How much does it cost to hire a bed bug exterminator?
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Bed Bug Exterminator Cost Guide
Updated: November 22, 2022
Bed bugs are small, reddish-brown insects that feed on the blood of animals and humans. They are often found in mattresses, bed frames, and other furniture. Bed bugs can cause many health problems, including skin rashes, allergic reactions, and anemia. In addition, bed bugs can be difficult to get rid of once they have infested a home. It is important to get rid of them as soon as you notice their first signs. Doing this will ensure your home is clean, pest-free, and healthy for everyone.
The average price for bed bug extermination is $500 to $2,000. Typically, you pay $1,000 for an inspection, freeze treatment for a moderate level of infestation in one room, and preventative treatment for the two surrounding rooms. The lowest price you can expect to pay is $100 for a single room inspection and high heat treatment. The highest cost is $24,500 for an inspection with sniffing dogs and whole house fumigation of a 3,000 sq.ft. home with follow-up visits.
Bed Bug Removal Price
|Bed Bug Treatment Cost|
|National average cost||$1,000|
Bed Bug Pest Control Price per Square Foot
The bed bug extermination per square foot costs from $1 to $8 per sq.ft. Bed bugs are very small, so they hide in many locations. It can be difficult to target all the bed bugs in a single treatment, so pest control companies usually charge by the square foot to ensure that they can treat the entire infestation. The exact price varies depending on the size and severity of the infestation. In some cases, bed bug pest control may require multiple treatments to be effective. It is important to consult with a qualified pest control company to get an accurate estimate of the cost and method of treatment.
|1,000 sq.ft.||$1,000 - $8,000|
|1,500 sq.ft.||$1,500 - $12,000|
|1,800 sq.ft.||$1,800 - $15,400|
|2,000 sq.ft.||$2,000 - $16,000|
|2,500 sq.ft.||$2,500 - $20,000|
|3,000 sq.ft.||$3,000 - $24,000|
Bed Bug Extermination Cost per Room
The average cost for bed bug extermination ranges from $250 for one room to $6,000 for the whole house treatment. The cost of bed bug removal varies widely depending on the method chosen, the severity of the infestation, and how many rooms have been affected. While the room size does not affect the cost, the number of beds in it does. This means that the cost to exterminate bugs in bedrooms will be higher than in living rooms because bedrooms often have two or more beds that need to be cleaned.
To confirm that only one or two rooms are impacted and not any other bedrooms, the pest control specialists may use bait traps in other areas where residents sleep. The professionals will likely use heat or chemical treatment if one room is infested, but they may also opt for steam and freezing to treat two rooms. If bed bugs have been in a home for several months, they may have spread to three or more rooms, including shared pillows, blankets, or clothing. Fumigation and chemical treatments may be the best options for homes with three or four rooms requiring bed bug removal. Finally, the whole house bed bug treatment cost will be the highest because professionals have to go through every room in the home to eradicate the bed bugs. The need to treat an entire residence for bed bugs is rare. Most infestations are isolated to the sleeping quarters. However, whole house infestations can happen in overcrowded residences or dormitory-like settings, where fumigation treatments may be used. Here is how much you can expect to spend to eradicate bed bugs from rooms in your home.
|Number of Rooms||Cost per Treatment|
|1 Room||$250 - $600|
|2 Rooms||$400 - $900|
|3 Rooms||$700 - $1,200|
|4 Rooms||$1,000 - $2,500|
|Whole House||$1,500 - $6,000|
Average Cost of Bed Bug Extermination by Method
The cost of bed bug extermination ranges between $1 and $8 per sq.ft. or $100 to $1,050 per room, depending on the method used. Treatments range in cost and effectiveness. There are several ways to kill bed bugs, but not all are suitable for every application. Bed bug extermination methods all have advantages and disadvantages. For example, although heat is the least costly, the treatment will not eliminate any residual pests. The treatment area and the size of the infestation help the pest control technician recommend the best option for your household. Two or more methods may be used simultaneously to eradicate the bugs successfully. A follow-up visit and inspection may be necessary in four to six weeks to make sure the bugs are gone.
