What You Can Expect To Pay When Hiring a Bed Bug Exterminator

The total cost for a bed bug extermination will vary depending on a number of factors.

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Bedbugs are challenging, and sometimes expensive, to get rid of once they’ve set up camp in a home. They hide in hard-to-reach places like soft fabrics, behind trim work, or in structural voids, making them extremely difficult to track. Because of the insects’ elusive nature, persistence, and strength in numbers, getting rid of bed bugs is an uphill battle for any homeowner. While some may consider doing a DIY bed bug eradication, leaving the job to the pros will likely net you the best results. 

Bed bug exterminators are trained in dealing with these pests, utilizing a variety of methods and products to help get rid of your infestation. However, some homeowners may understandably be hesitant to hire an exterminator as they may be pricey. To prevent you from having any last-minute financial surprises—on top of an already stressful situation—ahead is a full cost breakdown for hiring a bed bug exterminator. 

Disclaimer About Bed Bug Treatments

Exterminators and pest control companies often rely on chemical pesticides to eliminate bed bugs. The pesticides used are toxic in varying degrees to humans and pets, even if they’re labeled as being natural. Although pesticide-free bed bug treatments such as heat, cold, or steam are highly effective methods of eradicating the insects, in many cases using pesticides is the best approach or is used in conjunction with the other methods. 

Generally, pesticides don’t discriminate and can potentially affect your surrounding environment (indoor and outdoor) along with the target pests. Use caution and follow product directions when handling DIY pesticides, and understand the associated risks and safety guidelines when allowing a professional to use the chemicals inside your home.   

How Do You Know If You Have Bed Bugs?

There are many tell-tale signs that bed bugs leave behind to alert you to their presence, even if you don’t see a living example. Early indicators of bed bug presence are bites appearing on your skin, traces of fecal matter in the folds or corners of bedding, body casings in the bed or on the floor, living bed bugs or eggs, and tiny traces of blood left on sheets. In addition to this, a prolonged infestation can generate a distinct smell, often described as rotting raspberries, but that’s not usually the first sign.

Average Cost of Bed Bug Extermination Treatments

The best pest control companies often employ multiple bed bug treatment methods to meet nearly every situation. Jorge Bedoya, operations manager at New York Exterminating, Inc., provided detailed information to help us break down the cost of each type of treatment. Generally, bed bug extermination prices range from $350 to $5,000, averaging somewhere in the $2,000–$2,500 range. Bedoya explained that prices on the higher end typically indicate a significant and prolonged infestation in a large property that requires substantial work and multiple treatments to eliminate the pests.  

Cost per Method

Treatment Method Average Price Range 
Heat $1.25–$2.90 per square foot
Chemicals $1.65–$3.45 per square foot
Fumigation $3.15–$7.25 per square foot
Steam $1.92–$7.42 per square foot
Freeze $3.10–$5.67 per square foot
Canine Assistance $250–$550 per visit

Factors That Affect the Cost of Bed Bug Treatments

The cost of different bed bug treatments will vary depending on multiple factors ranging from the severity of the infestation to the treatment type itself. The following are the main criteria that will affect how much you end up paying for bed bug exterminators.

Infestation Severity

Infestation severity and how early the issue is discovered are often the driving factors determining the cost of the other succeeding variables. Early detection can limit extermination needs to a few rooms instead of having to pursue a more costly, whole-house method. Although it’s possible to eradicate bed bug infestations with chemical pesticides alone, severe bed bug infestations often require a more invasive and pricier solution.

Number of Rooms

The size of the treatment area also affects pricing. If an infestation is detected early, bed bug extermination can be limited to just a few rooms, saving you extra bucks. Most exterminators charge either per room or by square feet when using chemical pesticide sprays or more pinpointed methods like freezing or steaming. Bedoya states that in some cases, a couple of rooms can be effectively treated with sprays in an hour, and it could cost between $150 and $300. 

Treatment Type

The treatment required to eliminate a bed bug problem is often tied to infestation severity. While spraying pesticides tends to be less expensive upfront, most extermination methods may have to be repeated in severe cases, which means dishing out money for each session. “Sometimes instead of doing another treatment, we set up a heavy monitoring system,” Bedoya explained. “If the tenant is still highly concerned, we bring out a bed bug dog to see if anything is still lingering.” 

Treatment Frequency

Bed bug control, especially in cases of severe infestations, sometimes require return visits for additional treatments. The frequency of those visits can vary from a single return trip to multiple ones on a weekly, biweekly, monthly, or quarterly basis. Although you’ll likely experience a lower cost per visit, the repetition can rapidly rack up the amount of money spent. 


Heavily populated areas typically see more bed bug infestations than rural areas due to the increased number of people and their proximity to one another. Bed bugs are mobile critters that can hitch rides on clothing and bags, making them experts at moving from home to home. Because of this, bed bug extermination prices are higher in urban areas simply due to supply and demand.

Business Practices

Because bed bugs tend to stir up uneasy feelings, and many customers will pay almost anything just to have them out of their homes, a few companies have taken advantage of those situations and have overcharged for services. Bedoya says ACE-certified exterminators must adhere to specific ethical standards, which means that looking for professionally certified pest control companies can ensure you have an expert at your disposal who won’t overcharge you. 

Additional Costs

As in any service industry, additional costs can apply and increase the total extermination cost. Some services that can cause your bill to increase include moving furniture, canine assistance, pest inspections before and after treatments, and emergency pricing in urgent situations. 

