The Least Wanted Guests in Your House (Hint: Bed Bugs on Top)

Pest infestations are both annoying and frustrating. And with the summer season upon us, we can expect even more unwanted guests moving inside. Infestations can also be costly; whether you are battling with bed bugs, coping with armies of ants, or dealing with racoons rattling around in your attic, it helps to have an idea of what you should pay for the extermination or removal of these creatures.

Because, as much as we might admire them from afar, it is quite another thing to be sharing a living space, or even a bed, with them!


Based on data from national averages, we created cost guides for each of these pests. The varied sources we drew our data from include: specialized books and websites, published cost studies, established U.S. associations, websites and reports from the U.S. government, literature reviews of DIY websites, contractors and subcontractors, material suppliers, material price services, and other vendor websites.

From our costs guides, here, we go over the average costs to exterminate, or remove and relocate, nine common household pests from a personal home.

From Bed Bugs to Ants: A Visual Guide

The illustration shows nine common household pests ranked in terms of the cost of either removing or exterminating them. Three price categories are identified; $2,500 - $1,500, $1,500 - $500, and $500 and below.

We found that the majority of pests (7/9) fall into the latter category, with only two types of pest costing more than $500 to exterminate or remove and relocate. In the case of these smaller critters, the jump in cost was significant; pest control services for both termites and bed bugs cost from $1,000 and upwards. And bed bug control services extend to the upper end of the scale at $2,500.

It should be noted that for some of the pests, namely, bed bugs, termites, wasps, and mice, a price range is indicated as opposed to one set average price. This is because extermination and prevention of a recurrence is based on multiple visits by pest control services, or by the extent of the services on offer. For example, in the case of bed bugs, some providers offer a canine inspection service to make sure that household pets aren’t harboring the insects. Another variable factor is the extent of the infestation, which has a direct bearing on how many visits are needed to solve the issue.

These costings are based on national averages and include labor, material, inspection, and the cost of preventative measures to help minimize the chances of a repeat infestation, too.

Removal vs. Extermination

Of the nine pests, both bees and racoons have costs relating to removal instead of extermination.

Bees are crucial to the environment and play an extensive role in the cross pollination of plants. With the number of wild bees dropping worldwide, it is important that a bee hive is safely removed and relocated with minimal harm to the bees, instead of them being exterminated and the hive broken up.

Wasp hives are also removed to prevent the insects moving back in, but the wasps themselves are generally exterminated.

Racoons, native to North America, are also removed and relocated. Unless the animal is sick or injured, they are not euthanized. Removal specialists will make sure that racoons are relocated to 10 miles from your property, at a minimum.

Key Findings

On the upper end of the scale, bed bugs and termites are the costliest pests to deal with. Bed bugs are the most expensive with costs to exterminate and protect against further infestations ranging from $1,000 - $2,500. This high price tag can be attributed to the fact that it can be hard to reach all bedbugs and eggs as they hide in tiny nooks and crannies. Their resilience and ability to lie dormant for extended periods also makes it hard to assess efficacy of treatment. Termites come a close second with costs ranging from $1,300 - $1,500.

The least expensive pest infestations are fleas and ants, with the national average for both coming in at under $300.

The remaining pests - racoons, bees, wasps, mice, and roaches - all range between $500 and $300 for control services.

Pest Free?

It should be noted that most pest control service providers do not guarantee a completely pest free home. In fact, although preventative measures are taken, there is still a chance that the critters are either not fully eradicated, or that they will move back in.

Because of this, homeowners should be doubly aware of just who is living in their homes. It’s no secret that some of these pests can cause serious damage to a house. Termites, ever industrious, gnaw away at wooden walls and foundations with sometimes debilitating effects. For an interesting look at how termites literally eat houses take a look at this video showing the tiny bugs attacking and destroying a model home.

Racoons also like to gnaw on your home’s fixtures, but they have a preference for insulation, electrical cables, and the like. Unfortunately, racoons can also carry diseases which are harmful to human health.

Whichever creatures you’re dealing with, time is of the essence to prevent further damage, and to make sure the infestation doesn’t go too far. After all, it’s one thing to cohabitate with a few bugs here and there, but quite another to live with an army of creatures, especially if they’ve moved into your bed.