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 best way to get rid of termites is to act fast. Termites are a problem that will only get worse — and no matter how much you want them to, they usually don’t magically move out on their own. There are three main types of termites: drywood, dampwood and subterranean. Drywood and dampwood termites sneak through cracks in your exterior paint, nail holes, and gaps near windows and other openings and begin to eat through your wood. Subterranean termites enter your house from the ground up by creating mud tunnels. In all cases, they survive by eating the wood of your house. The type of termites you have can steer the treatment plan.
Methods of termite extermination include fumigation, use of pesticides, and use of natural elements that are poisonous to the bugs. The extent of your termite infestation will help determine the treatment method. If you have drywood or dampwood termites that have infiltrated all aspects of the wood in your home, the pest control pro may recommend enclosing the whole house in a tent and gassing the termites via fumigation. If you have subterranean termites, often the entire footprint of the home must be treated by drilling liquid treatments into the slab or foundation of the home to exterminate the colonies. In any case, once you see signs of termites, it’s time to take action and call a pest pro.
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.
Termites are harmful to humans in that they can eat a home from the inside out. But unlike some other insects, termites don’t carry infection, nor do they bite or feed off people like parasitic bedbugs. So while they’re not harmful to your health, they can be extremely harmful to your wallet. The EPA reports that every year termites cause billions of dollars of structural damage in the United States. Immediate action and treatment is the best approach if you see signs of termites. The national average cost for an exterminator ranges from $250 to $400, but costs may be higher if you have a whole house infestation on your hands. Here are a few examples of average cost:
- Standard liquid treatment of subterranean termites: $3-$4 per linear foot. An extermination company may have a minimum service fee, such as $150, to come out and provide treatment, no matter how small the space.
- Liquid treatment of subterranean termites including foaming and drilling into concrete slabs: $4-$5 per linear foot.
- Liquid treatment of a 2,000-square-foot home for subterranean termites: approximately $400.
- Fumigation treatment of drywood termites: $1,200-$1,500 for a 30,000- to 35,000-cubic-foot home. Pros measure fumigation costs in cubic feet. Fumigation costs can also be affected by the number of stories in your home.
Bed bugs are visible to the naked eye, but depending on where they are in their life cycle they can be hard to see. Adult bed bugs are the easiest to spot. According to the EPA, they are roughly the size of an apple seed and the height of a credit card. Adults are flat and oval-shaped, have six legs, and are rusty red in color. Bed bug larvae, also referred to as nymphs, are white-yellow or translucent in color and are much harder to spot due to their small size. The nymphs go through five stages of life, shedding an exoskeleton at each stage. Throughout these stages the nymphs grow in size from approximately 1.5 millimeters to approximately 4.5 millimeters. Bed bug eggs can be the most challenging to see as they are roughly 1 millimeter — about the size of a pinhead — and are white or clear. Bed bugs tend to be more active at night, as this is when they feed.
Bed bugs can happen to anybody and there typically more than 200,000 cases in the U.S. per year. They are sneaky little pests that hitchhike into your home in a variety of ways. Getting a bed bug infestation is not a reflection on how clean a home is; bed bugs can infiltrate the cleanest of places — although their presence is easier to detect and eliminate in clutter-free spaces. Here are some tips from the EPA to prevent bed bugs from entering and taking up residence in your home:
- Carefully inspect secondhand furniture, beds, or couches for any signs of bed bug infestation before bringing them home.
- Use a protective cover (encasement) over mattresses and box springs to prevent bed bugs from hiding in them. Select an encasement in a light color to make bed bug spotting easier. Also choose one of a strong material that won’t tear, and check it often for holes.
- Keep your home clutter-free to eliminate bed bug hiding spots.
- Vacuum your home regularly and dispose of sealed vacuum bags carefully.
- Shared laundry facilities can lead to bed bug exposure in both directions. Transport laundry in plastic bags (if you have an active infestation, use a new bag for the journey home). Remove laundry from the dryer directly into the bag and fold it at home. Use high heat to kill any potential bed bugs.
- The EPA suggests that if you live in a multi-family home, isolate your unit by:
- Installing door sweeps on the bottom of doors to discourage movement into hallways.
- Sealing cracks and crevices around baseboards, light sockets, etc., to discourage movement through wall voids.
Whether you need to get rid of bugs or rodents, pest removal professionals can be lifesaving when you have an infestation. Pest control prices will vary based on what type of pest is being removed. The national pest control price range is $80-$130, although prices can be much higher for tasks like wildlife removal (raccoons, bobcats, etc.), which might start at $250 and exceed $500, depending on the animal and the trapping measures required.
The cost of eliminating a termite colony ranges on average from $240 to $400, but these costs can increase greatly if the whole house is infested. The average cost to kill cockroaches is between $80 and $130, while bedbug extermination ranges from $320 to $400 on average. The main factors that will affect your pest control price are the type of pest, the extent of the infestation, the accessibility of the infested areas, and the type of treatment required.