Having pests in your home can range from simply annoying to downright dangerous, depending on the situation and the pest. Thats why pest control services are available--to help you remove the pest or pests that have taken up residence in your home. There are a lot of costs associated with pest control, which can be influenced by the type of pest, where its located, and what steps are needed to get the situation under control.
The average one-time pest control visit to assess the situation and remove the pest or apply some type of pesticide typically ranges from $350-$1,000, with most homeowners paying around $675.
There are a lot of different factors that influence the ultimate cost that youll pay for pest removal. The first factor is the type of pest. Pests can range from ants to raccoons, and each type of pest will have its own method of dealing with the issue and its own set of cost factors.
The next issue is where the pests are located. Pests that are in easy-to-reach areas, or that dont need invasive techniques to deal with the problem tend to be less expensive to deal with than pests that are located inside walls or crawl spaces where the worker may need to cut or otherwise damage the property to remove the pest. The latter type of project means that there are added repair costs. Similarly, if the pests have done damage to your home (like with termites, wasps, or rodents), you may find that you have additional repair costs after the pests are removed.
The type of removal or eradication of the pests can also play a role in how much the final costs are. Eco-friendly and humane services may have different costs than more conventional methods. Likewise, if the problem requires repeat visits, your costs will be higher than if the problem can be handled in a single visit.
Finally, prevention may also come into play. Sometimes repairs need to be made to stop pests from entering again or monthly visits may be needed to spray and keep the pests away. All of these factors mean that each pest problem has a unique set of costs.
Depending on the type of pest, its location, and your personal preferences, your pest control company may use one or more methods of dealing with the pest. Each of these can have different costs and different levels1 of effectiveness.
Hygienic pest control is something thats usually started by the homeowner. It involves removing whatever it is thats attracting the pests, so your home isnt as welcoming. This can mean giving it a deep clean, removing old food, and cleaning up water from things like burst or leaking pipes. It may also entail making any repairs that can keep these types of things from recurring. If you are unable to clean well enough, some pest control companies offer hygienic control to clean those areas for you.
This method is not as effective as others for some pests, for example, it wont help with raccoons in your attic or wasps, but it can help with problems such as ants.
Biological pest control isnt something youll typically have done in your home, but its good for gardens and outdoor spaces. Rather than using chemicals or traps, biological pest control relies on having an introduced predator take out your pest. For example, if you have pests in your garden eating your plants, then an insect that eats those pests, but not your plants may be introduced. This is a good method for some types of outdoor pests, but wont work for interior issues.
Chemical pest control is one of the most common methods of eradicating most pests. It involves using some type of chemical or poison to kill the pests and help deter them from returning. Chemicals may be organic or not, depending on your preferences and whats offered by the company. They may be sprayed or distributed in powder form, and they may or may not require you to leave your home while they are applied. Some chemical treatments are not safe for children or pets, while others may pose no harm. If you choose chemical methods, you should question the pest control company carefully to find out the best method for your home.
Physical pest control is usually for animals or for removing large nests, such as bee or wasp nests. This may include traps or the pest control worker needing to get close to the animals or nest to grab and physically trap them. This method may also include relocation, where the animal or pest is taken to a new location and released. This method works well for animals, but isnt always an answer to insects, as it may be impossible to trap and remove very small pests.
If you have a house-wide issue that is difficult to get under control, such as termites or bed bugs, fumigation may be the right choice. This process is generally more expensive and is often considered a last resort, after other methods have failed or for very serious infestations. During a fumigation, the home is sealed off and a chemical mist or spray is deployed to the entire property at once. The home is left to sit for a time, then aired out before you can return. Because this is so invasive and difficult on the homeowner, who must vacate the home until the process is over, its generally not considered the first step unless absolutely necessary.
Heat treatment may sometimes be used in place of fumigation for dealing with tough infestations such as bedbugs. Your home is sealed and superheated, but once its done you can re-enter immediately. Its good for bed bugs and other, similar pests in all stages2 of development, but it can be expensive.
A pest can be defined as any animal or insect that you do not want in your home or on your property. Therefore, there can be dozens of different types of pests that you may need to deal with.
Some of the most common pests fall into the category of insects and bugs. Because theyre small, you often dont notice signs of these pests until you have a larger infestation.
There are numerous species of ants that may invade your home. Most are harmless, but a few, such as carpenter ants, may harm your property, while fire ants can have painful bites. If you find them indoors, they are likely outdoors as well, and you may need ongoing treatment or at least a two-phase treatment to thoroughly deal with the problem.
Bed bugs are amongst the most annoying and difficult-to-treat pests. They can live in your furniture, the cracks of your baseboards, and in your bedding. They dont spread disease, but their bites can be itchy, which can lead to secondary infections. You will need to have a whole-house treatment done and, depending on the level of infestation, you may need more than one treatment.
