The typical cost for bed bug treatment in homes is $1,000 to $2,500
Bed bugs are a nightmare, but a qualified professional can help you kick them out of your home for good. The cost of bed bug extermination varies based on your infestation level. The average cost of professional treatment for bed bugs is $1,000 to $2,500. However, the cost can range widely from $300 to$5,000 based on factors like location, severity, and your preferred extermination method.
Bed Bug Treatment Cost Breakdown
While bed bugs are definitely a common problem, no two infestations are quite the same, so your cost will depend on a few factors:
Labor and materials: You'll pay more for an intense infestation that has spread to several rooms or the entire house.
Method used: You'll pay more for non-chemical methods like steam or heat.
Number of visits needed: Some infestations require two to three visits.
Infestation severity: Severe infestations take more time and resources to eradicate, which will drive up costs.
Size of infested space: More rooms and square footage to cover calls for more time and supplies, increasing your cost.
Location: Factors such as local labor rates, supply prices, and general cost of living can all affect your final bill.
Furniture: Many pros will charge an additional fee for each piece of furniture that needs to get treated.
Ongoing pest management: It might be necessary to contract a recurring extermination service if you live in a highly-populated area, which can cost between $100 to $300 per quarterly visit.
Bed Bug Treatment Cost by Treatment Method
Bed bug treatment costs vary based on the method you choose. If you have a heavy infestation that's down to your foundation, a whole-house option like fumigation may be the only choice.
If you'd like a gentler option because you'd prefer not to leave your home for a long period, consider heat and steam treatments. Steam and heat are both chemical-free techniques for getting rid of bed bugs that require less preparation than chemical options like fumigation. Keep them in mind if you don't want to evacuate your home with children or pets.
A local pest control company will give you an estimate based on the method that works for your level of infestation and home type.
Here's a look at what you'll expect to pay for each bed bug extermination method:
|Heat treatment/thermal||$1–$3 per square foot with an average cost of $2,000–$4,000 per project|
|Fumigation||$4-$7.50 per square foot with an average cost of $5,000–$50,000 per project|
|Chemicals and pesticides||$100–$500 per room|
|Steam||$250–$1,000 per room|
|Sniffing dogs||$300–$600 for the average home|
|Freezing||$500–$700 per room|
Fumigation might be the only option if you have a heavy infestation that won't respond to other bed bug treatments. Fumigation is also the best way to go if your home's structure and foundation need treatment.
Thermal treatments are chemical-free, which makes them ideal for homes with children or those with allergies or other sensitivities. They’re also the most affordable treatment option available.
However, this non-chemical bed bug treatment means there is no long-term way to handle any surviving eggs or insects. For this reason, many professionals will do heat treatments and follow up with chemicals to prevent the infestation from coming back.
Chemicals and Pesticides
Chemicals and pesticides are cost-effective and typically successful, but they are not without their risks. Unfortunately, there is a chance that the entire colony won’t get eliminated, and treatment may require repeated sessions. A trained professional will ensure that these chemicals are applied safely and effectively.
Bed bugs carry a distinct, musty odor with a berry-like sweetness. Trained dogs can sniff the smell out, helping to pinpoint areas of infestation. This method is especially popular for hotels and other hospitality businesses. If a dog smells something suspicious, a trained human will search for physical proof prior to administering further treatment.
Similar to heat treatment, steam uses high temperatures to kill off bed bugs and their eggs. However, steam has the added benefit of penetrating deep into fabrics and furniture, enabling a more targeted attack. It’s in the mid-range in terms of cost, but it’s highly effective and won’t damage furniture and upholstery.
Freezing is another effective chemical-free method of bed bug treatment. While some freezing strategies do actually involve putting your invested items in a freezer (ideally not one with your favorite frozen pizzas in it, too), the professional method involves pros using carbon dioxide crystals to freeze the bugs in their tracks. It typically costs more than steam or heat treatment, but it works well in spaces that are vulnerable to heat damage.
Bed bug bombs, or foggers, are another common treatment people use to try and rid these pests from their homes. While they can be quick-acting, many pros caution against using them because they can’t infiltrate the cracks where bed bugs hide.
How Much Does It Cost to Treat Bed Bugs Per Room?
