Managing pest infestations can be costly. Common pest infestations include ants, bees, bed bugs, cockroaches, fleas, mice, termites, and wasps. These can be hard to eliminate once the pests have multiplied and caused harm to your health, home, or both. If you’ve already tried DIY methods and have discovered strong levels of resistance and resilience in your pests, it might be time to call in the professionals.
If that’s the case, you’ll find that costs vary. They can range from affordable to extremely expensive. The reasons for this will depend on the location, the type of pest, the treatment method, and the time frame involved.
That’s why in this article, we’ve decided to shed light on how much you should expect to pay for pest control. We’ve organized it by treatment method and pest types so that you know what to expect beforehand. We’ll also share information on how to prevent a reoccurring pest problem.
Extermination Costs by Pest Type and Treatment Method
Before we begin, you need to look at how the exterminator is going to treat your problem. The recommended methods will depend on the environment, the type of insect, and the extent of the infestation. An exterminator’s cost estimate may include:
- Inspections: A pre-inspection will confirm the type of pest and treatment. Post-treatment inspections confirm the effectiveness of the treatment and the need for reapplication. You can be charged for inspections separately or find them included in the overall cost.
- Treatments: Both the number of rooms and total area (in sq. ft. or sq. m) influence calculations. Treatment methods may include chemical fumigation, heat treatment, steam treatment, pesticides, insecticides, baits, traps, and/or structural fumigation.
- Labor Costs: The rates charged for labor can be hourly, per room, or for the whole house.
Now, let’s take a closer look at each pest, one at a time, and how much you can expect to pay for professional treatment, on average.
Most types of ants are relatively harmless, but all ants can bite and many types can sting. Some people have adverse reactions to ant venom. Ants can contaminate food and carpenter ants can damage wood, even causing structural damage.
To avoid ant infestations, locate all entry points into your home and seal any cracks. Keep your kitchen surfaces clean and all food in sealed containers. If you locate large ant mounds in your yard, have the nests destroyed.
Average Cost: $250
Range: $150 (for one treatment) to $1500 (for multiple treatments)
Methods: Dust application (for mounds), bait, and spray (chemical or non-toxic)
Fleas are harmful to humans and pets. Flea bites can cause allergic reactions and can spread serious diseases. These pests multiply rapidly and can be found in furniture and furnishings.
The best method of flea prevention starts with your pets. Regular flea treatments are necessary, especially in warmer months.
Average Cost: $270
Range: $135 to $430 (for treatment of animals, rooms, furnishings, and follow-ups)
Methods: Shampoos and flea treatments (for animals); vacuuming and environmental insecticides (for homes)
Cockroaches spread many types of bacterial diseases. They also release allergens into the environment that can trigger asthma. Their feces contain small parasites.
Roaches can find their own way into your home, so ensure the seals around your windows and door frames are intact. They can also come in via luggage, firewood, or plants. Check these likely objects for roaches before you bring them inside. Keep all food in covered containers.
Average Cost: $300
Range: $100 (for one treatment) to $1600 (for multiple treatments/methods)
Methods: Bait, foggers, gel, traps, bombs, and dust
Mice and rats can cause a lot of damage to your health since the pathogens and bacteria they carry can cause serious illnesses and diseases. In your home, they can chew through electrical wiring and damage the walls.
Rodents like to build their nests in warm, dark places and search for exposed food. So, if you have small holes in your exterior walls that a mouse could fit through, fill them in. Keep tree branches away from the exterior of your home – rodents can use them to gain entry.
Average Cost: $200 to $325
Range: $100 to $700
Methods: Traps and bait stations
Wasps and bees are easily confused, but there are differences between these two stinging insects. The effects of wasp stings range from a painful sting to swelling or even death. The worst part is that they can sting more than once. Wasps are beneficial to nature, but you don’t want them around where you live.
Wasps can build nests in the ground or hanging nests. They can even settle in the crevices of your home. So, seal exterior cracks, ensuring air conditioning vents are clear. Make sure your garbage containers and compost bins have secure lids.
Average Cost: $325 to $450
Range: $100 (in an easily accessible area) to $1000 (if carpentry work is needed)
Method: Chemical sprays
A bee nest close to your home can be problematic. At the very least, bee stings can be painful while at their worst, to someone with allergies, they can be fatal.
Bees can establish themselves along a fence line, under eaves, in chimneys, and on decks or balconies. If you spot a swarm looking for somewhere to set up in spring or early summer, reach out to a beekeeper for advice to stop them before they settle in.
Removing bee nests is preferable to extermination since bees are vital natural pollinators.
Average Cost: $450 (for removal) or $250 to $350 (for extermination)
Range: $150 (in an easily accessible area) to $1170 (if carpentry work is needed)
Methods: Smoke (to calm bees before removal); chemical sprays (for extermination)
Termites can eat their way through the wood in your walls, foundation, and furniture. This damage can be devastating.
Termites love moist, damp environments. So, ensure that your foundation and attic are dry and have appropriate ventilation. Remove fallen leaves and wood debris from your yard. Keep your foundation clear of mulch, plants, and shrubs. Clean your gutters and drains regularly. You can also use baited monitoring stations to detect the presence of termites.
Average Cost: $1300 to $1500
Range: $430 to $3500
Methods: Insecticides, baits, heat treatment, and fumigation
As bed bugs take blood from their victims, they inject saliva. Some people don’t have a reaction to bed bug bites, but many do. This can result in skin irritation, red spots, swelling, or even an allergic reaction.
Bed bugs usually enter homes as hitchhikers. They mainly colonize in your mattresses, bedding, and bed frames. So, if you’re traveling, keep your luggage away from the bed and off the floor. When you get home, wash all your clothing in hot water. If buying a secondhand bed or secondhand furniture, check for signs of contamination. Little rust-colored spots on fabrics can be a good sign that bed bugs might be hiding nearby.
Average Cost: $1000 to $2500
Range: $300 (for small infestations) to $55,000 (for full house and structural treatment)
Methods: Fumigation, heat treatment, steam treatment, and pesticides
Key Points to Keep in Mind
Identify Your Pest
The mild skin reactions people have to bed bugs and flea bites may be similar, but the extermination costs for each are very different. Likewise, both termites and carpenter ants eat wood, but the difference in extermination price is huge. So, you need to identify your pest to know what price to expect.
Pest Control Costs Vary, So Get a Quote
At the lower end, it costs an average of $250 to treat an ant infestation. At the upper end, you’re looking at around $2500 for a bed bug infestation. Since costs vary greatly depending on your location and the extent of the problem, it’s helpful to look at in-depth and specific pest control estimates before hiring an exterminator. Choosing the right professional is key, though.
Prevention Is Better Than Cure
You can also take a risk management approach to pest control. This can save you thousands! Whenever possible, eliminate pests early. Even small infestations can quickly grow out of control. So, you can look at doing your own extermination preparation tasks to save a bit of money. Also, you can manage potential re-infestations through follow-up visits, pest monitoring methods, or even by investing in preventative do-it-yourself pest control methods.