Having bed bugs can be a distressing experience for anyone living with them. So, it’s vital to seek help as soon as possible. However, it can be a mystery knowing what you can expect to pay for bed bug treatments.
Here we’ll show you what the average costs are for bed bug control across the U.S. Then, you’ll discover how to tell if you have a problem. Finally, we’ll walk you through the process so you’ll know what to look for in a reputable company.
Our top bed bug exterminator picks with proven results are Orkin, Terminix, and Aptive. These providers have some of the best trained professionals that are able to use traps, baits, and other chemically treated solutions, which can be dangerous to use if not handled correctly.
For quotes from Orkin, call 877-831-3660, or fill out this form.
For Terminix quotes you can reach them at 866-506-2303, or with this form.
For a free quote from Aptive, call 855-426-9774 or visit the company’s website.
Ed has been working in the pest control industry for years helping 1,000's of homeowners navigate the world of insect and rodent management. He manages Pest Strategies now helping homeowners around the world!
Table Of Contents
What Influences Cost?
The following table highlights the average cost to hire a bed bug exterminator in the U.S.
|National Average Cost||Cost Range||Minimum Cost||Maximum Cost|
|$1,000||$500 – $1500||$300||$3,000|
In most instances, getting rid of bed bugs is a daunting task, even for experienced exterminators. That’s why costs are typically not set in stone. Below, we’ll show you what metrics most reputable companies use to determine their prices for bed bug services.
Commercial vs. Residential
There are differences in cost between residential and commercial services. For example, treating a bedroom in your home may be priced around $350-$500. However, treating hotel rooms may cost at least 25 percent more. That’s because warranties typically cover a wide range of options for commercial customers. Also, the liability is greater for the exterminator. In addition, technicians are expected to be available for emergency services around the clock. So, if your home doubles as a bed and breakfast, you may be charged a commercial rate. Also, expect to pay more if you rent several units adjacent to your home. The exterminator will view it as an apartment complex and charge accordingly.
Number of Rooms Infested
A bed bug infested room in your home will typically cost $300-$500. However, if you have two infested rooms, it can get a little tricky. Although the exterminator won’t typically charge double for two rooms, you could find a wide range of pricing between companies. That’s why it pays to get at least three estimates. Most exterminators only have a set price for single-room service.
Severity of the Infestation
A larger infestation doesn’t always mean a higher price. However, in extreme cases, it does. So, it all depends on how much time the tech needs to spend in your home. Also, a severe infestation means that there’s a risk that it’s moved into other areas of your home. In those cases, you will almost certainly pay a higher cost for the service.
An exterminator may factor in the type of treatment method they use into the cost. For example, a standard aerosol spray application will be much less than heat treatments. That’s because the technician doesn’t have to spend as much time monitoring as with methods that could potentially cause a fire. To a lesser extent, some exterminators may charge more if they use specialized equipment. Also, there’s a higher cost for using a larger amount of pesticide sprays and other materials.
Rarely, an exterminator will base price solely on square footage. Instead, the technician will get an idea of the overall size and scope of the project. They will seldom measure an area to get an exact reading. With that said, it’s important to realize that size matters to a technician. For example, if your infested master bedroom is a third of the size of your house, plan on being charged extra.
Emergency vs. Non-Emergency Service
Due to the rapid increase of bed bug infestations in the U.S., most larger pest control providers offer emergency services. This could simply mean same-day visits. Or you may even be able to call 24 hours a day. However, if you do, it’s going to cost more. Plan on spending at least $200-$300 extra to have a tech come to your house at odd hours, and that’s even before they calculate the tab to get rid of your bed bug problem.
Frequency of Service
It’s important to realize that a one-time service is usually just that — one time. So, you may have to pay the same price for a follow-up as you did with the initial service. This is where it pays to understand why an exterminator has the lowest bid. Just settling on the most attractive price may not be the best option. For example, a price of $300 may seem much better than $500.However, suppose the higher estimate includes one follow-up service if needed. The lower one doesn’t. That means you will save $100 by choosing the higher-priced company if you need a call-back. It’s also a huge advantage to have a regular monthly pest control service. Most companies offer deep discounts to current customers for specialty pests like bed bugs, termites, or mosquitoes, and you will almost always be placed on the priority list for service visits.
Signs & Causes of Infestation
Adult bed bugs are reddish in color and are only about the size of an apple seed. Sometimes homeowners get them confused with carpet beetles. However, carpet beetles are nearly black, whereas bed bugs are much lighter.
Bed bugs hide in various locations in your home. For example:
- Mattress seams
- Electrical outlets
- Wall cracks and crevices
- Box springs
- Bed frames
- Dresser drawers
Bed bug eggs are difficult to see. For that reason, you may not notice an infestation until it becomes established.
Bed bugs spread by being carried from an infested location. The most common mode of transportation is luggage, clothing bags, and used furniture.
Signs of bed bugs include:
- Live bed bugs. Seeing one or two bed bugs doesn’t necessarily constitute an infestation. However, it does warrant further inspection.
- Blood stains on sheets. Red stains on linens indicate a potential bed bug infestation. As you roll over at night, the bug is squashed, leaving behind the blood it recently devoured. Also, bed bugs often discharge right after a blood meal so they can eat more, and that can contribute to staining as well.
- Eggs and molting. Eggs are tiny (less than one millimeter) and are difficult to spot. Nymphal stages molt several times and leave behind yellow skins. Look for them on sheets, in dresser drawers, and on carpeting.
- Dark spots on sheets. Bed bug excrement typically shows up as black dots, similar to a leaky black marker. The larger the infestation, the more widespread these stains become.
- Bed bug bites. Many insects such as bed bugs, mosquitoes, and fire ants leave welts on the skin. For that reason, skin irritations are not always a sign of bed bug infestation. However, they are a cause for concern.
