When bed bug infestation goes over the roof, hiring an experienced and reliable bed bug exterminator is your only solution.
But hiring a bed bug expert can be a tricky process.
If you don’t know what questions to ask a bed bug exterminator, you’ll end up hiring the wrong professional.
So, to help you in the process of choosing the right bed bug exterminator, we’ve revealed a list of questions that you must ask before hiring one.
In this guide, you’ll find out 8 probing questions to ask a bed bug exterminator.
These are all fail-proof questions.
The questions aren’t usual or generic, like does the exterminator has a license or offering any discounts. Those are important too.
The questions are open-ended.
These questions will make the exterminator reveal critical information about the company and the methods they’ll use to get rid of bed bugs.
On top of it, in this guide you’ll also find out the answers that a reliable bed bug exterminator will give.
Any major deviation from the answers will make you see the red flags in the exterminator.
Questions To Ask A Bed Bug Exterminator
Let’s face it. Bed bug control is expensive.
And bed bugs have a habit of coming back if the treatment isn’t done properly.
Hire an inexperienced or unreliable bed bug exterminator and you set yourself for monetary and sleep loss.
You’ll also need to treat your home for bed bugs often. That’s something that you don’t want.
So, here is the list of questions that you must ask from a bed bug (pest) control company before you hire one.
Does The Bed Bug Controller Have Experience In Getting Rid Of Bed Bugs In Situations Similar To Yours?
It’s the most crucial question, that’s why we’ve put it at the top.
Many bed bug controllers have strength areas in specific kinds of property.
For example, some exterminators are great at removing bed bugs from commercial properties like hotels.
Some are experts in bed bug removal from townhouses, and some are experts in apartments.
But you shouldn’t hire a pest control company with expertise in hotels to treat your home.
The bed bug removal process in a commercial building is different from the removal process in a residential complex.
So, it’s always essential to reveal your home’s living area and the types of furniture you’ve during the conversion process.
It helps the bed bug control company to roughly gauge your home’s situation and come up with a plan.
If you’re living in an apartment, the exterminator should have experience treating apartments or multifamily housing.
Multifamily housing brings its own set of challenges when it comes to bed bug removal.
Even if you do bed bugs treatment for your home, the bed bugs will come back if bed bugs have infested apartments near you.
Reliable bed bug exterminators will involve the multifamily housing manager to convince other dwellers at least for a bed bug inspection.
How Many Bed Bug Removal Jobs Successfully Finished In The Past 6 Months Or Year
There’s no magic number as an answer to this question that will help you decide the bed bug exterminator’s reliability.
There are many factors, like the population of the neighborhood you’re living in, and the weather that decide how many homes per month the pest control company treats for bed bugs.
The thing to look out for is if the bed bug controller has treated homes in and around your locale.
It’ll also help you to do a reference check, which we’ll cover later.
Suppose you live in a mid-size town, and you get an answer that the exterminator treats at least 7-9 homes (similar to your home) per month.
In that case, you can safely assume that the exterminator has good business.
But there’s one thing that you must keep in mind.
If the bed bug controller is quoting you a price without doing your home’s inspection, then things can get a bit dicey.
It’s because no pest controller, especially for pests like termites, roaches, and bed bugs, can quote a rough price without inspecting your home.
The cost of bed bug treatment depends on the degree of bed bug infestation, the area of your home, the number of furniture and soft furnishings that they’ll treat, etc.
There’s no constant rate for bed bug treatment depending on a per square foot basis.
A reputable pest control company will always inspect your home before quoting the bed bug treatment cost.
If you want the bed bug exterminator to come and inspect your home, they’ll also charge you for that.
Beware of bed bug controllers who say “free quotes or free inspection.”
Will There Be Any Bed Bug Specialist In The Extermination Process
Bed bug control needs expertise.
Experienced and skilled bed bug controllers know what kind of treatment to use and understand the overall behavior and biology of bed bugs.
That’s important. Knowing bed bugs’ behavior helps the exterminator zero-in on the bed bugs’ hiding places inside your home.
It makes the treatment much more effective.
If your home needs heat treatment, then the bed bug specialist must know how to use the heat emitting equipment to kill the bed bugs.
But you can’t expect a bunch of bed bug specialists to come to your home during the extermination process.
A bed bug specialist generally supervises a team of 2-3 controllers, whom he directs in executing the extermination process in an average-sized two-bedroom apartment or house.
So, always ask how many people would be in your house. If the answer you get is one or two people, then it should ring your alarm bells.
Also, ask how much time it’ll take to treat your home.
No matter what extermination process they use, it’ll generally take at least four hours to get rid of bed bugs from your house.
But there has to be at least one bed bug specialist and one highly skilled technician in the team of exterminators.
What Extra Services Will The Bed Bug Control Company Provide
Good pest control companies provide a lot of extra services for free or for a low price.
They may provide bed and box spring encasements, dissolvable laundry bags, and even prepare your home for bed bug treatment.
Many pest control companies even disinfect personal items that are not treatable.
If you’ve got an elderly dependent or minor children in your home, then these services are crucial for a successful bed bug treatment.
If they don’t provide these services, they should have at least a detailed prep chart ready to follow.
The bed bug preparation checklist has precise and exact instructions that you need to follow before they come and treat your home.
The typical instructions in the bed bug preparation checklist will contain –
- How should you prepare your home before the treatment?