|Treatment||Cost per Sq.Ft.||Cost per Room|
|Heat||$1 - $3||$100 - $500|
|Chemicals||$2 - $4.50||$200 - $600|
|Steam||$2 - $7.50||$250 - $1,000|
|Freeze||$3 - $6||$400 - $800|
|Fumigation||$4 - $8||$500 - $1,050|
Heating Treatment for Bed Bugs
Expect to pay between $1 and $3 per sq.ft. or an average of $100 to $500 per room for heat treatment. Hot air that heats your home to temperatures of 135 to 145 degrees is pumped into the spaces with bed bugs during a heat treatment. The hot air remains in circulation for an hour or more with the use of fans. Bed bugs and their eggs die at over 188 degrees, so this should eradicate all bed bugs in your home. This method is best used in empty spaces because the extreme heat can damage objects in the room. For this reason, items with low heat tolerance are either removed before treatment or placed in a safe place in the room. This method does not use chemicals, but it does not prevent reinfestation. No one is allowed in the building during this treatment, but you can re-enter immediately. Many exterminators use their own generators not to increase the customer’s electric bill.
Bed Bug Chemical Treatment Cost
Chemical treatment should cost between $200 and $600 per room or $2 to $4.50 per sq.ft. Chemicals that kill bed bugs can be sprayed or laid in the home. Bed bug chemical treatment typically involves the use of pesticides. According to the EPA, the most common bed bug pesticides used are pyrethrins, pyrethroids, desiccants, biochemicals, pyrroles, neonicotinoids, and insect growth regulators. Each pesticide works differently. Some of these chemicals work like poison for the bed bugs and kill them upon contact. Others destroy the bugs’ outer protective coating and eliminate them from outside, while some disrupt cellular function in the pest and prevent them from forming from the egg stage. The professional may use chemical treatment separately or combine it with other bed bug extermination methods.
Bed Bug Steam Treatment
Steam treatment for bed bugs should cost between $2 and $7.50 per sq.ft. or $250 to $1,000 per room. A steam treatment uses no harmful chemicals and kills bed bugs faster than heat treatment. Bed bugs cannot tolerate extreme hot or cold temperatures and die when exposed to them. During this method, steam that reaches over 200 degrees will be applied to the infested areas. It should be noted that several passes are often necessary for this treatment to work. Unlike heat treatment, steam can only be used in a smaller area. This kills bed bugs in all stages of life. It penetrates materials and soft surfaces, such as mattresses, better than other methods. However, it can damage some items such as electronics or wood furniture.
Bed Bug Freeze Treatment
Bed bug freeze treatments should cost about $400 to $800 per room or $3 to $6 per sq.ft. The freeze treatment is one of the newer, chemical-free methods that exterminators are using. Just as bed bugs cannot tolerate extreme heat, they also cannot tolerate extreme cold. This method uses high pressure to pump freezing cold temperatures into areas that are infested with bed bugs. It is basically like powdered snow that will hit bed bugs and kill them instantly. But, sometimes, it can blow the bed bug away instead of killing it. This method is safer for many surfaces that may not tolerate high heat but can have difficulty penetrating soft surfaces like mattresses. Keep in mind that if it is not done correctly, it could result in another infestation.
Bed Bug Fumigation
A bed bug pesticide treatment should cost between $4 and $8 per sq.ft. or $500 to $1,050 per room. It is very important to let a professional handle chemicals that kill bed bugs. If the bed bug pesticide treatment is applied incorrectly, it can be harmful to the health of people and pets. To perform this eradication method, the professional seals off the entire house with plastic, tape, or other materials or makes a tent and fills it with an insecticidal gas. This kills all of the bugs inside. Be aware that everyone will need to stay out of the building during the treatment, two to three days for everyone’s safety. This method is great for reaching cracks and crevices, as it kills 99 to 100% of bed bugs and all other pests present in the space but does release harmful VOCs. Unfortunately, it also does not prevent reinfestation.