The average cost for bed bug extermination per room is $200 to $400. Here's a look at expected costs per visit:
|Studio or 1-bedroom apartment||$300–$900|
|2-bedroom or 3-bedroom home||$400–$1,200|
|3-4+ bedroom whole house||$800–$2,500|
The average cost for bed bug extermination per square foot is $4 to $7.50, but again this varies by infestation size.
Cost by Infestation
A minor bed bug infestation typically goes for about $200 to $300 per room. More severe infestations can cost $300 to $400 or more per room or between $4,000 and $6,000 for whole-home treatment.
Frequency of Visits Costs
On average, it can take two to four treatments to eliminate bed bugs completely, but again, it can vary depending on your specific infestation. It’s important to go through the recommended amount of treatments so you can banish these unwelcome houseguests for good.
Some severe infestations require multiple regular visits—pros may recommend quarterly treatments for $1,800 to $2,500 a year, or monthly treatments for $5,000 to $7,500 a year. For severe cases, semi-monthly treatments can cost $5,500 to $8,500 a year.
Additional Bed Bugs Costs
For repeated infestations or preventative maintenance, regular visual inspections go for $65 to $200. Many pest control services will also offer free visual inspections as well. More in-depth inspections may employ trained dogs to sniff out bed bugs, costing between $300 and $600 for the average home.
While it’s a good idea to address a potential infestation ASAP, an emergency call for immediate treatment may cost an additional $200 to $500. Most pros won’t make homeowners wait more than a few days, but either way, vacating the room or even the home until service providers arrive will save money on your bill.
In addition to a per room charge, some providers may charge a flat rate for every piece of affected furniture.
How Much Does It Cost to Treat Bed Bugs Yourself?
DIY bed bug extermination methods can cost less than $100 and include “fogger bombs” and bed bug treatment kits. You can also consider purchasing a steamer for a few hundred dollars if you prefer to avoid fumigation chemicals. All of these should be used with caution and ideally after talking to a professional.
That said, calling in a pro to exterminate bed bugs is the much wiser route. Exterminating bed bugs on your own requires lots of planning, preparation, and research, and you can't always be sure that you've chosen the right method to kick them out for good based on your infestation and home type.
Plus, you may end up spending more time and money in the long run if you don’t catch every bug because, with every passing day, the infestation can grow. It’s best to leave this one to the pros so you have a good night without any bed bug bites.
FAQs About Bed Bug Treatment
How do I know if I have bed bugs?
If you suspect you’re dealing with a bed bug infestation, here’s what to look out for:
Bed bug bites that are small and red, typically occurring in clusters and causing a burning itch
Blood stains on the sheets
Dark or rust-colored spots on your mattress, or wherever bed bugs are hiding
A sweet, musty, berry-like odor
Bugs that look like bed bugs, with brown or reddish-brown bodies that are oval-shaped and about 1/4 inch long.
How do I get rid of bed bugs?
Here are the steps to getting rid of bed bugs:
Get your home evaluated to determine infestation size
Follow your exterminator's advice to contain the infestation
Discuss the right extermination method
Make plans to evacuate your home during treatment if necessary
Return to a bug-free home
How long does it take to get rid of bed bugs?
The answer varies. Some infestations may get taken care of in one treatment, while others may require two to four in a row, or even monthly or semi-monthly visits over the course of a year.
How can I save on bed bug treatment costs?
Minor infestations that are caught early are more cost-effective to treat, so it’s important to stay on the lookout for the telltale signs. If professional treatment isn’t in the budget (though again, it really is the best route!), you can also try DIY bed bug treatments such as protective covers or bed bug interceptors. There’s also the option of throwing away all affected items, provided the cost of replacing them doesn’t surpass what you’d pay for treatment.
How do I prevent bed bugs?
Bed bugs happen, even in the cleanest homes. While there’s no foolproof bed bug prevention plan, here’s how to avoid inviting them in:
Inspect beds during travel and avoid leaving clothing or luggage on beds.
Avoid secondhand furniture if possible, but be sure to inspect any items that you do bring into your home.
Wash secondhand clothing and linens immediately.
Use a protective cover on your mattress.
Vacuum and wash your linens regularly.
Perform regular furniture inspections.
Have a pro regularly inspect your home.