The Real Cost of Bed Bugs

The financial cost of bed bugs can be devastating and often goes unmentioned. The first step in fighting an infestation is deciding whether to undertake DIY measures to conquer your pest infestation or hire a professional to treat your home. The total cost of a bed bug infestation is difficult to quantify but if you go with a qualified exterminator, it is possible to discern the average cost from a financial standpoint.

 

Inspection Costs 

First, you will need to have an exterminator conduct a thorough inspection which can take between one to four hours. The exterminator will check your entire house, looking over your carpets, walls, beds, furnishings, cracks, and crevices to locate the insects and figure out the extent of the infestation. Some companies include the cost of the inspection with the treatment, while others charge for it, so ensure you discuss this prior to making the appointment. Depending on where you live, the average cost of a bed bug inspection ranges from $50 to $200.

 

Treatment Costs 

Next, you must determine the right treatment choice to eliminate your bed bug infestation. There are various treatment options, all ranging in cost and differing depending on the region where you live.

Treatment Type

Cost

Fumigation

Average $4.50 to $7.50 per square foot of home treated.

Heat Treatments

Averages $2,000 to $4,000 depending on the size of the home being treated.

Pesticide Sprays

Averages $250 to $1,000 for each room treated.

Steam Treatments

Averages $250 to $1,000 for each room treated.

 

Additional Treatments 

Treatment Costs Procedure

Pest control companies will often suggest that two or more methods be employed together to eradicate the infestation which will significantly increase the cost. A follow-up visit will also be required four to six weeks post-treatment to determine if additional treatments are required.

Labor Costs 

If your bed bug infestation is confined to a single room the treatment will be more affordable than a whole house infestation which requires a large-scale extermination process. Exterminators charge by either the square foot, room, or total job. You will need to discuss the exterminator's fee protocol prior to hiring them. In the U.S. an exterminator’s labor averages anywhere from $250 to $1000 per room or $4 to $7.50 per square foot. On rare occasions, a company may give you a whole treatment price which averages around $4,000 for heat treatment, pesticide sprays, or steam treatments.

 

Canine Inspection 

Some exterminators have begun using canines to confirm the presence of a bed bug infestation. Interestingly, the dogs can find up to 96 percent of bed bug infestations even if they are not visually visible. Having a canine inspect your home to confirm that you have bed bugs costs anywhere from $300 to $600.

 

Additional Costs 

Unfortunately, the cost of treating your home is not the only expense that you will face in an infestation. There are many others to take into account that often go overlooked.

Washing and Drying: It is advised to undertake a whole house cleaning in an infestation which involves washing and drying all of your clothing, bedding and textiles, likely increasing your energy bill or laundry costs if you use shared laundry facilities or a laundromat.

Furnishings: If you have furnishings that are heavily infested you may be advised to dispose of them and purchase replacements.

Mattress and Box Springs: Often your box spring or mattress will become stained and discolored from bed bugs and may need to be replaced.

Hotel Room: Depending on the type of treatment that your home is undergoing it may be necessary to stay in a hotel for a few days following treatment. This may also force you to eat at restaurants for the duration of your stay which adds to your financial expenses.

 

The real cost of bed bugs can be financially straining and easily reach into the thousands. While we all hope we never have to face this, it’s important to be informed and know what to expect.

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