Bed bugs are one annoying pests to get rid of. Bed bugs don’t move during the day but would rather wait at night when you are asleep. Their bites are itchy such that they tend to leave marks denying you quality sleep. Getting rid of bed bugs with Do-it-Yourself methods is good but only when the infestation is mild. A severe infestation requires the services of a professional bed bug exterminator. But do you know the cost? Find out in this guide.
What are Bed Bugs?
Before hiring bed bug exterminator, let’s first understand this pest. Unlike other pest, it may take long to notice when a single bed bug invade your home. Sadly, one they begin to reproduce, the infestation tend to grow rapidly and before you know you have a large infestation to deal with.
A bed bugs is a parasitic insect that feed on human and animal blood. They are derived their name from one of their common residing place.
Adult bed bugs are reddish brown to light brown in color. In terms of size, they are about the size of an apple seed thus can be difficult to spot. They breed rapidly.
Bed bugs are able to survive temperatures as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit. But it is easy to kill most bed bugs at a freezing point of 10 degrees Fahrenheit for a long period of time of exposure. Although this may require 3 days at minimum making it impractical.
If you expose bed bugs for 7 minutes continuously at a temperature of 115 degrees, they will die including the nymphs.
Bed bugs are known to be tolerate low humidity but cannot withstand for a long period of time if exposed to high amounts of carbon dioxide.
Where Do Bed Bugs Come From?
Since bed bugs are small the size of an apple seed, they can sneak into your belongings. It is easy to pick bed bugs anywhere from hotels, gyms, offices, school or any place where there is an invasion of bed bugs.
But the most likely place to notice bed bugs are in the furniture, couch and in refurbished mattresses.
Signs of Bed Bug infestation
How do you identify a bed bug infestation? Although bed bugs are small and quite difficult to spot, they resemble many of the common household insects. Here is how to identify that you are having an infestation of bed bugs:
- Rashes on the skin in the morning from their bites
- Tiny black spots of dried blood usually visible on the mattress, linens, bed sheets and on the headboard
- Bed bug fecal matter usually appearing as black spots
- Dead bed bugs
If you notice any bug that looks like a bed or probably a sign that a bed bug has been feeding on you, call a professional exterminator to have a look and inspect your home.
Bed Bug Extermination Cost, Inspection & Treatments
In this section, we will discuss how to inspect bed bug infestation, treatment and the cost to get rid of the bed bugs.
To deal with bed bug infestation, exterminator will have to inspect the infested area, prepare the methods to be used before finally applying treatment. All this process have to carried out in that order for effective outcome. In the long run, each process you will incur some costs before finally arriving at the overall costs.
Inspection by Professionals
This is the initial stage of getting rid of bed bug infestation. Once you spot be bugs, contact a professional exterminator and make tell him there are bed bugs in your home. It could just be a single bed bug. One bed bug in sight is a sign of infestation of bed bug in your home. Don’t make any assumptions.
Inspection will reveal where the other bed bugs are hiding or if it just a mild or severe infestation. Your whole home will be inspected to tell whether the infestation is limited to only a few rooms or throughout the house. Inspection may save you a great cost if the bed bugs are only confined in one area.
What professional exterminator do is to move from room to room starting with your bedroom. They will examine your furniture, rugs and the surrounding to identify any signs of infestation.
The search will be done in cracks and crevices looking for hidden bed bugs. Some of the signs would include: fecal matter, eggs, molted shells, live or dead bed bugs.
It is only after inspection the exterminator will be able to confirm whether indeed there is an infestation and how extensive. Upon completion of the inspection, only then they will be able to recommend the appropriate and effective treatment method.
The Cost of Inspection
How does it cost for an inspection? The cost usually varies depending on the size of your home and the general local rates. Generally you will be charged between $50 and $200 for inspection but in some cases it may not cost you anything at all.
If they carry out a canine inspection, the cost may be slightly above usually ranging between $300 and $600. This is for average homes. A larger building such as apartments or hotel would cost between $900 and $1200.
The cost of inspection can be arrived in several ways: either by square footage, by room or via flat fee.
Generally bed bug extermination cost usually depend on these variables: location, size of the infested area and the severity of the infestation.
Obviously you will pay less if the problem is just isolated to one room and pay more if the bed bugs are spread in various areas. It may cost you but this could be the most effective way to get rid of the bed bugs once and for all.
Preparation for Treatment
Once inspection, the next step to eliminating bed bugs is preparing how to treat the infestation. Dealing with bed bugs can be a huge task. One has to prepare extensively on how best to deal with the bugs.
Preparation may vary from one exterminator to another and here are some of the reasons for it: size of the infested area, severity of the infestation and location.
To effectively get rid of the bed bugs, an exterminator will require you discard a few items such fabrics, old furniture and refurbished mattresses.
Measure to facilitate preparation for treatment:
- Dealing with an infestation from fabrics is complicated. Bed bugs are known to hide within fabrics such curtains, linens and bed sheets.
