How much does it cost to exterminate fleas?
The national average cost to exterminate fleas is $168. The total cost for flea control will vary depending on several factors, however.
If you’re facing a flea problem at home, it’s important to understand the costs associated with ridding your property of these pests. Here’s everything you need to know about flea control costs and how to find an exterminator near you.
What’s in this cost guide?
- Flea exterminator costs vs. other pest control
- Cost factors and considerations
- Signs you have a flea problem in your home
- Where to check for fleas
- How exterminators get rid of fleas
- Hiring a pro vs. DIY
- Preparing your home for exterminators
- How to keep fleas away
- How to choose and hire an exterminator
- Find a flea exterminator today
Flea exterminator costs vs. other pest control
Compared to other pests and insects — such as ticks, ants and cockroaches — hiring a professional to kill fleas is slightly more expensive, on average. In many cases, exterminator costs for rodents, bed bugs and termites will cost more.
Average exterminator costs for various pests:
|Rats or mice||$197|
|Termite treatment (chemical or fumigation)||$1,000-$2,500|
What impacts the cost to exterminate fleas?
The cost of flea extermination will vary depending on the severity of your flea infestation, the flea-control method you need and the number of visits an exterminator must make.
Levels of service vary from the most basic to the most encompassing package. For example, a lower-cost package might include only one visit. Meanwhile, a more expensive package might offer ongoing flea treatments for particularly bad infestations.
If these pests are entering your home due to the presence of rodents or pets, you might need additional pest control services.
The time of year might also influence flea extermination costs, as peak months for insect and rodent infestations will see an increased demand for pest control services. If you find fleas in your home in the summer and you live in a climate that experiences seasonal weather changes, you might pay more for pest control than you would in the off-season.
Finally, where you live will influence the cost of flea control services. As is true with any home service, pest control prices are heavily influenced by the local market. The good news is that by shopping around your area and pulling quotes from several companies, you’ll have a better chance of finding exterminators at affordable prices.
3 major signs you have a flea problem in your home
At the first sign of fleas, you should take steps to control it. But how can you tell if many of these tiny insects have invaded your home? Here are a few signs to watch out for:
1. Fleas crawling in your house or on your pet
If you notice small, reddish-brown insects hopping around, it’s likely a flea. Due to their small size, these pests often go undetected. This is true for many different types, including dog fleas, cat fleas and others. Pets that are excessively scratching themselves could be a sign of an issue, too.
2. Flea dirt or feces
One of the top signs of fleas in your home will be the presence of their feces. Their feces appear as small black specks, often found on your pets and in their bedding, your carpet, rugs, drapery and perhaps even furniture.
3. Flea bites
Another key indicator that you may have a flea infestation is the presence of bites on you, others in your household and your pets.
Flea bites appear as small, itchy red bumps that could become painful. On humans, flea bites typically appear on feet, ankles and legs. However, they can appear in other areas on your body as well.
Where to check your home for fleas
Here are a few places in your home where you might see fleas, feces or larvae:
- Pet fur (note: you can utilize combs to grab fleas out of your pet’s fur)
- Pet bedding
- Carpets and other floor surfaces
- Cracks and crevices in floors
How exterminators get rid of fleas
When dealing with a flea problem, you may be tempted to look for a quick fix, resorting to hardware store flea bombs and flea foggers. Attempting to rid your home of pests on your own is understandable, but hiring a pro is a more extensive approach to flea removal.
Exterminators rid homes of insects by utilizing various treatments. Depending on the pest control company (and your particular situation), the professional might carefully apply residual insecticides and an insect growth regulator (IGR).
IGRs help prevent the normal completion of the flea life cycle. The insecticide will kill the adult fleas, while the growth regulators will help prevent larva from maturing into adults. This is a full life cycle approach that can lend better results than simply ridding the home of adult fleas.
Additionally, the growth regulators will leave any emerging fleas sterile, helping to eventually stop the cycle.
A pest control professional may have further recommendations to prevent another flea infestation. This might include landscaping changes, outdoor flea treatment and creating a more sealed-off home.
When contacting exterminators, ask them what type of treatments and methods they use.
Is it worth it to hire a flea exterminator or DIY?
From the first bite to the frenzied realization that there might be more tiny bugs in your home, you might still be left contemplating if you should opt for DIY flea removal or hire a pest control professional instead.
Here’s the deal: both DIY and professional pest control tactics have their pros and cons. In the end, you might actually find a combined approach is best.
Here’s a quick summary of the pros and cons of both approaches:
|DIY (flea bombs, foggers, dish soap, essential oils, etc.)||Affordable; can be done immediately||Time-consuming; mixed results|
|Hire an exterminator||Extremely effective and efficient; they have expertise in locating fleas and preventing future infestations||Higher cost; requires scheduling appointments; may require additional visits|
It’s extremely difficult to completely rid your home of fleas on your own, largely due to the fact that at any given moment, these pests will be in various stages of their life cycle. So if you use a product that kills adult fleas, you will only kill current adults — not the countless eggs and larvae on their way to becoming adults.
Additionally, many DIY tactics — vacuuming, cleaning floors and washing all bedding — might kill fleas in hard-to-reach locations. On the flip side, paying for an exterminator and taking no actions on your part will likely lead to a new flea infestation down the road.
Combining DIY tactics with the help of a pro can ensure you rid your home of fleas for good.
