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Educational Consumer Tips

Choosing a Bed Bug Exterminator

Author: Better Business Bureau
Published:

Although bed bugs aren’t known to transmit disease, they still create plenty of problems. Effectively eliminating bed bugs typically requires multiple visits by a licensed pest control operator and diligence on the part of those who are experiencing the infestation. When searching for a Bed Bug Exterminator it’s important to ask:

What method do you use?
There are many different methods for bed bug treatment. Bed bug exterminators usually use several different insecticides and formulations when treating for bed bugs, such as Suspend SC, Bedlam, Phantom, Steri-fab, Deltadust, Gentrol, and Eiatomaceous Earth. Treatment will generally involve using various chemicals on the bed, baseboards, light switches, etc. to kill the bed bugs. Some companies offer alternative treatments, such as heat treatment, which can also be effective. The technician should be able to explain exactly how your home will be treated.

Are you licensed by the Ohio Department of Agriculture?
Exterminators that use chemical methods to control bed bugs must carry a valid pesticide applicators license from the Ohio Department of Agriculture. You can check the status of their license by calling 1-800-282-1955, extension 31, or you can find them online at: http://www.agri.ohio.gov/apps/odaprs/pestfert-prs-ols.aspx?ols=lp#tog. Never use an unlicensed applicator!

How much will the treatment cost?
Some companies charge an inspection fee, but others do not. The cost of the first treatment and follow-up treatments may vary, but are likely to be in the $200 to $500 range. A single treatment rarely, if ever, eliminates bed bugs. Most homes require three or four treatments, and more may be needed if the infestation is severe. Companies should provide you with an estimate. Typically, these services are performed under a contract, so read it carefully and keep a copy. Be especially alert to details about treatment plans, guarantees, and time restrictions on those guarantees.

Can you provide references?
They should answer, “Yes.” Don’t hesitate to contact two or three of the references. Always contact at least three companies to ask for estimates, and be sure to check them out with BBB.

Questions and Comments

Question Submitted 9/1/2013

I wanted to check the status of an exterminator's license (Ladybug exterminators) so I went online at: www.agri.ohio.gov. However, I could not find any listing of any exterminators on the website. I would suggest you provide a direct link to the page that lists companies with licenses. If you provided a direct link to the page, people don't have to look all over the website, only to be unsuccessful in finding the page. Thanks, P. Chalmers

BBB's Answer:

Thank you for taking the time to make this suggestion.  We have revised the industry tip to include a link to the direct license search page.
Disclaimer:
Views expressed on this page are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Better Business Bureau.

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