- What furniture do you need to move out before the bed bug controllers treat your house?
- How long will the treatment process go on?
- How you should remove and store your personal items.
- And what you need to do when the bed bug treatment is over.
Keep an eye on the overall professionalism of the pest control company.
Are they answering your questions politely and clearly?
Are they making an effort to educate you on what they’ll treat your home for bed bugs?
Are they responding to your requests promptly?
What Kind of Bed Bug Treatment The Exterminators Will Use
It’s a question that you’ll ask once the exterminator inspected your home.
Keep in mind that no bed bug exterminator can give you the exact extermination method without checking your home.
Some may give you the different extermination methods they use.
Still, they can conclusively say what methods they’ll use only post-inspection.
Generally, there are two types of bed bug treatments – heat treatment, insecticide treatment, and integrated bed bug control.
Heat treatment is the best and the most effective way of killing bed bugs. But to administer needs experience and heater equipment to heat your home from inside.
It’s best for homes cluttered with heavy furniture or where the infestation level is too severe.
We highly recommend heat treatment if you’ve used other treatment methods in the past and still failed to get rid of bed bugs from your home.
Heat treatment has a 100% success rate.
Insecticide treatment is the spraying of insecticides at the hiding places of bed bugs and in the potential hiding places.
Integrated bed bug control is a blend of both heat treatment and insecticide treatment.
The bed bug exterminator uses a combination of insecticide sprays, insecticide dust, heat, vacuuming, and steam cleaning to remove bed bugs.
Integrated bed bug control is only effective when the bed bug infestation in your home isn’t uniform.
The success of integrated bed bug control depends on the bed bug controller’s knowledge of how the bed bugs are spread across your home.
It also needs a keen sense of possible hiding places of bed bugs.
Does it have a 100% success rate? Not in one session.
There’ll be follow-up visits by the exterminator to monitor the bed bugs in your home after the treatment.
An exterminator won’t recommend integrated bed bug control unless it’s essential.
What Are The Post Treatment Warranties And Follow-Ups
The job of the bed bug exterminator doesn’t finish with the bed bug treatment.
Reliable bed bug control companies provide you a warranty and monitor bed bugs post-treatment by 2-3 follow-up visits to your home.
You must ask the company how many follow-up visits do they provide without extra charge. And how long is the warranty period?
Usual warranty periods range from 30 to 90 days. In contrast, big bed bug control companies can provide more extended warranty periods.
Some companies don’t provide warranty periods till the last bed bug sighting. Some give a warranty just after the first treatment.
So, clearly understand what type of warranty they offer and ask for any warranty documents if they’ve.
During the monitoring period post-treatment, bed bug control companies will install bed bug interceptors in your home.
Some even do a canine inspection by bringing dogs to sniff out any bed bugs left over after the treatment.
A combination of canine inspection and interceptors is helpful because, after treatment, it’s challenging to detect bed bugs by sightings alone.
If the bed bug controller detects any bed bugs, there would be follow-up treatment with insecticide sprays or heat.
Insecticides don’t destroy bed bug eggs, so some areas of the home might need heat treatment.
Bed bug control companies offer both follow-up treatments and warranties at no extra cost.
Do They Subcontract The Treatment Or It’s Their Specialists Who Do The Extermination
To cut costs and increase profit, many bed bug controllers outsource their work to inexperienced individuals.
Subcontracting or outsourcing is fine, but not at the cost of quality and reliability.
Bed bug control is a tough job. Using the machines needed for heat treatment inside the house also requires years of experience.
Many subcontractors don’t have it.
And the only way to find out is to ask if the pest controllers in the company are on their direct payroll or they’ve outsourced to a third party.
You can also check their employee ID cards when they visit your home for inspection.
They’ll have their names written alongside the company’s logo on the employee ID card.
Ask For References And Check Reviews On Sites Like Yelp, Thumbtack, And Angie’s List
Nothing speaks better than reviews and references.
And there’s no point in shying away from asking for some references from the bed bug control company that you think you’d hire.
Ask for references of those clients whose projects are similar to yours. They had the same living area and the same type of housing.
Check reviews online on sites like Yelp, Thumbtack, and Angie’s List, as well as ask people from your city forums on the web.
Generally, a pest control company with a good track record doesn’t shy away from sharing their past clients’ details for reference check purposes.
If you see some negative reviews or if you receive slightly negative but ignorable feedback, don’t reject the company.
It’s because sometimes reviews and references can be subjective.
Ask the company rep or the exterminators what they’ve done to address the bed bug problem that their past clients faced.
You’ll get convincing answers.
Now you’ve got a list of 8 foolproof questions that you must ask a bed bug exterminator before hiring one.
To summarize, here are the questions –
- Does the bed bug controller have experience in getting rid of bed bugs in situations similar to yours?
- How many bed bug removal jobs they’ve done in the past six months or a year.
- How many skilled bed bug specialists will come to treat your home.
- What extra services will the bed bug control company provide
- What kind of Bed Bug Treatment The Exterminators Will Use
- What are the warranties and follow-ups
- Do They Subcontract The Treatment Or It’s Their Specialists Who Do The Extermination
- Ask For References And Check Reviews On Sites Like Yelp, Thumbtack, And Angie’s List
But will the exterminator get rid of bed bugs for sure? To know more about it, read our post here.