How to prepare your home for exterminators
Before a professional arrives on the scene, there are a few quick things you can do to prepare your home for flea control. In fact, some pest control companies might ask you to perform some of these steps before they arrive:
- Get rid of clutter in the home, especially around known infested areas. The less cluttered your house, the fewer spaces for fleas, eggs and larvae to hide.
- Clear the floors. If you can move items out of the way, this will make it easier for pros to treat the area.
- Vacuum and clean the house. Do a thorough cleaning before the pro arrives. Be sure that any vacuum bags are thrown away outside immediately. Empty canister vacuums and dustpans into an outdoor trash can right away as well.
- Remove all bedding, and wash it in the hottest water possible. This includes pet bedding.
- Put away food and pet dishes. Anything that is left out could possibly get contaminated by applied insecticides during the initial treatment.
- Take pets out of the home. During flea treatment, you should find an alternate location for you and your pets to stay.
Don’t hesitate to ask your pro what kind of prep work you should do before they arrive.
Tips for keeping fleas away
Unfortunately, getting rid of fleas is not always as easy as making one quick phone call to a pest control company. In fact, even after treating your home for fleas, you might need to schedule further follow-up visits for ongoing flea treatment.
But, you can prevent new infestations in the future (and save money) by taking a few steps after the professional leaves your home.
What to do after the pros leave
Pets are generally the culprit for introducing fleas into your home, so it’s crucial that you address flea control for your furry friends with your veterinarian. They can recommend which pest control is best for your animals.
Some of your best defenses against a resurgence in another flea infestation is keeping a clean home. Cleaning, vacuuming and washing all bedding — including your pet’s bedding — can help cut down on the risk of a re-infestation. It’s likely the pest control company will suggest that you vacuum for several weeks to ensure the eggs and larvae are gone.
And lastly, if you have fleas in your yard, consider making changes to your landscaping so that your yards are less attractive to fleas. For example, you can invest in ongoing maintenance, such as lawn mowing, leaf removal, and bush and tree trimming services.
Ultimately, once the professional has treated your home for fleas, follow any after-care guidance they may provide.
When to call your exterminator for a follow-up
In an ideal world, one visit from a pest control company would be enough to rid your home of fleas forever. But that’s not always the case.
If you start to notice signs of fleas after a thorough treatment of your home, it might be time to contact your exterminator again. The following are indicators that you have not rid your home of fleas entirely — and you might be facing a re-infestation:
- New flea feces after an area was previously cleaned
- New bites on you or your family after a few weeks have passed
Talk to your pro if you suspect fleas have invaded your home once again.
How to choose and hire an exterminator
Choosing the right professional is critical to ensuring that you not only pay the best price possible, but that you also receive great service. Nothing is more frustrating than investing in pest control services only to be left with the same problem you had from the start.
Follow these five steps to increase your chances of hiring the best, most affordable exterminator:
1. Compare at least three to five professionals
In today’s world, it’s easy to go online and quickly search for and contact multiple exterminators near you. Always compare reviews, prices, ratings, etc. for at least three to five pros.
2. Ask for free quotes
Once you’ve found a few different pros, ask them all for free estimates and get them in writing. This will help you determine which pest control company is the right fit for your budget.
Remember that different costs are often quoted due to the different levels of services offered. Make sure you ask about package types and pricing details to ensure you’re comparing the same type of service across multiple companies.
3. Read customer reviews
Another benefit of finding companies online is that you can also compare businesses based on their customer reviews. Take some time to sift through a few of your top picks’ online reviews. Look for any noticeable patterns in complaints or praises.
4. Check for credentials and licenses
Because pest control companies will (likely) be applying insecticides, it’s important to choose a professional who’s properly licensed and has the right credentials to do the job in your city or state.
Ask any company you’re considering hiring about their licensure and credentials. You can also use an online resource, such as BRB Publications, which maintains a database of state occupational licensing board websites.
5. Keep safety top of mind
Finally, when hiring any professional for services in your home, make sure that you keep safety top of mind. Do a thorough job of vetting any business before allowing them into your home.
For a complete list of safety tips, visit Thumbtack’s Smart Hiring guide, which outlines the top tactics for hiring safely.
Find a flea exterminator today
Nothing is worse than living with a pest infestation. Fleas are particularly troublesome insects and are extremely difficult to get rid of.
However, with the help of a professional, your home can go back to being a safe and comfortable place for you and your household. If you’re ready to hire a pro, start comparing prices from the best exterminators near you.
Frequently asked questions about flea removal
When it comes to flea removal, there are many questions that crop up. Here are answers to some common questions:
How long do fleas live after extermination?
It’s possible to see newly emerged adults for up to two weeks following treatment, according to the National Pest Management Association. However, through proper daily vacuuming and pet treatment, this issue can be mitigated.
How do you know when fleas are gone?
If you don’t see any black insects hopping around, flea dirt or bites on your pets after several weeks or a month, that’s a good sign your flea control method has worked.
Remember that patience is key with the extermination of fleas. Any eggs, larvae, pupae and pre-adults that were not vacuumed or swept up might still be going through their lifecycle after treatment.
How long does it take an exterminator to get rid of fleas?
After one treatment, an exterminator will rid your home of almost all adult fleas. However, it can take several weeks for all fleas to die.