Bed Bug Exterminator Cost

The average cost of hiring a bed bug exterminator is $1,000 - $2,500​.

In this guide

Health risks
Inspection
Treatment options
Labor
Enhancements
Additional Considerations
FAQ

How much does it cost to hire a bed bug exterminator?

One of the most feared insect infestations existing today is the bed bug. This small, parasitic insect lives off of the blood of people and animals, typically biting and feeding while its host sleeps. They are able to live without feeding for several months at a time and are very difficult to kill completely once they invade your home. Because the bugs like to nest near a source of food, they are most commonly found on beds and couches, which is how they get their name. They can, however, also live in a number of places around your home including: carpets, curtains, picture frames, furnishings, pet beds, behind wallpaper, headboards, and inside cracks and crevices.

The bugs themselves are very small, about 0.16 to 0.2-inches in length, or about the size of Lincoln’s head on a penny. Therefore, it’s often difficult to see the bugs themselves; most people first notice signs of infestation due to a rash, blister, or other signs of bites.

Other signs of a bed bug infestation include:

  • Shed carcasses of the growing larvae.
  • Small rust colored spots on bedding or furnishings, which is the fecal matter of the bugs.
  • A sweet, musty odor lingering around the areas where they live.

It’s not uncommon for signs of a bed bug infestation to go unnoticed for several weeks to months, especially because some people will never show signs of bites.

Because home remedies are often ineffective, it’s usually recommend that you seek professional extermination. The costs for these services can range from $50 for a simple inspection to more than $4,000 for a whole-house heat treatment. This is because bed bugs may not infest your entire home; if you catch the problem early enough you may only need to treat one or two areas. However, if the bugs are discovered in multiple areas around your home, you may require more extensive treatments.

Health risks

According to the CDC, bed bugs themselves are not inherently dangerous. They can however, lead to itching and rashes, where a person may develop a secondary infection due to scratching. Some people may also suffer from extreme allergic reactions to bed bugs, leading to the need to seek immediate medical attention.

While the bugs aren’t dangerous, they are considered a serious nuisance and pest, and it’s generally recommended that you deal with the issue professionally as soon as it’s noticed to avoid spreading the bugs to others.

Inspection

Because bed bugs can hide behind wall paper, picture frames and other out of the way areas, it’s important that your exterminator conduct a thorough inspection. These can take 1 to 4 hours to complete and involve the exterminator checking your furnishings, carpets, walls, bedding, and other areas such as cracks and crevices within rooms of the home to determine which areas to treat. Some companies will include the cost of the inspection in with the cost of treatment, others charge between $50 and $200 per inspection.

Treatment options

Treatments themselves range in cost and effectiveness; there are several ways to kill bed bugs, but not all are going to be suitable for every application:

TreatmentProsConsCost
Fumigation

Kills 99 to 100% of bed bugs

Kills other pests present in the house

Harmful VOCs are released

Takes 2 to 3 days, during which you must stay elsewhere

Does not prevent reinfestation

$4-$7.50 sq.ft.
Heat Treatment

Very effective at killing bugs at all stages of development

No chemicals

You can re-enter immediately

Items with low heat tolerance must be removed prior to treatment

Costly

Does not prevent reinfestation

$2,000-$4,000
Pesticides

Helpful at reaching cracks and crevices 

Not effective on its own$250 - $1,000/room
Steam Treatment

Kills all stages of bug development

Penetrates materials better than other methods

Several passes are often necessary$250 - $1,000/room


Two or more methods may need to be used at one time to ensure a successful eradication of the bugs, and a follow-up visit and inspection may be necessary in 4 to 6 weeks to make sure the bugs are gone.

Labor

The labor and costs of exterminating are directly tied to the size of the infestation. Small infestations confined to a few areas will cost less than whole house infestations. Most exterminators charge either by the room, by the square foot, or by the job. Costs for labor range from $250 to $1000 per room, $4 to $7.50 per sq.ft. or up to $4,000 for whole house treatments single application, which can take as long as 48 hours to complete. More than one application may be necessary to eradicate the bugs; a follow-up visit and inspection is usually recommended at a cost of between $50 to $200 about 4 to 6 weeks after treatment. If necessary, additional treatments may be scheduled at this time.

Enhancement and improvement costs

Canine inspection

Bed bugs can be difficult to detect, so some companies may rely on canines to locate the source of the infestation. Dogs are able to detect up to 96% of bed bug infestations, even in difficult to see or out of the way areas. The cost of this inspection is between $300 and $600 for an average sized home.

Structural fumigation

Bed bugs may hide in small cracks and crevices where spray chemicals, steam, and even heat can’t reach. They may therefore reinfest your home after a typical treatment. If during inspection the bed bugs are found in the structure or foundation of your home, a structural fumigation may be recommended at a cost of $5,000 to $50,000 depending on the size of the home.

