Looking to hire a bed bug exterminator in New Jersey?
Perfect, you’re in the right spot. In this guide, you’ll learn:
What qualities are important in an NJ bed bug exterminator?
Do New Jersey pest control specialists need to be licensed?
What qualifying questions should you ask an exterminator before hiring?
Are there any qualities to avoid when choosing an NJ bed bug exterminator?
Bed bug infestation rates have become increasingly prevalent in major cities across the United States over the past several decades, which has prompted states like New Jersey to enact stringent bed bug legislation.
Even with the laws regarding treatment, bed bugs still plague many portions of NJ. As such, property owners and renters must be familiar with a proper response to infestation, and the need for professional and adequate bed bug exterminators is high.
Below, we’re going to discuss how to hire the best bed bug exterminator in New Jersey. We’ll go over some qualities you should look for in a pest control company, what qualifying questions you can ask, and some red flags to look out for and avoid when deciding which exterminator to hire.
What Should You Look For When Hiring An Exterminator For Bed Bugs In New Jersey?
There are some qualities we recommend looking for in a New Jersey exterminator. Doing so won’t guarantee that you get adequate service, but you’ll be far more likely to hire a pest management company that will solve your bed bug problem permanently.
Pest Control Experience
First, you should consider a pest control company that has been in business for at least several years. Longevity in any industry is a good sign that a company provides adequate service, but this is usually more true in extermination services.
Companies new to pest management are less likely to have the experience required to handle challenging pests like bed bugs. Their exterminators may not understand the difficulty associated with identifying and eradicating them, so hiring a better established company inherently comes with less risk of inadequate treatments.
Bed Bug Experience
In addition to general pest control experience, your exterminator should have extensive experience dealing specifically with bed bugs. Most major cities in the U.S. report high infestation rates, so a qualified exterminator in a populated state like New Jersey will likely be performing multiple bed bug treatments every week.
Bed bugs are different than other common household pests in their behavior, feeding habits, and hiding places. Experience with carpenter ants, termites, and cockroaches won’t necessarily mean a company is knowledgeable enough to solve your bed bug issue. You’re better off choosing an exterminator who has bed-bug-specific experience.
They Require an Inspection
We strongly recommend choosing an exterminator who insists on carrying out a thorough inspection before committing to service. Bed bugs at any stage of their life cycle are notoriously challenging to identify. Adult bed bugs are tiny and only come out at night, and nymphs and eggs can be difficult to see with the naked eye.
They can hide in crevices behind picture frames, in your carpeting, inside electrical outlets, behind baseboards and bed frames, and in your box spring or mattress, making detection challenging. Additionally, bed bug bites can’t be identified with confidence, even by dermatologists, as the red bumps or welts often look similar to those caused by other pests.
They’re even tricky for pest control professionals to identify. Any qualified exterminator will need to confirm the presence of bed bugs, often using bed bug monitoring devices to verify that you have an infestation.
Agreeing to apply pesticides without first confirming you have bed bugs is unethical, not to mention that a general application without knowledge of where bed bugs are hiding in your property is often largely unhelpful.
They Offer a Custom Treatment Protocol
No two bed bug infestations are identical, and every apartment, house, and commercial space should be treated in a unique way. Some companies offer a one-time, general pesticide application to every customer. This strategy may work for other pests, but it is very unlikely to be useful for bed bugs.
As such, a company that offers a personalized treatment plan is far more likely to deliver adequate treatment and fix your bed bug problem. This plan often includes a monitoring period during which interceptor devices are used to track activity, a treatment phase during which bed bug heat treatment, pesticides, or a combination of both is employed, and follow up inspections and monitoring to confirm that the bed bugs have been successfully eradicated.
Are There Specific Licenses For Bed Bug Removal In New Jersey?
All exterminators in New Jersey need to be registered as a Commercial Pesticide Applicator or Pesticide Operator applying pesticide under the license of a Pesticide Applicator with the Compliance and Enforcement Division (CED) of the State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. All Commercial Applicators must get recertified every five years, at which time their license gets renewed. This requirement can change, so check with the CED before inquiring with exterminators.
Additionally, any business that employs a Commercial Applicator must also be registered as a Pesticide Applicator Business and be licensed with the Pesticide Control Program for each location they operate. This license must be renewed annually.
What Questions Should You Ask A Bed Bug Exterminator In New Jersey Before Hiring?
There are several qualifying questions we recommend asking an exterminator before committing to their service. These will help you determine if they’re capable of providing the most effective treatment possible.
Are You Licensed?
First, ask the pest control service provider if they are currently licensed. Some people shy away from this question because they think it sounds offensive, but a professional exterminator should have no issues being asked to present a valid and up-to-date license.
