Looking to hire a bed bug exterminator in the Bronx, New York?
Perfect, you’re in the right spot. In this guide, you’ll learn:
What qualities should you look for in a bed bug exterminator?
Do Bronx bed bug exterminators need any licensing?
What should you ask a bed bug exterminator before hiring them?
What qualities should you avoid in a Bronx bed bug exterminator?
Incidences of bed bug infestations are increasing in NYC and the surrounding areas, and the most recent data from the Department of Environment & Health shows that the Bronx is reporting the highest infestation rates in the area. Multi-family housing, apartment buildings, and general congestion are believed to be causing the surge in residential and commercial infestations.
Some pest control companies offer bed bug extermination as a service but aren’t adequately trained to deal with them appropriately. Bed bugs are unique in their habits and resilience to pesticides, so hiring an experienced and qualified bed bug exterminator in a hot spot like the Bronx is crucial.
Below, we’re going to discuss what to look for in a bed bug exterminator and how to ensure you’re hiring a licensed and experienced professional. We’ll also offer some tips on avoiding pest control companies who may not be knowledgeable enough to solve your bed bug problem.
What Should You Look For When Hiring An Exterminator For Bed Bugs In Bronx, NY?
There are some qualities you should look for in a Bronx bed bug exterminator that can indicate adequate experience and the ability to eradicate your pest infestation. We recommend you speak with any exterminator you’re considering hiring to get a sense of how they do business. The below qualities are good signs that they are equipped to handle your pest problem.
They Have Experience
Pest control companies with years of experience will usually be better at handling different kinds of pests. Exterminators who have been working in the industry for a long time are more likely to have dealt with bed bugs enough to know how to get rid of them. An experienced pest control company in the Bronx will likely be treating bed bug infestations every day, given the high number of cases in the area.
This isn’t to say that a company with decades of experience will be better suited to get the job done than a newer company. However, longevity in pest control is often indicative of an exterminator’s ability and efficacy.
They Specialize in Bed Bug Treatment
General experience is important, but specialization in bed bug extermination can be an even better indicator that a company will deal with your bed bug infestation properly.
General pest control experience and bed bug specialization are very different because bed bugs don’t behave like other pests. They have unique feeding rituals triggered largely by carbon dioxide, and they can hide in a myriad of places, including behind loose wallpaper, in picture frames, and behind your headboard.
Treatment protocols for bed bugs are unique and unlike those for termites, cockroaches, and other common pests, so a company that deals with them frequently will often be better equipped to exterminate them.
Specialization isn’t necessary, but finding an exterminator that does focus its efforts on bed bugs can increase your chance of hiring a company that will solve your problem.
They Only Offer a General Quote Over the Phone
Bed bugs are notoriously difficult to identify because they're tiny, often hide in small crevices, and only come out to feed at night. While you may be convinced that you have an infestation because of bed bug bites or reddish-brown markings on your mattress, a reputable bed bug control company should never take your word for it. As such, it's difficult for them to offer an entirely accurate quote for services without an inspection.
Offering to treat bed bugs with pesticides without confirming that there is an infestation is unethical. Any experienced bed bug exterminator will require an inspection before they agree to service. In fact, if they don't find visible bed bugs during that inspection, their initial quote once they’ve examined your home may include 2-4 weeks of monitoring using bed bug monitors before any pesticides are used.
A general quote could be offered without an inspection, but be aware of a "one price fits all" pricing model.
They Offer a Comprehensive Plan for Service
Bed bug infestations are tricky to identify, but they can also be challenging to eradicate. A reputable pest control company will offer you a treatment protocol detailing how they plan to exterminate bed bugs in your home.
An integrated pest management plan often includes the placement of monitoring devices, pesticide application, and follow-up bed bug inspections and treatments to confirm the problem has been solved. Since the Bronx has many apartment buildings and multi-family houses that can easily lead to bed bugs spreading, the protocol may also detail the company’s plan to inspect adjacent units for infestation.
Are There Specific Licenses For Bed Bug Removal In Bronx, New York?
All pest control companies in New York must be registered with the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). The DEC requires that one member of each company be licensed as a commercial applicator of pesticides.
Check with the DEC for any additional or new qualifications before interviewing exterminators.
What Questions Should You Ask A Bed Bug Exterminator In The Bronx Before Hiring?
When you speak with an exterminator, you’ll have a chance to ask some qualifying questions. Below are the topics you should discuss before committing to their pest control services, as these will help determine how reputable and knowledgeable the company is.
Are You Licensed In New York?