Additional considerations and costs

Integrated pest management

An integrated pest management plan is sometimes recommended for extreme infestations. This is a combination of different methods including chemical, heat, steam, and vacuum to help ensure that the pests are completely gone. It may also include prevention techniques to help keep the bed bugs from returning. This may include using monitoring devices, frequent inspections, a mixture of chemical and non-chemical treatments, and frequent cleanings/sanitation of the home. Costs may be in the range of $5,000 or more to treat serious problems.

Prevention

The best way to stop bed bugs is to prevent them from entering your home in the first place. Because most people pick up bed bugs during travel, it is recommended that you inspect hotel rooms and other areas you may be staying or signs of the bugs, including carcasses and rust-colored spots. Elevate your suitcase and keep it away from the bed to prevent them coming home. Purchase new toiletries for short trips and throw them away at the end. Wash and dry your clothing in hot water as soon as you return from a trip. Other prevention methods may include sprays or chemicals used as a deterrent around your home, and cost around $30 a bottle.

Preparation

Sometimes it’s recommended that certain steps be taken prior to extermination. Old furnishings, for example, may need to be thrown out, and furnishings or decor that will not tolerate heat may need to be bagged and temporarily removed. Cluttered homes may need to be decluttered or to have a lot of debris removed before extermination can begin. Fabrics should be washed and dried on the hottest possible settings, and furniture should be steam cleaned. Loose items should be boxed for easier fumigation, and items should be moved away from walls. Many of these jobs you will need to tackle yourself; others are included in the cost of the extermination process. Ask your exterminator for a list of preparation tasks you will need to complete beforehand, and what they may be able to do for you and at what cost.

FAQ


  • How much does it cost to get an exterminator?

The cost of having an exterminator treat your home varies depending on the type of pest and the type of eradication you need. Costs start around $300 and can go as high as $55,000 for very serious problems.

  • What does an exterminator do to get rid of bed bugs?

Bed bug treatment is often multi-faceted and can involve fumigation, heat treatments, pesticides, and steam. Sometimes vacuums are also involved to help remove the carcasses and any bugs from cracks. The type of treatment your exterminator uses may depend on the severity of the problem, the size of your property, and your personal wishes.

  • How do I get rid of bed bugs myself?

It can be difficult to treat bed bugs yourself. Thoroughly vacuuming along baseboards and in cracks, combined with using a pesticide on all contaminated surfaces may help you deal with a small infestation. If you have a larger, more widespread problem, however, it’s best to seek professional help.

  • How do you prepare for bed bug extermination?

To prepare for a bed bug extermination, you may want to begin by decluttering your home and throwing away old furnishings and textiles that are not in use. Clean all fabrics on the hottest settings, box up belongings, and move furnishings away from the walls. Steam clean any furnishings that remain in the house and remove any decor that cannot tolerate heat.

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Cost to hire a bed bug exterminator varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

Labor cost by city and zip code

Compared to national average
Athens, GA
-9%
Atlanta, GA
+24%
Baltimore, MD
+12%
Bronx, NY
+32%
Brooklyn, NY
+16%
Canton, OH
-8%
Charlotte, NC
+6%
Chicago, IL
+40%
Cincinnati, OH
+6%
Cleveland, OH
+7%
Columbus, OH
+5%
Dallas, TX
+10%
Detroit, MI
+16%
Fort Lauderdale, FL
+2%
Gastonia, NC
-18%
Genoa, IL
+3%
Greensboro, NC
-9%
Houston, TX
+24%
Indianapolis, IN
+6%
Jacksonville, FL
-1%
Long Beach, CA
+16%
Los Angeles, CA
+11%
Louisville, KY
-7%
Miami, FL
+1%
Minneapolis, MN
+25%
New York, NY
+77%
Newport News, VA
-12%
Oklahoma City, OK
-12%
Omaha, NE
-10%
Orlando, FL
+2%
Philadelphia, PA
+40%
Phoenix, AZ
0%
Pittsburgh, PA
+9%
Pompano Beach, FL
+2%
Pottstown, PA
+8%
Saginaw, MI
+12%
Saint Louis, MO
+16%
Saint Paul, MN
+20%
San Antonio, TX
-4%
San Diego, CA
+11%
San Francisco, CA
+53%
San Jose, CA
+33%
Santa Ana, CA
+20%
Schenectady, NY
-1%
Smith, NV
-14%
Smyrna, GA
+10%
Spring, TX
+24%
Washington, DC
+23%
Wilmington, DE
+9%
Youngstown, OH
-7%

Labor cost in your zip code

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