Pest control companies handle all aspects of bug, rodent and animal extermination or removal. Pest control professionals visit your home or office to identify the type of pest that is troubling you and offer various treatment plans — complete with clearly outlined costs. Once you and the pest control company have a signed agreement, the pro will begin treatment. Pest treatment can range from the use of spray pesticides and gel bait to live and/or kill traps. There are a wide range of types of pesticides, many of them nontoxic for humans and other small animals. This means you may be able to have your home treated for pests without harming nearby wildlife or your dog and cat. The pest control pro will carry out the treatment plan and, depending on the service agreement, provide follow-up such as emptying traps, inspecting access points, or reapplying pesticide spray if the pests return. Costs will vary based on the type of pest you are having removed and the extent of the infestation.The average national pest control price range is $80-$130. From a minor bedbug event to an entire home termite infestation, pest control companies have got you covered.
The increase in bed bug infestations in the U.S. is a result of increased travel, lack of knowledge about preventing infestations, increased resistance of bed bugs to pesticides, and ineffective pest control practices, explains the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It’s easy to mistake bed bugs for carpet beetles or similar-looking bugs, so infestations are often not noticed when they first occur. Prevention tips include keeping areas free of clutter, regularly washing sheets and mattress covers in hot water (and don’t forget to wash the laundry bag, too), and vacuuming regularly and safely disposing of the sealed vacuum bag. Not everyone has reactions to bed bug bites, which also may be mistaken for the bites of other pests such as mosquitoes, so timely bed bug extermination depends on identification of bed bug activity. If you notice physical signs of an infestation, contact a bed bug extermination professional as soon as possible to learn about chemical and non-chemical (such as heat) treatment options. An integrated pest management plan may incorporate one or more methods.
There are several symptoms that can indicate you have bed bugs. The first is actually seeing the little pests skittering through your house. They tend to feed at night (generally where their hosts — people or sometimes animals — are sleeping), but can come out in the day if they’re hungry enough. Adult bed bugs are rusty red in color, as thin as a credit card and the size of an apple seed. Sometimes they can be mistaken for carpet beetles or small cockroaches, so if you’re confused you can use this helpful guide by the EPA for identification. Although they are harder to see, spotting the eggs themselves is a surefire sign. Another common symptom of having bed bugs is finding the exoskeletons of the nymphs near your bedding and other bed bug-friendly locations. The more exoskeletons you find, the larger the infestation likely is, because as they mate and proliferate more and more juveniles are born and cycle through moltings. Rust-colored spots — which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explains are blood-filled fecal dropping that the bugs excrete on bedding and furniture — are another sign that bed bugs are living in your home. In addition, a sweet, musty odor can be an indicator of bed bugs.
The EPA recommends integrated pest management as the most effective way to get rid of bed bugs. Integrated pest management (IPM) can be carried out by a pest management professional safely and swiftly. The professional will assess the level of infestation in your home or building. The pro will determine the sources of the bed bugs: whether they are hiding in one location, are occupying multiple locations in one room, or have set up camp in multiple locations throughout the house. Based on the severity of the infestation, IPM can include thoroughly cleaning the area using containment protocols (safely packing infested bedding and other items into plastic to be disinfected), the appropriate pesticide treatment, and the necessary follow-up to eliminate any new hatching eggs. The EPA recommends chemical treatments (when safely applied) because “although bed bugs may sometimes be controlled by non-chemical means alone, this approach is often very difficult, potentially less effective, and usually more resource intensive.” Use caution if you attempt to use pesticides yourself. Carefully follow directions and know that some bed bugs have developed resistance to pesticides. Pesticides that are licensed only for use by professionals are known to be stronger and should be applied with the proper tools and techniques.
In general there is no cost for a pest inspection. Exterminators typically provide a free property or building inspection and then provide you with a written estimate outlining the necessary treatment and cost. The home visit allows the exterminator to assess the problem and let you know what your pest control cost will be if you contract with their services. You may need a termite inspection for real estate purposes. This will be a verified inspection showing that the house in question is termite-free (often done before a sale). The inspection may cost a flat rate, such as $125-$150, depending on house size.
It’s hard to predict pest control costs sight unseen due to the variety of factors that go into pest treatment. For example, a bedbug problem for one customer may be confined to one room and be easy to access and treat in one visit if the room is clear of clutter and the bedbugs have been caught early. In another home, a bedbug problem may also be confined to one room, but there’s a great deal of clutter, providing more hiding places for the bugs and requiring more spray and labor for the exterminator, as well as many pieces of large furniture in the room that need to sprayed. Depending on the maturity of the infestation, a bedbug problem may require multiple visits to entirely eliminate. This is why many companies provide a free inspection to determine pest control costs and provide you the most accurate quote possible.