If there are bees in your home, they are more likely to harm your house than you. Bees may damage wood or build nests in inconvenient places. The normal method of dealing with them is to remove and relocate the nest. They can be found in or around your property.
Carpet beetles are fairly harmless to humans and typically exist outdoors, as they prefer to eat pollen. However, if they find their way inside, they will eat your clothing and furnishings instead. If you have an infestation, chemical treatments are the best way to eradicate them. Often one visit is enough, but it may require several if the problem is bad.
Its very rare to have a centipede infestation in your home, as these insects are usually solitary. There are many different kinds of centipedes, but only one that usually comes into your home. Good hygiene is the key to keeping centipedes away, but if you think you have a small infestation, chemical sprays can also be used to kill them.
Dust mites3 are microscopic insects that are present in dust - mostly human skin cells, and other biological debris. The mites3 eat the dust, so there is often a steady supply of food for them. They can be a serious problem for those who have allergies or respiratory ailments. Deep cleaning and using air filters can help cut down on dust mites, but some chemical sprays may also be useful at keeping them away from certain areas. Multiple visits are often necessary to deal with this problem.
Earwigs or pincher bugs are most commonly found outside, but they may occasionally make their way in if its very hot or cold out. If you have a lot of earwigs in your yard, then spraying your yards perimeter and the perimeter of your home with chemicals can help cut down on the population and keep them from entering your home.
Fleas can be a serious problem in the home. There are more than 2,000 different types, and many of them can spread diseases. Treatment usually involves not only cleaning and spraying the home, but also any family pets, and usually also requires at least one follow up visit.
Ladybugs are usually fairly harmless to people and are considered beneficial because they eat other insects. However, some species may also eat squash and other garden vegetables, and they may find their way indoors where they emit a smell that attracts others so you will have a small infestation. These infestations usually die out on their own, as the ladybugs dont typically reproduce indoors. Thorough cleaning, particularly after you spot the first few, can help you manage the problem.
Lice is a common problem in families with school-age children. The lice spread from person to person, and they may exist on your head, body, or in your clothing in both larval and adult stages2. Lice generally dont need professional treatment; over-the-counter treatments can help remove them from the head while washing your body and belongings will get rid of the rest.
Millipedes are considered beneficial insects, helping to break down debris and soil. They are generally harmless, although some people may have an allergic reaction if they come in contact with them. Most millipedes are found outdoors, but if they get in your home, good hygiene practices and some chemical sprays can help eradicate them. Usually a single visit is enough.
Mosquitoes are more commonly a problem outside of the home, in and around your yard. Theyre normally dealt with either by spraying or by installing a misting system that can provide more continuous coverage. If you choose to spray, you will need to have follow-up visits every few weeks, as the lifecycle of the mosquito is only 21 days long.
Most moths typically stay outside and are harmless to people. Occasionally, however, they may make their way indoors, where an infestation can occur. Moths can eat clothing, and particularly natural fibers like wool, so they need to be dealt with quickly to avoid damage. Chemical sprays may work for small infestations, but large ones will likely need fumigation.
Pillbugs, or roly-poly bugs, are often found outdoors. They dont usually pose a problem, unless they overrun an area, where they like to eat debris. One female may lay up to 30 or 40 eggs at a time, and they can live for up to 3 years, so if they are in a confined space they will multiply quickly. Dealing with them usually involves removing their food source, such as mulch4 or other debris, from your yard.
Roaches can be a serious problem that can carry parasites and transmit diseases. They are most common in damp areas and in areas where there is food. It may take several visits to fully eradicate the infestation, and you will likely need some sealing or prevention techniques to keep them from returning.
If you live in the Southwest, then you may have encountered scorpions before. There are more than 1,400 different types of scorpions, and 25 of them may be fatal to humans. They are usually found outdoors but can enter the home as well. They eat other insects, so keeping your home free of other pests will help keep it free of scorpions as well. Good hygiene and chemical deterrents are crucial to keeping scorpions away.
Silverfish dont pose any harm to people or pets, but they can do serious damage to your property. They are frequently found in damp areas like basements or bathrooms, but can also be found inside of cabinets and near food sources and books. Depending on the size of the infestation, you may need multiple treatments to eradicate them.
Spiders are typically found outdoors but may make their way inside over time. Most types of spiders are harmless, but there are some that are venomous, and others whose bites can be painful. Spiders are usually eradicated by spraying the perimeter of your home with chemicals, and repeat visits may be necessary.
Termites can pose a serious problem for your home. There are six different types of termites, and each may need a different level1 of treatment, depending on how big the infestation is or how much damage theyve done. You may find that there needs to be serious repair work after youve eradicated the insects.
