When an exterminator is hired, they will come prepared to do a treatment, bringing pesticides, monitors, professional steam machines and vacuums to use in their treatment. They will perform an inspection of the room suspected of being infested as well as adjoining rooms to identify how extensive the infestation may be. If they find bugs, they will use the safest and least toxic treatment to kill and remove them. Once the inspection has been completed, the exterminator will perform the initial treatment as well as instruct the occupant on perhaps encasing the mattress or removing excessive clutter from the area. They will also instruct the occupant about proper laundering of bedding. The exterminator will then return to do a follow-up inspection about two to three weeks later and if more bugs are found, will treat the area again.
Exterminator treatments are based on their findings during a careful inspection as well as the concerns and needs of the occupant. If the infestation is mild, finding live bugs can be difficult. Exterminators will inspect for any evidence including unhatched eggs, skins, fecal staining around the bed as well as on sheets.
The initial inspection will include careful examination of bed linens, pillowcases, sheets, seams of mattresses and box springs. They will also examine the headboards and bed frames looking for any evidence of the insects in cracks and crevices as well as other hiding places where they are apt to dwell. If the exterminator cannot find any live bugs or eggs during their inspection process, they will take further action using a more aggressive and through inspection.
If an occupant has been bitten, the occupant may ask for the area to be treated, even if visual evidence is lacking. This is not recommended since bug bites are similar to other insects. Exterminators must determine the offending insect before applying treatments. Along with a visual inspection, the exterminator may seek information regarding any previous complaints, any prior treatments and if nearby buildings or residences have had similar problems. Large buildings will often be mapped out, identifying rooms that are infested to help determine how extensive the infestation may be.
The exterminator will use several tools to help carry out the inspection such as a powerful flashlight, an inspection mirror, magnifier, screwdrivers, crescent wrench, pry bar for inspecting hidden critical areas, forceps and vials that contain alcohol to collect specimens.
Once the exterminator confirms the infestation, they will identify where the infested areas are located and how severe the infestation has become. This information will help in determining an appropriate treatment. Upon completing the treatment, the follow-up visit will include verifying that the infestation has been successfully eliminated.
The cost of exterminators does depend on the size of the affected area and the degree of infestation as well as the exterminating company. Homes that are severely infested can cost up to $5,000 for inspections, cleaning and exterminator fees. Exterminating large apartment buildings can cost as much as $80,000 to eliminate these pests. Generally, exterminators charge between $250 and $900 per room. Successful elimination usually includes combining thorough cleaning with repeat professional exterminating treatments using pesticides and other types of treatments.