How to Choose a Bed Bug Exterminator

The best way to deal with bed bugs is to hire a professional bed bug exterminator. They are experts and have been doing this sort of thing everyday and know the ins and outs of what works and what doesn’t. Today I’ll be covering some basic things you should take into consideration on how to choose a bed bug exterminator.

Why Hire a Bed Bug Exterminator?

Hire a ProfessionalLike I mentioned, they have been doing this everyday for their profession and have a tremendous amount of knowledge on how to get rid of bed bugs. Keep in mind that it is possible to get rid of bed bugs by yourself but hiring and exterminator is your best option as there is a lot of misinformation online about Do-It-Yourself bed bug removal options or home remedies.

If the infestation is bad it is often very difficult and time consuming to exterminate ALL bed bugs by yourself. Usually you’ll get rid of them for a couple of days but there’s a couple you didn’t kill and they start the infestation all over again. This repeated process can be both time consuming, cost a lot of money, and mentally straining.

A professional exterminator has the tools and techniques that are most effective against bed bugs and can get rid of them a lot more quickly than you could on your own. You don’t want to buy expensive equipment that you’ll only use a couple times and end up sitting in your garage or closet. You also probably wouldn’t have to expert knowledge on how to use them effectively in the first place. Let the professionals deal with that.

How to Choose a Bed Bug Exterminator

So you know why going with an exterminator is a better decision but they can cost a lot, that’s why it’s important to choose the “right” exterminator who’ll get the job done in as few visits as possible. Unfortunately, not all exterminators are created equal. They may not possess the proper knowledge to handle different situations as not all methods work every time so how do you choose?

Research! Research! Research!

Google SearchYour best bet is to research. And by that I mean get as much information on a variety of exterminators in your area and ask a lot of questions. You can even get some recommendations from family, friends, or coworkers. You can verify their claims by doing some simple research online and see if they indeed know what they’re talking about or are just saying stuff to “look smart”.

You can also check their credentials and see if they are indeed licensed pest control operators. Anybody can just post an ad on Craigslist and claim they are professionals and can get rid of your bed bugs so make sure you do your research! You can also ask for references to see whether they do a good job or not and also get a feel for what to expect.

Cheap Does NOT Mean Best!

Bed bugs are a pain and we’d like to get rid of them fast and unfortunately we all don’t have the extra money to shell out thousands of dollars to hire the top professionals. However, don’t cheap out and just go with the cheapest either!

Make sure they are still credible by doing research and seek out some proof of past successes in exterminating bed bugs. They might only be spraying, which might get rid of them for a week, and then having to call them back repeated times for extra treatments which makes the cost add up rather quickly. Of course sometimes it takes multiple treatments to totally get rid of bed bugs but make sure you ask them how long and how many treatments you’ll need.

Treatment Methods

SteamA good bed bug exterminator will use a variety of treatments that may include sprays, powders, steam, vacuuming, and heat. Rarely does treatment work using only one method. And another thing to keep in mind is are the treatments safe. If you have any young children or pets in your home, this can be a big deal. You don’t want exterminators using toxic chemicals that children or pets might touch and get sick from after your bed bugs problems are gone.

Make sure you don’t just hire any exterminator. Make sure they are trained in bed bug extermination because treatment for other insects often don’t work on bed bugs. Even if a company is well established at pest extermination that doesn’t mean that they are experts at getting rid of bed bugs.

What to Expect from a Good Exterminator

A good bed bug exterminator should be professional and courteous. They should listen to all your questions and be able to provide you satisfactory answers. They should also be asking you questions such as whether you have young children or pets because this can affect the treatment method.

Thorough Inspection

Bed Bug InfestationWhen they reach your house, they should do a thorough inspection to make sure that you do indeed have bed bugs and need treatment. Just because you “think” you might have bed bugs you might not, and a good exterminator will be able to inspect and show you proof that there are indeed bed bugs.

A bad exterminator might just go ahead and apply treatment without inspecting so they can charge you for the work done when it didn’t even need to be done in the first place. Because of this, make sure that they actually show you proof of bed bug infestation before they start any treatment.

Educating yourself beforehand on what a potential infestation might look like will be a good idea so they don’t show you some dust and say that that means you have bed bugs. Don’t get tricked!

Treatment Explanation

They should explain what options are available and recommend a treatment plan that suits your situation. They should also explain what they will be doing and name any chemicals they may be using or let you know of any special considerations.

Most of the time they will require you to prep the treatment area before they start treatment. Some things may include bagging up all your clothes, clearing any clutter, and removing any pets from the area.

An explanation of any follow up treatments should be provided. Not all bed bug infestations can be taken care of in one shot and it’s normal to need follow up treatments. But more than 2 follow up treatments may be a red flag.