Ticks are a serious issue in many peoples yards. There are many different types of ticks, and a lot of them are responsible for spreading tick-borne illnesses through their bites. Ticks can often be controlled through a variety of methods, including clearing out brush and tall grass, using sprays or chemicals, and sometimes introducing other animals (like opossum) that will eat the ticks in the area.
You may need to have a wasp nest removed from the interior or exterior of your property. Wasps can be a serious problem for those who are allergic to their stings, and even in those who are not allergic stings can cause redness or swelling as well as pain. There are more than 30,000 different types of wasps, although the type that you may find in or around your home may be limited by your area. Wasp nest removal is generally done in one step, but you may require repairs once its done.
Weevils5 are small insects that have a very fast life cycle. They can be seen as what looks like grains of rice or brown insects with wings. You need to act quickly with weevils5 to eliminate an infestation, starting with removing food and deep cleaning the area to stop the cycle. If the space is clean enough, then they will not return, but if you are unable to clean deeply enough, chemicals may be used.
In addition to insects, rodents are also a common issue in many homes, regardless of where your home is located.
Mice can spread a lot of very serious diseases, which is why its important to deal with a mouse infestation as soon as possible. This may include a variety of different techniques, from trapping to chemicals, to prevention and deep cleaning. There are many different types of mice that may infest a home as well, and methods vary depending on type.
Rats spread many of the same diseases as mice and have many of the same types of pest control, such as trapping and chemicals. Because they are larger, things like traps may be more costly, and you may need more than one session in order to ensure that they are completely eradicated.
Depending on where your home is located, you could also find that there are other pests such as animals or wildlife that could infiltrate your home.
While bats themselves are rarely a health hazard, their excrement (called guano6) may spread diseases or cause respiratory distress. The most common way of dealing with bats involves allowing them to leave on their own, then sealing the entrance so they cant return. If this isnt possible, then chemicals and repeat visits may be required.
There are many different types of birds that may infest a home. Birds, their feathers, their eggs, and their droppings can all cause health problems, including spreading various diseases. Birds are usually dealt with through trapping and nest removal, as well as relocation, followed by a thorough cleaning of the area. Steps do need to be taken to seal their entrance as well, otherwise they may return.
There are also several different types of foxes that may infest a home, usually having their kits there within a two month period. Foxes can be responsible for health risks such as canine distemper, rabies, and tapeworm, so it is best to have them removed. Foxes are usually trapped and relocated, but if there is a large number of kits, several visits may be required to complete the job.
Raccoons can be a serious nuisance if they get into your home. They can spread diseases, as well as do a lot of damage to your property, sometimes even when they live outdoors in your yard. Raccoons are usually dealt with through trapping and relocation and may require several visits depending on the size of the infestation. You will also need to clean the area thoroughly and seal up their entry point so they cant return.
Snakes are rarely found inside the home but may form a nest in crawl spaces and other damp, dark areas. If they arent dealt with in a timely way, they can multiply until there are thousands of them, which can make it dangerous to access these areas of your home. Snakes pose a threat of biting anyone who approaches or interacts with them, and in the case of some venomous snakes this could be fatal. Snake treatments usually include removal and relocation, as well as setting traps and returning to empty them at a later date.
While squirrels in your yard are likely not a problem, if they make a nest in your home, they can cause serious health problems. Squirrels can have up to 4-6 babies a year, and can live for up to 12 years, so squirrels in your home can quickly multiply and become a major issue. They can cause damage to your property and should be removed as soon as you see signs that they have infested your home. Squirrels are usually trapped and relocated, but depending on how many you have, this may take several visits. You will also need to have the area cleaned, and any entrances sealed so they dont return.
While several different methods may be effective for a type of pest, generally there are some methods that may be more frequently used or recommended by pest type.
Insects are generally dealt with by a combination of cleaning and some kind of chemical treatment. By cleaning you remove the food source for the insects, while the treatment kills them. Depending on the insect, you may need multiple visits, and in the case of very serious infestations, then fumigation or heat treatments may be appropriate.
For bees and wasps, the nest itself is usually removed, and bees may be relocated depending on the type and the level1 of infestation.
Rodents can be dealt with in a few different ways as well, depending on their location and how serious the issue is. Trapping is often effective for small infestations, but sometimes chemical treatments may be necessary. Sometimes these are also paired with repellents that can keep the rodents from returning to your home. Hygienic treatments to clean the area thoroughly and remove food sources may also be necessary, along with sealing up potential entry points.
In the case of wildlife, the most common method of eradication involves trapping and relocation. This may mean opening walls to reach the pests and physically removing them, or it may mean setting traps and returning later to empty them. This is frequently paired with stopping up their entry points so they cant return once they leave, as well as a deep cleaning of the area and physical removal of their nests.
