Bed Bug Exterminators
Choosing an exterminator
Bed Bug SOS and any other bed bug experts will always recommend you contact your local qualified pest control specialists. A good exterminator will provide an excellent service when it comes to eliminating the majority of bed bugs. However, they cannot guarantee complete extermination because bed bugs have:
- Developed a resistance to pesticides
- Have a knack for hiding in the most inconspicuous places in your home
- Can survive up to a year without a blood meal
As you begin searching for an exterminator, you will notice several different extermination companies in your area offering different exterminating techniques. This is because there is not one solution that guarantees full extermination. Reality is that a good and affordable bed bug exterminator is hard to find. For that reason you will need to do a little homework before choosing.
Be cautious; cost, communication, experience and guarantees are some of the factors you must take into consideration. To help you, we have prepared a checklist for choosing your pest control specialist. We know you're eager to get this problem resolved now, but take the necessary time to verify who is coming into your home. Read below for details on every point on the checklist.
Pest control services vary in cost, treatment methods and experience. We suggest you get estimates from 3 different exterminators, this will give you a feel of market prices and a general idea of services offered.
Exterminators vary in cost structure. Some companies like to charge inspections fees, others don't. Be ready to pay more if they offer canine inspections. Ask for the cost of the first treatment and follow-up treatments. Most companies will provide and estimates by phone or upon inspection.
Check if the company offers guarantees, this means if bed bugs reappear, they will treat your home free of charge or at a reduced rate. Some pest control specialists won’t offer guarantees due to the level of difficulty of removing bed bugs, especially if you live in a multi-unit building. Inquire about the length of the guarantee or if they offer extended guarantees.
Experience treating bed bugs.
Make sure you’re exterminator knows how to treat bed bugs, the resurgence of bed bugs equals an increase in exterminators claiming they know how to treat bed bugs, but not all exterminator have the same level of experience. Bed bugs are not like ants or roaches which require basic treatment, they require considerable experience and knowledge to eradicate. You should have a good idea of the level of expertise by following the exterminator checklist and using your judgement.
How long will it take to remove bed bugs?
For most infestations, one treatment will not suffice. The average dwelling requires 2-4 treatments depending on severity of problem and continuous monitoring, prevention and detection.
To reduce visits from the exterminator we offer a range of personal prevention and monitoring tools to detect bed bugs in your home. Using our bed bug monitors and traps can save you lots of time, money and anxiety.
Are they certified and/or licensed to operate?
Although there are many effective exterminators who do not have certification, ask the question anyways to see their response. A confident and direct response can be a good indicator. Smaller independent exterminator keep costs low by avoiding licenses or certification, if this is the case make sure they have a good reputation treating bed bugs. Certification and licenses vary from one province to another.
What treatment method(s) are used?
Ask about the treatment method(s) used. Some use pesticides, heat treatment, steam clean or a combination of all three. It is important to know what they are doing in your home prior to extermination.
Ask for a treatment plan.
Asking for a treatment plan will help validate if the exterminator has experience with bed bugs or not. A good exterminator will give you detailed instructions on how to prepare for treatment and their plan of attack. Be cautious if they don't!
How safe are treatments?
Some extermination companies use pesticides while others do their best to reduce environmental impact. In any case, it is a good idea to verify if their treatments pose health risks to children, pets and environment. If they promote the safe use of pesticides, ask for the name of the pesticide and Google it.
Do they rotate chemicals (if they use chemicals)?
Because bed bugs have developed a resistance to pesticides, it is common that exterminators rotate between chemicals to continuously shock the bed bugs and eliminate those who had resistance to previous chemicals.
Will they treat my whole house?
Depending of the severity of the problem, some exterminator will judge that only selected rooms need treatment. In any case, it is essential to make this clear from the beginning to avoid confusion and conflict with pricing.
Do they check neighbouring apartments?
Will all surrounding units be inspected by the exterminator? (this only applies to multi-residential areas)
Do they have liability insurance?
In the case where the exterminators break something valuable or a technician hurts himself or herself in your home, you want to make sure they have it covered through insurance. If they don't, make sure you put away all fragile and/or valuable goods in a safe place. Remember, these guys are strangers to you.
What is the success rate?
This will be a good indicator of experience.
Ask for referrals
The best way to validate exterminators’ effectiveness and reliability is to ask for a referral. Make sure they give you a referral from someone who has had bed bugs, not other pests. You can also use sites like angieslist.com to find reputable exterminators.
Check with the Better Business Bureau
Perform a research of the company on the Better Business Bureau website and check if anything pops up.
Get a written quote
To avoid payment conflict, have the company give you a written quote beforehand. Either ask them to send you an e-mail or have a written quote by the exterminator after preliminary inspection.