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Health Risks of Bed Bugs
Scientists concur that bed bugs are not vectors for insect-borne diseases. However, they still pose health risks, especially for small children and the most vulnerable adults. That’s why it’s vital to understand the health risks.
Some people who are allergic to foods, dust, or other environmental factors may be susceptible to bed bugs. In most instances, these present as mild skin irritations or rashes. However, in extreme cases, some patients may even experience anaphylaxis from a single bed bug bite.
When bed bugs bite humans, they release an enzyme that causes the person to bleed easier. This process facilitates the blood meal. As a result, it becomes easier for the bugs to gorge themselves.
An obvious symptom of bed bug bites is the presence of large welts on the skin. This feeding process also creates dermatitis, a skin condition that produces the following symptoms:
- Blisters that may become hardened over time
People who suffer from bed bug bites scratch their skin often. Unfortunately, if they do it enough, it could eventually cause bleeding. The result is a secondary infection that could lead to severe skin complications. These include:
- Impetigo, a bacterial infection that presents as large, yellow crusted blisters on the legs, arms, or face.
- Ecthyma, a more serious form of impetigo that is related to the streptococcus bacteria.
- Lymphangitis, an advanced stage of infection that attacks the lymphatic system.
It’s not uncommon for people to suffer psychological distress from bed bugs. Children and vulnerable adults are the most susceptible.
Many people report losing sleep and noticing a decreased work performance. In severe cases, they may even become delusional and obsessive over bed bugs.
DIY vs. Hiring a Professional Exterminator
Most homeowners hire an extermination company to get rid of their bed bugs. However, some people feel comfortable doing it on their own. In this section, you’ll find some pros and cons of both remedies so you can make an informed decision about how to proceed.
The Do-It-Yourself Option
Performing a clean-out of bed bugs yourself will save you a lot of money. It can also make the process more private. This is especially important if you don’t want your neighbors or landlord knowing about your uninvited guests.
However, eliminating bed bugs from your home is also a difficult endeavor. Chances are, you don’t have the necessary materials you need to complete the job. Since your local hardware store probably doesn’t either, it means that you’ll have to wait at least a few days for delivery of those items you order online.
- You can save a tremendous amount of money doing it yourself
- Increased privacy, no one trudging through your home
- You can perform follow-up treatments without scheduling restrictions
- You probably don’t already have the necessary equipment and materials on hand
- It could take up to a week to gather all the items you need
- It can be nasty, difficult work to remove bed bug infestations
- The process could take much longer due to any lack of experience on your part
Getting Professional Help
A licensed pest control professional is a great asset to your bed bug removal project. Most companies are ready to go with the proper equipment, licensed technicians, and the experience needed to eliminate bed bugs fast.
For example, Terminix handles bed bugs using the latest technologies such as heat and cold. Also, it’s a company that knows how to treat its customers. That’s why it has grown so much in the past 30 years.
Aptive Environmental uses a traditional approach to bed bug removal. These methods include targeted crack and crevice applications with residual sprays, aerosols, and insecticide dust.
Orkin is one of the few pest control providers left that offer a free quote. Although it doesn’t normally charge by the square foot, it will offer an exact price. In most cases, it will offer a 30-day guarantee, even for bed bugs.
The downside to hiring a pest control company is the bed bug treatment cost. However, in some cases, you may be able to negotiate a better price, although it’s rare you’ll receive one. To give yourself a better chance, be especially helpful and cooperative during the inspection and treatment process.
- Pest control companies have the equipment on hand, ready to assist you at any time
- Technicians have the knowledge to eliminate bed bugs fast
- Exterminators are used to the difficult work required
- Bed bug exterminator costs range from $500 up to $1,500
- Your technician may require you to help out by removing linens or other items
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What Is the Bed Bug Extermination Process?
There are as many ways to treat bed bugs as there are available exterminators. Here, we’ll show you the industry best practices so you understand what to look for in a true professional. We’ve also broken it down further between conventional and alternative techniques.
Conventional Bed Bug Treatments
Chemical treatments are still the most widely used for conventional treatment plans, and they are generally the lowest-priced option.
The process typically starts with the tech performing a thorough inspection to discover bed bugs in their usual hiding spots. Then, they will treat infested areas with an EPA-approved knockdown spray.
Rarely will a company use whole-house fumigation techniques to eliminate bed bugs. This method is a relic of the past, and it often involves the use of aerosol foggers and bug bombs.
Also, you will probably not see the tech spraying the baseboards. This is also an outdated method that is virtually worthless for bed bug removal.
The best exterminators will follow up with an insect growth regulator to disrupt the bed bug’s life cycle, and there should be no additional treatment charge for this service. Instead, it’s usually built into the initial bed bug extermination cost.
Alternative Bed Bug Treatments
Steam treatments are probably the best non-chemical method to use for bed bugs. However, just like any pest control technique, there are certain procedures the technician must follow.
After they complete the usual bed bug inspection, the tech will set up the machine. Most steam cleaners are set at around 300 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature is high enough to kill bed bugs on most surfaces using the hot water from the steam.
As part of an advanced, integrated pest management approach, some companies will perform preventative services. For example, depending on the level of infestation, the technician will caulk and seal several areas. Also, they may perform a follow-up treatment utilizing a silica gel material or dry pesticide.
Advanced heat treatment options are also available. This strategy involves setting up a powerful heating unit to increase the room temperature above 110 degrees Fahrenheit, enough to kill most bed bug infestations.
However, pest control operators appear to be shying away from this method. It’s expensive and requires the technician to monitor the process for up to six hours. Also, there have been some reports of fire damage caused by the thermal units.