If you take your time to find an exterminator who specializes in bed bugs, you’ll only have to pay once.
That said, whole-house gas and heat treatment are only available through a professional. For some situations, like multi-unit houses, whole-house treatment makes the most sense.
We’ve put together the big questions you need to ask. You’ll get right to the answers that will help you choose a fantastic company.
6 Questions to Ask an Exterminator
We go over the most popular professional treatment options here. Let your operator know what treatment you prefer to make price comparison easy.
Look into at least 3 different companies. These 6 questions will help you choose the best of the bunch.
As when paying for anything, under-priced options can be too good to be true. The difference will come in the shape of poor service or a lack of experience.
Overpriced options may not even want to deal with bed bugs unless they are overpaid. They may not have the equipment or experience needed for the job.
Look for pest control operators certified by organizations like the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). They will have the latest knowledge and education on bed bug management.
Make it clear that you expect to have your entire home treated. You can treat beds and furniture yourself. You are paying to have an exhaustive treatment done
Exterminator Picker Printable
Try the debedbug ebook for full resolution versions of all our printables.
It includes sheets that will make the process clear and straightforward every step of the way.
Professional Treatment Options
When hiring a professional, you can look for several offerings that ensure your money is well-spent and the problem is taken care of.
Whole-house heat treatment, gas treatment/fumigation, and industrial pesticides are only available through professionals.
Those methods are potentially hazardous and completely off-limits to non-professionals.
Here are the options that your exterminator will most likely offer to you.
Large-Scale Heat Treatment
Heat treatment is a popular option at all stages of infestation.
Whole house heat treatment is only possible with the right tools. Your pest control operator will use an industrial heater and many well-placed sensors. This helps them guarantee that heat has saturated your home and leaves nowhere for bed bugs to hide.
This requires industrial equipment. This is why DIY whole-house heat treatment either doesn’t work at all or literally goes up in flames.
It is impossible to hit those temperatures quickly and safely using products available to consumers. Hiring a professional gets you industrial equipment and someone who knows how to use it.
The use of good old pesticides remains widespread in the pest control industry.
Several common pesticides are turning out to no longer be effective.
Studies have found genetic resistance to pesticides like DDT and pyrethroids in many bed bug populations.
Professionals use the same products for the most part.
Do a little research so you don’t waste money on ineffective treatments.
If you do sign up for spray treatment, keep in mind that residue will be around for a good while.
Spraying sensitive areas like the bed, furniture, and other places that touch skin isn’t ideal. Health concerns about pesticides harming both people and pets are very real.
Your operator should explain the process of returning to your home after spraying.
Bed Bug Fumigation
Fumigation is one of our favorite treatment options today.
Vikane is used to treat entire homes, apartment buildings, and even vehicles.
Bed bugs have not yet become resistant to Vikane, unlike other chemicals.
This makes Vikane treatment much more convenient than traditional fumigation.
Small-Scale Gas Treatment
This method can be a compromise between getting an exterminator and doing it yourself.
This ensures that you won’t be bringing any sneaky bed bugs along to your next home hidden in the sofa.
Studies haven’t found side effects of Vikane treatment as long as it has time to dissipate.
The stuff works and is cost-effective thanks to low dosage requirements.
As with your other options, discuss Vikane with your exterminator before deciding.
Other Treatment Options
This includes tools available to regular consumers.
Professional steamers offer extreme levels of pressure and heat. This helps them penetrate furniture and baseboards better than budget options.
These days you can get a powerful steamer for a reasonable amount of money. It’s possible to treat your infestation naturally without breaking the bank.
A good PCO is worth the money. They have the experience and knowledge to make each tool as effective as possible.
Preparing for Bed Bug Treatment
This will be part of the contract.
If you choose to hire a professional, there are a few preparations your operator may ask you to make.
Most operators have preparation guidelines that change depending on the method of treatment they will be using.
They will provide instructions once you’ve had an inspection. It is very important to complete the steps they give you.
It’s rarely a bad idea to sanitize bed linens and clothes in a dryer. This is as simple as running them in your dryer on high for at least 30 minutes. This will do the job as long as you haven’t overstuffed it.
For larger items like cushions and chairs, discuss options with your PCO if you don’t have a bed bug heater.
In the case of advanced infestations, preparations won’t do much. Bugs spread across a large area are difficult to deal with, even for professionals.
Your PCO will take the reins, it’s best to trust them.
You can suggest something like the Nightwatch bed bug trap if it’s an option.
Keeping Bed Bugs Out For Good
Keeping these in mind will greatly reduce your chances of facing another infestation.
Knowing what to look for and what to avoid protects you from spending more than you have to.
Save yourself from overpaying or buying into a deal that was too good to be true. It’s worth your time to go through the vetting process.