Bed Bug Pest Control Cost by Frequency
The cost of bed bug pest control varies depending on the frequency of treatment. Bed bug treatments cost $750 to $8,500. Companies typically recommend having a contract with recurring visits. Hiring a company for a one-time visit without a contract costs $900 to $1,250, while more frequent visits cost more. A contract with a monthly bed bug treatment plan typically costs more than a one-time service. However, the monthly plan may be more effective in the long run because it helps prevent recurring infestations. The price of bed bug pest control also depends on the size of the area to be treated. A small apartment may only require a few treatments, while a large house may need to be treated multiple times. Here is how much you can expect the costs to be depending on the frequency of visits.
|Frequency of Visits||Cost per Year With Contract|
|Once||$750 - $1,100|
|Quarterly||$1,800 - $2,500|
|Monthly||$5,000 - $8,500|
Professional Bed Bug Treatment Cost by Severity of Infestation
Depending on the severity, your bed bug extermination costs start at $250 for a small extermination and go up to $8,000 for a severe infestation. The earlier a bed bug infestation is found, the better. It is easier and less costly to get rid of light infestations. A professional exterminator can inspect and determine the level of infestation. This affects the method of extermination used and the overall cost. A light bed bug infestation includes one to five bed bugs found with no signs of breeding. This needs to be caught within two to six weeks of them entering your home. Freeze, chemical, or steam treatments work well for light infestations. A moderate bed bug infestation will include signs of breeding, including eggs, nymphs, and adult bed bugs. A moderate infestation is contained to the original room and caught between 6 and 18 weeks of them entering your home. Freeze, chemical, or steam treatments work well for moderate bed bug infestations. When you face a severe bed bug infestation, an entire property can become infested with several generations of bed bugs, with the chance of spreading to adjoining properties. In these cases, heat treatment or fumigation work best since they can treat the entire house. Here is the cost to treat a 2,000 sq.ft. home, depending on the severity of infestation.
|Level of Infestation||Cost per Treatment|
|Small||$250 - $600|
|Moderate||$400 - $1,200|
|Severe||$1,500 - $8,000|
Bed Bug Removal Cost by Company
Many pest control companies offer services for $400 to $3,000 per whole house treatment. The most popular companies for bed bug removal in the U.S. are Orkin, Terminix, Ehrlich, and Rentokil. All companies provide a free inspection before determining the best course of action. Terminix, Orkin, and Ehrlich offer a 30-day guarantee. Rentokil gives a 30- to 60-day guarantee that no bed bugs will appear.
For most homes, the Orkin bed bug treatment cost involves chemical treatments and heat control methods. They take an aggressive approach since missing a single bed bug could result in a reinfestation. Terminix often relies on freezing methods to remove bed bugs from a home. Ehrlich customizes each treatment plan on a case-by-case basis. They mostly use heat treatments, but the pest control company also employs newer strategies for removal, including bed bug sniffing dogs. Rentokil uses a multi-step process to get rid of bed bugs for good. The company typically uses environmentally-friendly sprays and fumes to target areas with high activity levels. They may combine chemical treatments with heat to eliminate bed bugs in the entire space.
|Orkin||$400 - $3,000|
|Terminix||$500 - $2,000|
|Ehrlich||$650 - $3,000|
|Rentokil||$800 - $1,500|
Emergency Bed Bug Extermination Cost
On average, an emergency bed bug extermination appointment adds $200 to $500 to the total bed bug service cost. Bed bug emergency extermination depends on where the infestation is centralized and if you’re able to relocate until the pest control company arrives. For example, suppose the bed bug infestation seems limited to one bedroom in a single family home. In that case, you can vacate the room until a pest control specialist arrives at the property. Most bed bug treatment companies realize that the pests require quick and efficient treatment and won’t make you wait an extended time. An example of an emergency bed bug call is a widespread infestation that makes a residence inhabitable. Also, if bed bugs are found in apartments or dormitories, emergency visits prevent widespread infestation.
