extermination can be accomplished at home with a do it yourself kit or
with the help of a professional. Depending on the size of the
infestation, multiple treatments may be needed, since it is difficult
to kill all bedbugs and their eggs with one treatment.
Professionals have the advantage of knowing where to look
although the cost can be 5x to 10x more than doing it yourself."
Bed bug pest control requires several types of products.
A do it yourself kit
is approximately $150 - $200 when purchased online and is the most
affordable way to buy the several different types of products needed
including a bedbug spray, dust and hand steamer.
An inspection of a home by a
professional could cost from $100 - $500 depending on the approach
used, plus the cost of treatment which can range from $500 to
$1000. Inspections can include the use of a bed bug sniffing
dog (bed bugs give off a unique raspberry like scent).
Bedbug Extermination Basics:
Bedbug extermination requires that an entire room be
inspected, cleaned and treated. They are attracted to people
at night and use
the carbon dioxide creating when a person is breathing to determine
where the host is located.
In a single room bedbugs will be found within 20 feet of the bed.
They hide in the seams of mattresses, inside tears in the
mattress fabric and around their favorite hiding place, the box spring.
Check the cracks in the bed frame, particularly if the frame
is made out of wood. Bedbugs do not like hard smooth surfaces
such as metal. Studies show that 80%+ of bed bugs are found
near the bed.
Check in and around the edges of carpet, behind pictures, and
behind wall plates. Check rooms to each side, above and below
the room where the bed bug infestation is centered.
Locations Bedbugs Hide
2. Clean: Bedbugs
cannot survive a hot water wash followed by 30 minutes in a clothes
dryer. Wash all blankets, drapes, linens etc. When carrying
clothes to the laundry room, carry in plastic bags to avoid dropping
any bed bugs.
Vacuum floors, carpets and around the room. The
vacuum will pick up any bugs. Unfortunately, it will not pick up any bedbug
eggs, since these are naturally cemented to surfaces in the
Sprays are needed to kill any bedbugs that can't be vacuumed.
A mattress safe spray can be used on the bed, in cracks and
along the edges of the floor. A hand held steamer is the only
tool that will kill bed bug eggs. The steamer will super heat
the eggs, which will then be killed. Not killing the eggs
will cause bedbugs to return after a room is treated.
Professionals often seal rooms and then super heat them to
kill all the bugs and eggs present.
4. Prevent: There
are two types of natural dust that can be used to kill bed bugs that
hatch after treatment. The bedbugs come in contact with the
dust, which attaches to their shell, penetrates and then and kills them. The two
types are fossil dust or diatomaceous earth. Both are natural and organic ways to kill bed bugs.
One approach is to encase the mattress and box spring in a
bedbug approved cover such as the Bed
Bug Proof Box Spring Encasement by Protect-A-Bed.
This traps the bedbugs inside the mattress and kills them,
since they can't escape the cover to feed.
Do It Yourself BedBug Kits:
There are two popular kits on the market offered by Dermisil
for Bed Bugs
and the Dead
Bed Bugs Elimination Kit.
Both offer similar types of products designed
to kill bed bugs. Both kits are good choices.
Getting rid of bed bugs is hard work. Kits usually
Some kits also include an instructional booklet, itch relief for bites,
and bed bug certified mattress covers.
- Bed Bug Spray
- Hand Steamer
- Dust Product
Selecting a Bedbug Extermination Company:
Bedbug extermination by a professional can be expensive.
In New York City, an apartment inspection (not treatment!)
with the use of a bed bug sniffing dog is $500. Treatment can
cost from $500 to $1000 or more depending on the size of the residence.
Apartment buildings are a special case, since multiple floors
(rooms above and to the side) of the place where the bugs were found
may need to be treated. It is not unusual for entire
buildings or dormitories to be evacuated for days during treatment.
Here are some guidelines for choosing a bedbug extermination
company distributed by the New York City Department of Health.
How to Find a Bed Bug Pest Control Company:
- If in an apartment, ask the super or neighbor about
companies they may have used. Also check with the landlord.
Use the Internet to search for companies, particularly
those that are mentioned in the press. Many companies can be
found in our local
listings. Directory services such as Angie's List.
also have consumer reviews.
- Look for companies that advertise “integrated pest
more likely to inspect and monitor conditions, and they’ll recognize
- Use companies that are registered Department of
Environmental Conservation in your State.
- Ask for references. Ask to speak to
customers that completed treatment.
- Ask about their membership in recognized national, state
- Ask companies how they approach the problem of bed bugs.
companies will insist on inspecting the premises before quoting a final
price , provide a written inspection report, along with an action plan
and will price a job according to inspection findings, not based on a
- Ask if the company can repair any cracks in walls or floors
that are found, which are bed bugs hiding place, or can they refer you
to a contractor that they work with. If repairs
are not part of
the service agreement, then the company should provide you with a list
needed to solve the problem.
- Ask the about the treatment plan that will be used
including equipment, chemicals, and the safety of those approaches for
both adults, children and pets. Ask about chemical and non
chemical approaches (heat, vacuuming etc).
- Ask how carpets will be approached and how they will ensure
that hard to kill bedbug eggs are going to be exterminated.
- Ask about their policy toward repeat visits and how many
visits they find are needed to complete the job.
- Ask if employees are trained for bed bugs and have had
experience with bedbug extermination.
- Determine if they encourage notifying adjacent apartments
and successful approaches for getting all surrounding apartments to
cooperation in the bedbug extermination efforts.
- Agree on a service treatment plan and pricing structure.
solution. The cheapest services are rarely the best.
- Know what you and the company are each responsible
- Walk around your home with the pest control professional
visit, and keep
track of the work being done.
- Ask the pest control professional to point out any
contribute to bed
bugs in or near your property, and get a written inspection report.
Have a Bed Bug Question or Story to Share?
Getting rid of bed bugs isn't easy. Help our readers by sharing your story or question here.