Costs, Coverage, and Warranties

Costs, Coverages, WarrantiesBefore you agree to any treatment make sure your exterminator explains what exactly is covered, how many treatments there will be, and anything else that would be an additional cost. Make sure this is in WRITING! A costly mistake is hiring someone to do work and then having no proof on what was supposed to be done and how much it would cost. At the end of the day, without physical proof they can just walk away with your money and you wouldn’t be able to do much about it without any proof that they agreed to do what you expected.

You should also get in writing which rooms will be treated, what techniques will be used, and any additional costs that may be associated such as covers or detectors. Also make sure that it is very clear in the quote whether the price covers just the initial treatment or follow up treatments as well. Most people will hire an exterminator based on price and find that the price is reasonable only to find out that the required additional treatments were not included in the plan which made them go out of their expected budget.

Not all exterminators provide warranties but if they do, make sure it states the time frame and the number of additional treatments they will cover with no cost to you. There’s usually some terms and conditions that must be met to qualify under the warranty so make sure those are clearly laid out otherwise the warranty may be void.

Final Thoughts

Like I mentioned before, hiring a professional is your best bet at getting rid of bed bugs. Make sure you do extensive research and have a handful of options to choose from before you settle on a exterminator. They should do a thorough inspection and show you physical proof of an infestation before they even start treatment. It should be clearly written which rooms will be treated, what methods will be used, and what costs are associated.

Sometimes you just can’t afford to hire an exterminator or you may have other reasons not to. Don’t worry, there are some methods you can do at home and some products you can buy to try and treat them yourself.

Read About Other Effective Bed Bug Treatment Methods

Check Out My Recommendations for Bed Bug Sprays and Powders

15 thoughts on “How to Choose a Bed Bug Exterminator

  • This has got to be the best source of information for Bed Bug Control I’ve ever read. I’ve experienced bed bug issues during my travels internationally for 31 years. There wasn’t much known about bed bugs during that time frame. But most of the top hotel chains took very close care of number 1 – Cleanliness which in most cases does the trick. If an issue was brought to their attention it was addressed quickly.
    Now, in other areas of the world this wasn’t the case. So, the major US Company I was employed by would send in a company to clean, disinfect, and go as far as replacing everything that came in contact with bed bugs or other unwanted critters.
    You done an immaculate job in creating this web page and kudos go out to you. Good Luck in all your endeavors.

    • Thank you Gary! I’m glad the company you worked for quickly took care of the problem everywhere you went. I know how annoying they can be.
      Glad you didn’t bring any back home.

    • Thanks David! Unfortunately bed bugs are one of the hardest pests to get rid of. Usually using only one method does not fully eliminate them so the most effective is to use a variety of methods to cover all the bases.
      Hope this info was helpful. Thanks for reading the article!

  • Hi,

    Nice post. I actually have a question – I’ve noticed an increase of lizards in my house.. any suggestions on how to get rid of them? I do have a one year old baby at home so I need to choose products cautiously.

    • Thanks for your comment! Unfortunately I don’t know much about exterminating lizards. However, this article seems pretty interesting as it has a lot of home remedies that are non toxic and safe. Good luck!

  • Wow. That was thorough. I have not had the ‘pleasure’ of having to deal with those little bastards myself but have heard stories. No fun. And yes it is tough taking care of them when there are animals and small children around. thank you for sharing.

    • Yeah, most people don’t realize just how much of a nightmare bed bugs are until they actually get them themselves. I hope you NEVER get them as I wouldn’t even want to wish it on my worst enemy.
      Thanks for checking out my article!

  • Uggh! Bed bugs are disgusting. I do not know why anyone would attempt to do it themselves or to find a cheap exterminator. Chances are the cheaper ones are not really good or they may use cheap and unsafe chemicals. I would not take any chances with bed bugs.

  • Bed bugs have always been something that worries me, and I was curious about how someone would find a company to get rid of them. I really like that you say to find someone that will explain what they will be doing, and what chemicals will be used. It would be nice to know that nothing will affect the things in your house.

    • Thanks Shad! Hiring a professional can be a challenge because you want to make sure they are qualified and have the knowledge to get the job done right. You don’t want to have dozens of treatments and harmful chemicals used especially if you have children or pets. A good professional should be able to explain what they will be doing and make adjustments to your needs.

  • An exterminator that knows how to use a variety of treatments is a great way to ensure the job is done properly. If they know different ways to exterminate the bed bugs, they should be able to find one that will work best with your home and the type of infestation you have. I would imagine that the best way to check what types of treatments the bed bug service offers would be to either call them, or meet them in person, and talk to them about their methods of choice.

  • A friend of mine is scared that they might have bed bugs, but they weren’t sure how to find the right person. I really like that you say to make sure that you get everything in writing. It would be nice to know that you will be able to get a consistent price.

  • I have been waking up with little red bumps all over my body. I am afraid that we might have bed bugs. As we look for an exterminator, we will be sure to ask about warranties and make sure it states the time frame and number of additional treatments, like you explained. Thanks for sharing!

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