First, you’ll want to confirm that you’re speaking to a company registered with the Department of Environmental Conservation that employs a licensed commercial applicator.
All reputable pest control companies will carry proper and current licensing. You should refuse to work with any company that isn’t licensed.
What Is Your Standard Rate?
Next, ask the exterminator what their standard rate is or if they can provide a quote over the phone.
If an exterminator offers you a standard fee for service or provides a personalized quote on your first phone call with them, you should inquire further to see what that quote includes and why they would offer service without confirming the presence of bed bugs.
Some experienced companies can estimate the cost roughly. However, it’s often very challenging to provide an accurate price over the phone and impossible to develop a protocol without an inspection and monitoring.
Bed bug infestations can vary quite a bit in severity, and in an area like the Bronx, they can be pervasive. A reputable exterminator will not only require an inspection and the use of professional-grade bed bug monitoring systems, but they’ll also want to get a sense of your living situation and potentially complete inspections in and recommend service to units attached to yours.
How Soon Can You Apply Pesticides?
Next, we recommend asking the exterminator how soon they can provide treatment. All reputable bed bug exterminators will be sympathetic to your situation and want to provide a fix as quickly as possible, but they will also maintain safe practices.
Bed bugs at any stage of their life cycle are tough to identify, even for highly trained and experienced professionals. They may find signs of bed bug activity during their inspection, but reputable companies will include the use of commercial monitoring systems to confirm their presence and behavioral patterns. These systems are designed to help experts track bed bug activity to provide the most effective treatment possible.
Check out the video below to learn how these monitoring devices work:
Even the best monitors can take several weeks to detect the presence of bed bugs. The exterminator may agree to perform dustings or additional inspections in that time, but a timeline of 2-4 weeks before a full pesticide application is often a good sign and means the exterminator will take the time to figure out the best way to treat your home.
Do You Offer A Guarantee Or Warranty?
Lastly, ask the pest control company if they offer a warranty or guarantee that their solution is effective. The best exterminators will be confident in their work and their protocol. It’s very challenging to guarantee full eradication in a given number of visits, but they should be confident in their ability and instill confidence in you with a guarantee or warranty.
Red Flags To Watch Out For Before Hiring A Bed Bug Exterminator In Bronx NY?
There are some things to be on the lookout for when speaking with an exterminator. The red flags outlined below can indicate that the company isn’t experienced with bed bugs or that they won’t carry out the best plan possible for your home.
They Offer An Immediate Quote Or Service Over The Phone
If a company offers guaranteed pricing over the phone, you need to ask why they don’t need to inspect to confirm there are bed bugs or how heavy the infestation is.
Additionally, offering bed bug services before an inspection and extensive monitoring not only suggests that the exterminator won’t provide a protocol specific to your property and situation, but it’s also unethical, as it may lead to unnecessary pesticide application.
They Ask For Extensive Preparation
Many exterminators still ask homeowners and renters to carry out extensive preparation before the pesticide application. The preparation usually includes removing bedding, standing up mattresses and box springs, vacuuming, and removing laundry and other debris from your bedrooms.
While this isn’t necessarily wrong, it does suggest that the exterminator may not be fully up to date on best practices for exterminating bed bugs. Heavy preparation was the industry standard until recently, but experts now know that it can stir bed bugs from their hiding places and make treatment more complicated. Insecticides are often more effective if extensive preparation isn’t done.
They Have A Standard Number Of Treatments
Lastly, you should be wary about hiring an exterminator who has a standard number of treatments. Every bed bug infestation is different, and in an area like the Bronx with a high population density, bed bug problems are pervasive.
A standard number of treatments won’t work for everyone because there are many factors that determine the proper protocol. We recommend choosing a company that will continue to inspect, use monitoring devices, and treat as needed until the bed bugs and nymphs are confirmed to be exterminated.
Final Thoughts On Hiring Bed Bug Exterminators In The Bronx
Hiring the exterminator best fit to eradicate your bed bug infestation can be challenging, especially in an area with increasing numbers of infestations like the Bronx. Look for one with experience who will insist on an initial inspection and provide a personalized protocol for monitoring and treatment. Choose a pest control company that stands behind its work and guarantees a solution.
Avoid companies who offer a "one price fits all" quote, recommend a dedicated number of extermination services for everyone, or agree to pesticide applications without an inspection. Be wary of exterminators who ask you to prepare your home heavily before treatment.
Lastly, don’t be afraid to inquire further about licensing, best practices, and the estimated timeline of monitoring before service to ensure you get the best treatment possible.