Bed Bug Inspection Cost
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.
Bed Bug Sniffing Dogs
The cost of a bed bug sniffing dog inspection is between $300 and $600 for an average sized home. Bed bugs can be difficult to detect, so some companies rely on canines to locate the source of the infestation. Dogs can detect up to 96% of bed bug infestations, even in difficult to see or out of the way areas. Most homeowners and inspectors shouldn’t rely on bed bug sniffing dogs alone for confirmation of an infestation. Typically, after a canine has alerted the technician of bed bugs, traps are set in the areas that the dog sensed the pests. If you choose to use a bed-bug sniffing canine, ask to see certification for the dog. Most require at least the Minimum Standards for Canine Bed Bug Detection Team Certification.
All About Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are not easy to spot. They hide during the day and only become active at night when they bite and feed on the host as they sleep. Bed bugs congregate in areas that allow easy access to blood. They prefer wood and fabric materials which is why the largest number of bed bugs will be found clustered together in the seams and edges of mattresses and box springs. The pests also hide under the bed or within the headboard or footboard. They are less likely to infest plastic or metallic items. In all cases, bed bugs look for places to congregate no farther than eight feet away from their human hosts. However, these pests can live without feeding for several months, although they will not reproduce during that period.
What Do Bed Bugs Look Like?
Female bed bugs lay hundreds of eggs throughout their lives. The eggs are extremely tiny, with each egg measuring approximately 1 mm. After a minimum of five days, a distinct dark mark appears on the surface. The eggs can take six to ten days to hatch. Bed bug eggs are hard to spot, especially on white mattresses and box springs because of their cream or off-white coloring. The exterior of the eggs is elongated with a sticky texture that keeps the eggs adhered to any surface on which they are laid.
Baby bed bugs are called nymphs and look very different from adult bed bugs. Nymphs are translucent because they have yet to feed on blood. After a feeding, the baby bed bugs take on a yellowish color. When baby bed bugs are first born, they only measure 1.5 mm. However, they gradually grow to 4.5 mm as they advance through each nymph stage. It takes approximately 30 days for a nymph to go through each stage and grow into an adult bed bug.
Adult bed bugs have a different appearance than younger bugs. Adult bed bugs are brown, about the size of an apple seed, and oval. Adult bed bugs are wingless and have a flattened midsection. Without feeding, bed bugs have a brown color. However, after feeding, the bed bugs' shape becomes more elongated, and they turn a reddish color. The size of the bed bug is affected by feeding, with it growing as large as 5 mm.
What Attracts Bed Bugs?
Simply, bed bugs are attracted to blood and warm living conditions. Bed bugs thrive in warm, humid environments with temperatures around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. They find a way to hitch on soft items that are being transported to a new location and begin to infest it after crawling off the items. Since bed bugs bite human hosts, they most often infest a bed, including the mattress, headboard, baseboard, and all along the seams and piping of the mattress and box spring. All bedding must also be evaluated for evidence of live bugs, eggs, and larvae. Bed bugs in wood furniture are also possible. You can find them inside cracks and crevices of dressers, nightstands, or any other furniture piece in the home. Bed bugs in electronics can also occur, but it is rare. A common misconception is that bed bugs target dirty homes. Bed bugs affect any household since the only requirement is that the pests need hosts to feed on blood.
Early Signs of Bed Bugs
Since bed bugs are very small, it is often difficult to see them. It is not uncommon for signs of a bed bug infestation to go unnoticed for several weeks to months, especially because some people never show signs of bites. Most people first notice signs of infestation due to a rash, blister, or other symptoms. Other signs of a bed bug infestation include:
- Shed carcasses of the growing larvae, which appear as small rust-colored specks.