- To facilitate preparation for treatment, you may be forced to gather all fabrics including washable cloth and put them in garbage bags. If you can remove them from your home if possible.
- Washing all the fabrics with hot water is also another way to handle bed bug infestation. Once you are done washing, dry them on the highest heat setting for not less than an hour. Put the cloth in a tightly sealed bag and store them somewhere away from the infested area until the extermination is complete.
- As for the furniture, steam clean or use a heavy suction vacuum. Once done, carefully dispose in tightly sealed bag.
- You can part with any furniture but remember to carefully do so
- Vacuum around the edges of the room and walls where the furniture lean
- Clear any wooden bookshelves, desks, or other furniture
- Clean any plastic bins
- For loose items, carefully bag or box them since the bed bugs are likely to hide in any available space
- All electronics and appliances should be unplugged and moved far away from the walls.
The Treatment Application Process
This is the final stage of eliminating bed bug infestation. Professional exterminators in most cases use a combination of various methods to get rid of the bed bug infestation.
Here are number of treatment methods to be used:
This is one of the treatment type to be used in eliminating bed bug infestation. Though is common with termite extermination. During fumigation, the infested are will be covered with tarpaulin which is kept in large containers of water. Then vikane gas is pumped into the house to be distributed throughout the house.
With fumigation, 99% to 100% success rate is achieved including the bed bug eggs. If there are other pests such as ants or termites they too will be destroyed. The other merit is that, no residue is left behind, which implies you can access your home after the process is complete
The demerits of fumigation include the gases used can be harmful to the environment, doesn’t prevent re-infestation in the future and it could cost you more since there are additional preparations involved.
b) Heat Treatment
Heat treatment is considered as one of the most effective method to eliminate bed bug infestation.
To use heat treatment you will need to remove plastics and any other item with low résistance to heat prior to treatment.
The exterminator then pumps heat air in the infested area. The ideal heat setting is 120 degrees Fahrenheit but it is possible to exceed. This method kills all the bed bugs and their eggs leaving no chemical residue. The disadvantage of this method is that, it cannot prevent future infestation.
c) Pesticide Application
We have different options under this category. It is choice of your exterminator which he finds ideal either the liquid or powder of course with a combination of other methods.
Mostly, powders are used for spaces or voids while liquids are used in cracks and crevices.
d) Steam Treatment
Steam is other method used by exterminator to get rid of bed bug infestation. Usually, a powerful steam cleaner is used to eliminated the bed bugs. Cleaners have a special high heat settings. Other than killing bed bugs, the steamers can be used to clean.
How Effective Are Professional Bed Bug Exterminators?
Bed bug exterminators are professionals. So, their job is get rid and eliminate pests such as ants, bed bug, fleas, mites and other pests. Their job is to wipe out all the pests in homes, offices and hotels among other places.
Exterminators will get rid of the bed bugs in 99.9% effectiveness. This is probably the reason their cost is somehow expensive. The treatment options they apply when getting rid of the bed bugs will destroy the pests and eliminate the infestations.
How to Choose a Proper Bed Bug Exterminator
Here is a guide on how to choose a professional exterminator:
a) Check for License
It is advisable to check for a licensed exterminator. This has to include the credentials of the chosen company. This means you have to choose a company that complies with the law. Calling the company and asking the required is one of the basic things to do. Make sure you go for a licensed company
b) Treatment offered
Usually they are a number of treatment applied to get rid of bed bugs. Usually heat and insecticides are the most commonly used by exterminator. If they don’t offer any of the viable treatment that can eliminate bed bug infestation, choose another type.
c) Experience of the Exterminator
The experience of the exterminator is very important. A reputable company is one to be trusted if you are first time victim of bed bugs. But there are company with less than 10 years but their work is great. The trick here is to carry due diligence before engaging any professional exterminator.
d) Client’s opinion
The opinion of other clients shouldn’t be overlooked. If the experience of other clients isn’t satisfying then chances are that you won’t be. It is easier to tell from the reviews posted online by clients who have been served before.
Getting rid of bed bug infestation isn’t easy. But thanks to professional exterminator. As put earlier, depending on your location, the size of the infested and severity of the infestation and the bed bug treatment, the price of extermination will vary.
How much it cost for extermination depends on the size of the room. The price can range between $200 – $300 per room. A severely infested room will cost about $400 or more. This is just the price of a single room. To heat a whole house would cost you up to $4000 or probably more.
Exterminators would get rid of the bed bugs in your home in different methods. The approach usually depends on the severity of the infestation and size of your home. In a nutshell, the most common methods to get rid of the bed bugs include:
- Heat treatments
- Steam treatments
If you cannot afford the cost of exterminators, you can still in the meantime try using some home remedies to control the infestation of the bed bugs for a while. But steaming and vacuum cleaning should be easy to do it on your own.