Best Bed Bug Exterminators

Key Specs Orkin Terminix Viking Pest Control
Where you can find the service 47 states, excluding Alaska, Wyoming, and South Dakota 45 states, excluding Alaska, Vermont, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware
24/7 customer support? Yes  Yes  No
Services offered Inspection, chemical pesticides, and heat  Inspection, chemical pesticides, steam, heat, freeze Inspection, chemical pesticides, and heat
Company guarantee 30-day money-back guarantee Re-treatment guarantee Re-treatment guarantee


Orkin is a pest control industry leader that’s nationally available with the exception of a few states. With over 120 years of experience, bed bug extermination is just one of the company’s many areas of expertise. Orkin pest control technicians undergo at least 160 hours of training before inspecting, diagnosing, treating, isolating, and following up on a bed bug infestation as a company representative. Orkin provides a 30-day money-back guarantee if the company doesn’t successfully eliminate your pest problem.


Terminix offers free inspections and price quotes to help you get a solid idea of how much you’ll end up paying for its service. It also has 24/7 responsive customer service so you can get your bed bugs questions answered right away. The company offers customized treatment plans for bed bug problems, employing several control methods that carry a re-treatment guarantee. Terminix also can do the heavy lifting for you and doesn’t require you to move your furniture for your scheduled appointment.

Viking Pest Control

Viking Pest Control offers customized pest control plans that can include bed bug treatments if necessary. However, the company only provides services in New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, and Pennsylvania. In addition to a complete breakdown of its treatment and follow-up options, Viking Pest Control’s website also hosts abundant information about bed bugs, how to prevent them, and what to do if you find them.

Steps to Take When Dealing with a Bed Bug Infestation

Discovering the possibility of bed bugs in your home can be unnerving and can provoke a sense of urgency more than other home pests. Here are the steps to take if you suspect bed bug activity and what you can expect to experience during extermination.  

Collect Information

Look for and gather as much bed bug evidence as you can to provide an exterminator with as much information as possible. Things like body casings, fecal and blood stains on sheets, unusual smells, and bed bug bites on your skin are some of the main signs of bed bug activity.

Schedule an Inspection

After gathering evidence and contacting an extermination company near you, your pest control expert may use your information to create a price quote or suggest an inspection. An inspection will determine the severity of the bed bug problem and can identify the best treatment method for tackling the issue. 

Typically, an inspection lasts 30 to 60 minutes, and the company representative will examine beds, upholstery, and other common hiding places to create a diagnosis of the situation. However, Bedoya mentions, “The more rooms, the more time spent.” Inspecting a large property with a sizable infestation could take longer. 

Determine Your Treatment Option

Except in certain extreme cases, you’ll likely have an option of one or more treatment methods for your bed bug infestation. Discuss the details of each option with your exterminator and choose the one that works best for your household. 

Prepare for Treatment

The treatment method you choose will determine the preparation specifics for your scheduled extermination appointment. Most exterminators ask clients to clean their home, clear items from beds, create wall access in closets and tight spaces, move furniture away from the walls, and seal clothing and bedding in plastic bags to be isolated and laundered after the treatment. Additionally, many bed bug extermination methods require you, your family, and your pets to leave the house for a few hours or days, depending on the treatment specifics. 

Perform Post-Treatment Tasks

Your pest control expert will provide information after your appointment about how to launder and care for your bagged clothing and bedding before bringing it back into your home to avoid reintroducing bed bugs to the area. Most companies suggest that you avoid cleaning floors, walls, and windows for about two weeks but that you should sweep and vacuum daily.

Schedule Re-Treatments if Necessary 

Bed bug extermination often requires one or more return visits. If you’re on a treatment plan contract with your pest control provider, you may already have a follow-up appointment after an initial treatment session. If a second appointment is necessary, schedule a follow-up treatment for between two weeks and one month out. The second treatment may not take as long as the first, depending on your home and situation. “Re-treatments tend to be quick and well executed in less than an hour,” Bedoya mentions. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Where do bed bugs come from?

    Bed bugs mostly hide in luggage, bags, and other portables. These objects make excellent vehicles that bed bugs can hop on and off in order to find homes to infest. They’re also good at moving through wall cavities and behind trim work from one room to another.

  • Can you see bed bugs on your mattress?

    Although they’re just under 1/4-inch long, bed bugs’ dark coloration allows them to be easily spotted on light-colored sheets and mattresses. If you think you have bed bugs, check the folds, seams, corners, and other tight spaces in and out of your mattress, as these pests like to hide in these places.

  • Can bed bugs spread throughout an entire house?

    Bed bugs can quickly spread throughout an entire house by taking a ride on clothing, pets, bags, or anything else they can grab onto. Typically, bed bugs will stay and hide near their food source—sleeping humans typically—but they’re also known to travel through wall cavities in search of other homes. 

  • What temperatures do bed bugs thrive in?

    Bed bugs are active and can reproduce in temperatures as low as the mid-forties Fahrenheit. However, their favorite and most productive temperature range is between 70°F and 80°F.

  • Will bed bugs eventually go away if left untreated?

    Left untreated, bed bug colonies are more likely to grow exponentially. Bedbugs’ relatively rapid procreation rate and the fact that individuals can survive for months between meals only compounds the problem. If you have bed bugs, using a treatment method is one of the only ways to ensure that the problem will be resolved.

  • What insects may be mistaken for bed bugs?

    Several insects may be mistaken for bed bugs. Booklice can be challenging to distinguish from bed bugs; however, the former prefer damp locations and aren’t likely to inhabit a dry mattress. Head lice, fleas, ticks, some types of beetles, and bat bugs are also often misidentified as bed bugs.

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