- Small, black spots on bedding or furnishings, which is the fecal matter of the bugs.
- A sweet, musty odor lingers around the areas where they live.
- Small bites that appear in a zig-zag pattern on your skin.
- Small, white, seed-sized eggs that are normally laid in small cracks and crevices.
If you suspect that you have a bed bug problem in your home, it is best to investigate quickly. Carefully inspect your mattresses, bedding, box springs, couch cushions, curtains, and carpet edges because bed bugs can often be found here. However, you should also check loose wallpaper, electrical outlets, framed pictures, wall joints, and the areas between drawers. You may find just one egg, but in most cases, the bugs like to congregate, and there will be many eggs. Also, be aware of smells and watch for a musty, sweet odor. If you are concerned about a bed bug infestation, it is best to call a professional for confirmation.
Are Bed Bugs Dangerous?
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.
Bed bug health risks include secondary infections caused by the bites, according to the EPA. Types of infections linked to bed bug bites include impetigo, ecthyma, and lymphangitis. The EPA warns of the psychological damage caused by bed bug infestations. Many people who live in homes with bed bugs suffer from anxiety and insomnia due to the pests. While the bugs aren’t dangerous, they are considered a serious nuisance and pest. It’s recommended to deal with the issue professionally as soon as it’s noticed to avoid spreading the bugs to others.
Pet Safe Bed Bug Treatment
Pet safe bed bug treatments are usually around the same cost as traditional treatments, an average of $1,000 to $2,500. Bed bugs are notoriously difficult pests to eradicate. It’s important for the safety of pets and humans to get rid of them efficiently. According to the ASPCA, some chemical treatments aren’t safe for pets, but many providers use pyrethrin, an ingredient that is safe for cats and dogs if administered properly. All pest control companies recommend that pets stay away from treated areas until chemicals have dried. The rooms should be well-ventilated, too, before pets are reintroduced.
How to Prevent Bed Bugs
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 for signs of the bugs, including carcasses and rust-colored spots. Check on and under mattresses for signs of the bugs. Elevate your suitcase and keep it away from the bed to prevent them from 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.
Keep in mind that hotels, hostels, dorms, and other places to stay are not the only locations to pick up bed bugs. They are also found on public transportation. If public transportation is utilized, keep a watchful eye for signs of bed bugs. Additional prevention measures are a good idea if your lifestyle includes travel and/or use of public transportation. These include sprays or chemicals used as a deterrent around your home, costing $9 to $40 a bottle. Using a mattress encasement that is bed bug proof is also a good idea. These cost $20 to $130.
Tick vs Bed Bug Price
The cost of exterminating ticks is $50 to $150. Exterminating bed bugs costs $500 to $2,000. Bed bugs and ticks share a surprising amount of traits. For starters, both pests are wingless and have oval-shaped bodies. Ticks and bedbugs are parasitic insects that feed on the blood of humans and animals. Both ticks and bedbugs cause itching and irritation, but they are different species of insects with different habits and preferences. Ticks are typically found in areas of high grass or bush. Bedbugs are often found in mattresses, couches, or other furniture. Ticks attach themselves to their host and feed until they are full, whereas bed bugs bite multiple times over several days. Ticks can transmit diseases, such as Lyme disease, whereas bedbugs do not carry any known diseases. As a result, it is important to distinguish between these two types of insects to protect oneself from them properly.
|Pest Bug||Cost to Exterminate|
|Tick||$50 - $150|
|Bed Bug||$500 - $2,000|
Additional Considerations and Costs
- Permits. The company or individual performing the pest control service must possess a valid license. Make sure you work with a licensed professional to ensure the extermination is done safely and properly. In addition, all pesticides used must be registered by EPA before use.
