Last Updated: December 30, 2016
If you are looking for detailed instructions on how to get rid of bed bugs, click here. Before you try to fix your bed bug problem on your own, however, you need to consider whether you want tackle the issue by yourself, or hire a professional (an exterminator) to take care of the problem for you. This section will help you to choose and gives tips for finding and working with a quality exterminator.
Bed Bug extermination is difficult. Bed Bugs are extremely resilient creatures and can survive up to a year without feeding. In addition, they can be tricky to find and, in the end, if you miss only a few of them, they can reproduce again and continue the infestation. Getting rid of bed bugs takes time and effort and you will likely need to do some shopping along the way. Handling an infestation on your own is undoubtedly cheaper than hiring an exterminator, but it is not without costs and is a time-taking endeavor.
A bed bug exterminator can be very expensive, and if you choose to follow this route, you will want to make sure you are choosing a high quality professional and not just the cheapest option. For a professional exterminator, you can expect to pay anywhere from $200 – $1,000 per room depending on the size of the infestation, the complexity of the room (size, furniture, etc.), and the professional. An exterminator will usually use both specialized pesticides, which work on direct contact with bed bugs, and steam heat to get rid of the infestation. Bed bugs die when exposed to high temperatures (113 Fahrenheit and higher) for at least several minutes. Due to the use of pesticides, bed bug treatment can be dangerous, and use of a professional is most likely safer. Should you choose to use a professional, you will want to keep the following things in mind:
- The best bet is to find a pest control company as opposed to a company that specializes in bed bugs, and make sure the company is licensed and state-certified.
- Make sure to find an established service that has been around for at least a few years.
- Find reviews of the company and their service either through friends or through a search on yelp.com, yellowpages.com, Google, or other such services.
- Ask a lot of questions to gauge the company’s responsiveness, service, and experience. Some good questions to ask are:
- What does the company use to get rid of infestations? A good service will use a mix of pesticides and heat, and will not use ‘bug bombs’ or ‘bug foggers’ as these do not work on bed bugs.
- Does the company do follow-up visits? From a good exterminator you can expect at least two treatments and at least one follow-up confirming the bed bugs have been exterminated.
- A good company will inspect your property before giving you a quote. After their inspection they should give you a full inspection report as well as a plan of how you can help prepare for the treatment and prevent another infestation. A high quality exterminator will base the cost of the service on what he finds in the inspection, not on a flat rate and, as mentioned before, cheaper doesn’t usually mean better.
- Agree with the company on the service to be offered and the cost before agreeing to move forward.
- You can help the exterminator by cleaning your residence before they arrive. Bed Bugs are attracted by human presence, not clutter, but a messy living space gives them more spaces to hide and can hinder the efforts of an exterminator.
If you have read all of this but are still confident you want to tackle the problem on your own, click here to learn how.