Fleas Exterminator  Cost

In this guide

Types of fleas
Problems and health risks
Signs of flea infestation
Labor
Follow-up visit
Enhancements
Additional Considerations

How much does it cost to hire a fleas exterminator?

Fleas are tiny, dark colored, wingless parasites that feed on the blood of mammals. They have a backward bent spine that makes them extremely difficult to brush away once they get onto a host, as well as strong legs that enable them to jump from host to host. While they cannot fly, fleas are able to cover great distances. In fact, fleas can pass from host to host even if they only come within a few feet of one another. Fleas can be a serious problem if they get into your home, because their eggs or larvae can be found in cracks, crevices, carpeting, and furniture, so even when you get rid of the adults, a new infestation could be right around the corner.

To truly treat and get rid of a flea infestation, you need to figure out how they got in, treating both the initial host and the rest of your home. Flea extermination typically costs around $95 for the initial treatment, plus a second, follow up visit of around $75 to ensure they are gone. However, costs may also include things like treatment of your pets, additional laundry, and house cleaning, which can all affect the final price.

Types of fleas

Most people aren’t aware that there are actually more than 2000 different types of fleas out there. The most common, however, and the most likely to infest your home, are usually one of the following:

  • Cat fleas: they prefer the blood of cats, but which will also infest dogs and humans.
  • Dog fleas: they prefer the blood of dogs, but which will also infest other hosts.
  • Rodent fleas: they prefer rats and mice, but also rabbits, and which will also jump to cats, dogs, or people.
  • Oriental rat fleas: they also refer rats and mice, but which can be found on cats and dogs as well.
  • Human fleas: they are less common, but which prefer to live in the hair of human beings.
  • Bird fleas: of which there are many different kinds; most prefer poultry and other birds, but will also inhabit a cat, dog, or human as well

Problems and health risks

The biggest reason you don’t want fleas in your home is the fact that they can be so difficult to get rid of. Adults may lay eggs in crevices and cracks around your home, as well as in your pet’s bedding. Fleas multiply quickly, so even if you get rid of the initial adults, you may find your home reinfested within a few weeks.

Left alone, fleas may cause their host to become anemic due to blood loss. Fleas may also cause allergic reactions, itching, and secondary infections due to scratching. In some cases, fleas may also carry diseases that can be serious as well, including:

  • Typhus
  • Cat scratch fever
  • Bubonic plague
  • Tape worms

Fleas transmit these illnesses after biting an infected host. Not all fleas will carry diseases, but there is no way to know for sure that the fleas in your home are clean. It’s best to eradicate them as soon as you notice a problem to be safe.

Signs of flea infestation

Because fleas are so small, and their bites can mimic the bites of other insects, you may not realize your house has fleas until the infestation has grown beyond your ability to get rid of it easily. The most common sign of a flea infestation is the presence of flea dirt. Flea dirt looks like black pepper sprinkled over your pets, their bedding, and other areas where your pets may typically lay. These flakes are not actually made of dirt, however, but are the feces of the flea. Flea dirt is actually the dried blood that the fleas excrete after eating. If you are unsure whether or not what you are seeing is flea dirt, wet a paper towel and sprinkle the flakes on top. Flea dirt will spread out, dissolving into a red color in the water.

You may also see signs of the fleas themselves. Fleas are very tiny - less than ⅛-inch in size - and may show up best on light colored fabrics or hair. You may see them jumping or moving through your pet’s hair or the fabric of their bedding.

Finally, you may notice signs of a flea infestation if you and your family are experiencing frequent bites around the ankles, or if you find that your pets are scratching excessively, seem depressed, or to be losing hair.

Labor

Because a flea infestation can be so widespread, getting rid of them can be a multi-step process, which begins with an inspection to ensure that what you are dealing with is truly fleas and not another pest. These inspections are usually done at no additional cost. The first part of the treatment usually involves treating the animal or animals that brought the fleas into your home. This can be done in a couple of different ways, including:

  • Flea bath or chemical shampoo to kill the fleas and larvae on your pet
  • Oral or topical medication administered by your veterinarian

Speak to your vet about which treatment is most suitable for your pet. Many flea medications are administered by weight, so be sure to get a current weight for your pet before applying.