- DIY. While some DIY bed bug treatments are possible, they are not as effective as professional extermination. Some herbal remedies like tea tree, lavender, mint and other herbs work as a repellent for bed bugs. In addition, home remedies like vacuuming, steam cleaning, silica gels, baking soda, diatomaceous earth, and others work well to prevent and eliminate bed bugs.
- Leaving the home. If there is only a light or moderate bed bug infestation confined to one room and the steam or freeze method is chosen, it is likely that you will be allowed to remain in your home during treatment. If chemicals or high heat are being used, however, it will be necessary to leave the house.
- Warranty. A bed bug exterminator should offer a warranty to protect your home immediately after service. Typically, bed bug treatment price includes warranty coverage up to 30 days at no extra cost.
- Insurance. Bed bug extermination is generally categorized under home maintenance and not covered under most home or renters’ policies. However, specific bed bug insurance does exist, although it will likely take some searching to find a company that offers it. Expect a bed bug insurance policy to cost about $60 per month.
- Treating other rooms. It may be worthwhile to treat rooms that do not show signs of a bed bug infestation. This depends on several factors and should be discussed with your exterminator. If it is very clear that the bed bugs have been confined to only one room and show no signs of reproduction, this may not be necessary. If the infestation has moved to moderate or severe, it may be a good idea to treat more rooms in the home.
- Clutter. The more clutter in a room, the more expensive treatment will be. It is more cost effective for a homeowner to remove all small items from a room before treatment. If you need help with this task, consider hiring a home organizer for about $50 to $100 per hour.
- Damage during treatment. Certain items do not tolerate bed bug treatment well and may become damaged indirectly. The damage is considered indirect because the treatment products lead to the issues. For instance, electronics are difficult to treat since they can malfunction due to heat and pesticide exposure. Furniture items made out of wood may become warped or damaged when certain treatments are used to combat bed bugs.
- What kills bed bugs instantly?
High heat is traditionally the method used to kill bed bugs instantly. Bed bugs are killed instantly when a space is heated above 135 degrees Fahrenheit.
- What do bed bugs look like on a mattress?
Bed bugs on a mattress can be hard to spot at first. Many times, there could be small clusters of cream-colored eggs measuring about 1 mm each. You may also see shell casings or blood spots from feeding. Live bed bugs are brown and look like apple seeds on a mattress.
- What chemicals kill bed bugs?
Chemical treatments are used by technicians to kill bed bugs. Pyrethrins are the most commonly used chemicals to get rid of bed bugs and don’t have harmful side effects for children and pets.
- Does bed bug heat treatment damage electronics?
Bed bug treatment using heat can damage some electronic components. You may be asked to remove any electronics from a space before the process begins.
- What bugs look like bed bugs?
Certain types of beetles are often mistaken for bed bugs. Spider beetles, carpet beetles, and bat bugs are three examples of insects that resemble bed bugs.
- 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 and using a pesticide on all contaminated surfaces may help you deal with a small infestation. However, if you have a larger, more widespread problem, it’s best to seek professional help.
- How do you prepare for bed bug extermination?
To prepare for a bed bug extermination, 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.
- How long does it take to exterminate bed bugs?
A whole house treatment takes as long as 48 hours to complete. More than one application may be necessary to eradicate the bugs. A follow-up visit and inspection are usually recommended and cost between $75 and $200 about four to six weeks after treatment. If necessary, additional treatments may be scheduled at that time.
- What do bed bug bites look like?
The bite marks will be small with a slightly raised surface. The skin around the bite will be inflamed with a pink or red color. When you look for actual bite marks, check the common areas that bed bugs target, including the arms, legs, face, and neck. These areas are usually not covered by clothing during sleep. Bed bug bite markings disappear within a day, although some bites remain on the skin for as long as four or five days.
The information provided by our cost guides comes from a great variety of sources. For more information, read our Methodology and sources.