks. Upon contact, the bug is killed.
- Another method — structural fumigation — is used, but it isn’t as common as the two mentioned prior. With this method, a company will tarp your home, releasing gas known as vikane gas to permeate every inch of the home. If you choose the fumigation or the heat treatment method, you will have to leave the home for a few days until everything is back to normal. This method, out of all methods mentioned, has a 99 percent success rate and can kill more than just bed bugs; it can also destroy ants, termites and other pets.
- Lastly, a steam treatment will be similar to the heat treatment. During this process, a technician will use a steam cleaner to eradicate the infestation. These cleaners will have a high heat setting and with every swipe, it will be able to clean mattresses, couches and other types of fabrics.
What are the extra costs?
- In some extreme cases, you may have to destroy some furniture to play it safe such as headboards, couches or even bed sheets. For example, since bed bugs are known to hide inside fabric material, a professional will highly advise you throw away any fabric or rinse in hot water to play it safe. Furniture, depending on the material it’s made from, will either have to be disposed of or steamed cleaned to make sure all of the bed bugs are gone.
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Tips to know:
- Most people will know they have a bed bug bite when they see a bite mark on their skin, usually dark brown or reddish in color. However, keep in mind close to 30 percent of people out there don’t react to bed bugs.
- Before hiring an expert, be sure to ask for references and see if they are bonded and insured. What you will find is that a good company will provide solid references that you can use. It also doesn’t hurt to look at online reviews to see what other people say about the company. A good place to start is Angie’s List and Yelp.
- Be sure to get everything in writing before you start the process. Know what kind of chemicals that they are going to use, and what the total bill is going to be. As mentioned above, will they include the follow-up visits in the quote? What kind of guarantee do they offer?
- Ask if the company has liability insurance. That way, if any damages are done, you know the insurance will be able to protect them.
- Is there a guarantee? It’s best to find an exterminator that will provide a guarantee. You wouldn’t want them to do some work and find out that the problem hasn’t gone away.
- START EARLY! If you ever spot a bed bug, call right away. If you let this infestation grow, it can cause a lot of problems and make the bill even higher.
- Bed bugs prefer dark and warmer places such as the crannies of your mattress or the edging of the wall.
- You can freeze bed bugs; however, the temperature will have to be less than zero degrees for more than four consecutive days. Because of this length and temperature, pest control companies won’t use this method.
- To prepare your home for extermination, you will have to remove anything you want to have dry cleaned such as a mattress, linens and furniture. Once washed, it’s important to seal in an air tight bag. You will also be asked to move objects away from the perimeter and remove anything from a wooden object since bed bugs often seek refuge in wood cracks and corners.
How can I save money?
- Performing the bed bug treatment yourself can definitely help you save several hundreds of dollars as long as you are aware of what is needed to be done during the treatment process, but do keep in mind that bed bugs are very hard to get rid of. It is highly recommended that you talk with a professional before starting a job yourself. Consider using websites such as HomeAdvisor to find multiple professionals in your area. Here, you simply describe your job and contractors in your area will offer you a quote.
- Some people who do it on their own often rent bed bug heat equipment. These systems, depending on who you use, can cost up to $400 per day to rent.
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