After your pet is treated, it’s important to keep them away from the house while the rest of the treatment is administered so they do not become re-infested. Flea treatments for pets cost around $10 for a bottle of flea shampoo, and around $40 to $50 for oral and topical treatments. If your vet needs to administer the treatment, there may be an additional $50 visit fee.

Treating your home begins with vacuuming. Some pest control companies will recommend you do this step yourself, others will include it in their visit. Every part of your home must be vacuumed, including furnishings, carpeting, pet bedding, and cracks and crevices where there may be larvae. This is important because the chemicals that kill the adult fleas may not always kills the eggs; vacuuming helps remove the eggs, which makes the treatment more effective.

After vacuuming, your house is chemically treated with a pesticide that kills fleas. Every part of your home must be treated, including subfloors 1 and basements to ensure no fleas or flea eggs get missed.

The full treatment can take four to six hours on average from start to finish, and costs around $95 for this first visit, for a total of $105 to $145 for treating the house and the pets at once.

Follow-up visit

Most exterminators will recommend a follow up visit within 4 to 6 weeks. This is due to the lifecycle of the fleas and the hatching larvae, which could reinfest your home. This follow visit consists of an additional spray to kill the newly hatched fleas before they can lay new eggs, and costs around $75.

Enhancement and improvement costs

  • After vacuuming, you may also want to have your carpets shampooed to remove any remaining flea dirt or dried blood, as well as any dead fleas and eggs. Carpet shampooing costs around $60 per room.
  • Treat your pets with flea preventatives to help prevent re-infestation. Topical or oral flea preventatives are available for between $30 and $60 through your vet or pet supply store.

Additional considerations and costs

  • If your pets are continuously picking up fleas, you may want to treat your yard. This can be done by keeping it dry, spreading cedar wood chips, using diatomaceous earth, or spraying pesticide every two weeks.
  • Most pest control services will only guarantee or warranty your home free from fleas if you have a follow up visit and use preventatives on your pets.
  • Small biting insects in your home may not be fleas, but bedbugs. Bedbugs are most commonly found in sleeping areas, while fleas are more likely to be found near or on pets and pet bedding. Most pest control services offer a free inspection that can tell you which pest you are dealing with if you are unsure.
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Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
1 Subfloors: The bottom-most layer of a floor, supported by joists, over which finished flooring material is laid

Cost to hire a fleas 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
Alexandria, VA
+2%
Arlington, TX
+6%
Atlanta, GA
+24%
Baltimore, MD
+12%
Bronx, NY
+32%
Brooklyn, NY
+16%
Buffalo, NY
-1%
Charlotte, NC
+6%
Chicago, IL
+40%
Cincinnati, OH
+6%
Cleveland, OH
+7%
Colorado Springs, CO
-3%
Columbus, OH
+5%
Dallas, TX
+10%
Dayton, OH
-7%
Detroit, MI
+16%
Fort Wayne, IN
-7%
Fort Worth, TX
+6%
Fremont, CA
+35%
Garden Grove, CA
+20%
Garland, TX
+8%
Grand Rapids, MI
+7%
Greensboro, NC
-9%
Houston, TX
+24%
Jacksonville, FL
-1%
Kansas City, MO
+4%
Knoxville, TN
+10%
Lake Worth, FL
-2%
Las Vegas, NV
+7%
Lexington, KY
+1%
Long Beach, CA
+16%
Los Angeles, CA
+11%
Mesa, AZ
-2%
Miami, FL
+1%
Milwaukee, WI
+12%
New Orleans, LA
+35%
New York, NY
+77%
Norfolk, VA
-6%
Norman, OK
-21%
Oklahoma City, OK
-12%
Philadelphia, PA
+40%
Phoenix, AZ
0%
Pittsburgh, PA
+9%
Portland, OR
+11%
Raleigh, NC
-3%
Richmond, VA
+4%
Saint Louis, MO
+16%
San Antonio, TX
-4%
San Diego, CA
+11%
San Jose, CA
+33%

Labor cost in your zip code

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