Can You Offer a Quote Over the Phone?
Next, ask the exterminator if they can provide you with a quote for service. Some professionals can offer a general quote, but you should avoid companies that offer the same guaranteed cost to every customer. Reputable pest control companies will usually require an initial inspection before committing to service to confirm that you do, in fact, have a bed bug problem. They'll also want to determine the extent of the issue.
Providing a quote for treatment doesn’t necessarily indicate an irresponsible exterminator or predict poor service. However, a guaranteed price is a good indication that they plan to offer a general service that isn’t customized for your home or business. Generic treatments are usually far less effective and should be avoided.
When Can You Begin Applying Pesticides?
Next, we recommend asking how soon the exterminator can begin spraying. Since bed bugs are challenging to identify, even for experienced professionals, exterminators often rely on bed bug monitoring devices to confirm their presence. These devices can take two weeks to show a confirmation of bed bug infestation, so treatment usually won’t begin right away.
Ideally, an exterminator will require an initial inspection and if they can’t find bed bugs then wait two or more weeks for the monitoring devices to confirm the presence of bed bugs before pesticides are used. To provide some peace of mind in the interim, they may offer to increase inspection frequency in that time, provide heat treatment, or recommend the use of vacuums to potentially remove any bed bugs that can’t be seen with the naked eye.
Watch the below video to see how alternative treatments can be good interim solutions while bed bug monitoring is underway:
Do You Provide Multiple Treatments?
Single insecticide applications are practical for many pests, but they seldom work effectively for bed bugs. Especially in an area like New Jersey with a high population density, bed bugs can be pervasive and challenging to eradicate. As such, a reputable exterminator will understand that multiple treatments will be required.
The best pest control specialists will offer a detailed bed bug extermination protocol that includes multiple treatments and is personalized for your home or office.
Do You Offer a Guarantee?
Lastly, ask the exterminator if they offer a guarantee or warranty. Treating bed bugs is complicated, but the best exterminators will stand behind their work with some kind of assurance that your bed bug issue will be solved.
Red Flags To Watch Out For Before Hiring A Bed Bug Exterminator In New Jersey?
While you’re interviewing pest control companies to decide which is most qualified to treat your bed bug problem, keep an eye out for the red flags outlined below. These can indicate that treatment won’t be useful, and you should consider passing on their services entirely.
They Offer a Quote Over the Phone
An exterminator qualified to eradicate bed bugs in your house, apartment, or business will require an initial inspection before the treatment begins. You should be wary of those who offer a quote for service over the phone, as it’s often a good indication that they won’t provide treatment catered to your space.
They Require Heavy Preparation
The standard practice in the extermination industry for many years was to have the homeowner, renter, or business owner prepare their home for treatment. This usually included removing clutter and debris from bedrooms, stripping bedding, turning mattresses on end, and sometimes removing clothes from closets and dressers.
We now know that this isn’t a necessity and can actually make treatment more difficult because it can cause bed bugs to scatter and spread to previously unaffected parts of your home or place of business. Some preparation may be required if there is heavy clutter or a massive infestation, but it's typically limited in scope.
An exterminator who requires heavy preparation won’t necessarily provide inadequate treatment, but it’s a good sign that they aren’t up to date on the best bed bug control practices.
They Have a Certain Number of Treatments for Everyone
Lastly, you should be wary of exterminators who provide a specific number of treatments to everyone or have general treatment protocols. Every bed bug infestation is different, and the best pest control companies will provide you with a customized plan based on your situation.
Especially in heavily populated areas like many parts of New Jersey, pest control companies sometimes offer generic treatment plans to save time and money. This strategy seldom works to eradicate bed bugs and should be avoided.
While an estimated or average number of services offered isn't a bad thing, you should avoid one-size-fits-all approaches to bed bug extermination, as these are rarely effective.
Final Thoughts on Hiring Bed Bug Exterminators in New Jersey
Hiring a reputable and experienced exterminator is critical in New Jersey, where infestation rates are high and legislation surrounding treatment is strict. Choose a company that requires an inspection before treatment, will provide a customized bed bug elimination plan based on your home or office, and will carry out monitoring, multiple inspections and treatments, and follow-up assessments to confirm your bed bug issue has been solved.
Avoid companies who provide generic treatment protocols, offer service without an inspection, and those who won’t offer a warranty on their service. Avoid those who guarantee a solution in a certain number of visits, and be wary of those that require heavy preparation before treatment.
Lastly, get to know how your exterminator plans on solving your problem. Not every company will provide fast and effective treatment, so interview several exterminators and don’t be afraid to ask questions.