Hygienic: Removing debris or food source
Chemical: Individual rooms/perimeter of the yard/perimeter of the home
Removal: Remove and relocate bee swarms
Heat: Superheat one room/entire home
Fumigation: Seal and fumigate the whole house
Trap: Trap and relocate
Chemical: Spray individual room or space/spray perimeter of home
Trap: Trap and relocate
Chemical: Spray individual room or space/spray perimeter of home
Prevention is often a multi-step process that can be very similar for several types of pests. In most cases, good hygiene and removing any potential food sources for the pests are the best places to start. Pests wont go where they cant find food, so identifying and removing the food source is always the right first step.
Preventing insects always starts with good hygiene and making sure that there are no open food containers or other food sources. Clean up standing water or damp areas as well, as this can attract some insects. Spraying chemicals around the foundation may prevent some insects from entering, and caulking7 or sealing cracks around the foundation and sealing up doors and windows can also help prevent insects from entering the home.
Mosquito misting systems and lawn treatments can also help keep insect populations down, and can be used to help prevent insect infestations from getting out of hand.
Rodents can be difficult to prevent in some cases because they are often small enough to slip into holes or cracks that are overlooked. Good hygiene and removing their food sources will help deter them from entering. If possible, you should also clear brush or tall trees away from your home and try to locate and seal up any small cracks or holes that could be allowing them to enter. Sometimes it may be necessary to spray the perimeter of the home as well to discourage them from entering. Sometimes electronic pest deterrents can be used to create a sound or vibration that will discourage them from entering.
In most instances, sealing up the entryways for wildlife is the best way to prevent them from entering. This may mean locating vents and other uncovered areas and keeping things like tree branches well away from the roof and eaves8 where they could be entering.
Window nets and snake fences around crawl spaces can also help prevent wildlife from entering your home. Electronic pest deterrents can also sometimes be used to discourage wildlife from entering.
Labor for each pest is going to depend on certain variables. This may include where the pest is located, how big the infestation is, and the method you and the pest control company agree to use to treat the issue.
For nearly all pests, the company will begin with an inspection. They can help you identify the exact type of pest youre dealing with and offer you the various treatment plans. Once you decide on the plan, one of several things will happen.
For chemical sprays and treatments, these are usually applied right away to the agreed-upon areas. Depending on the issue, this may be the final step or the company will schedule further visits to apply more chemicals.
For trap and removal treatments, sometimes the traps are set and the worker will return at a later time to check them and retrieve the animal. Other times, the worker may trap the animal or animals during the visit and relocate them immediately. In the case of large infestations or families of animals, there may be multiple visits to make sure they have all been removed.
If you contract with the company for further services such as repair or prevention, these are carried out once the initial issue has been dealt with, and are usually done at a later time.
Most pest companies will charge by the visit or by the project, with flat fees for each one of the services that they offer. For example, there may be a fee for having a room sprayed and a separate fee for spraying the perimeter of the home. Fees start at $50-$100 for the initial visit and labor, with serious infestations having higher fees, usually starting at $250-$350 for labor.
There are often different costs associated with pest control for one-time visits vs recurring visits. For example, the initial treatment may cost $250-$350 in total labor and material fees, but return visits may cost $50-$200 depending on how often they need to return. Its common for homes that have had serious issues in the past to contract with a monthly service that will charge around $50 per visit to return and reapply chemicals and to check for signs of returning infestations. You can also set up recurring visits for quarterly or yearly intervals as well. Semi-monthly visits will generally run around $100 a visit, while quarterly visits may cost around $150 to $200 per visit.
Sometimes repairs are needed after the pest is gone. If walls needed to be opened to reach the pest, or if the pest damaged your property during its stay, you may need repairs. This can have a range of associated costs depending on the pest. The cost of repairs ranges from $150 to $500.
Squirrels and bats are the two most common problems in attics. They may disturb insulation or wires, as well as damage woodwork. Repairs usually start around $150, depending on the level1 of damage done.
Sometimes walls need to be opened to remove the pest, this is most common with bees, birds, and wasps, but any pest that made its home in the walls can cause damage that needs repair. Wall repairs start at $150 for just the drywall9, and can go as high as $500 if you need to repair wiring or studs.
Mice, squirrels, and wasps may damage the drywall9, or the drywall9 may need to be opened to reach them. Repairing this costs around $150.
Mice may also chew through wiring or plumbing, which can require expensive repairs. If this is the case, you will need to hire an electrician at a cost of $65-$85 per hour and a plumber at $45-$150 per hour.
If you dont like the idea of chemicals, some pest control companies will offer eco-friendly treatments such as diatomaceous earth and other products harmless to people or the environment. These may cost more than other chemical treatments, with costs starting at $250 per area.
If the problem is severe and the pest control company needs assistance in locating the pests, you may need to have a canine inspection done, where a dog is brought in to help locate the various problem areas. This process has fees starting at $200, and they can go much higher depending on how large the property is.
2020 Cost to Hire an Exterminator | Pest Control Cost