Looking to hire a bed bug exterminator in Phoenix, Arizona?
Perfect, you’re in the right spot. In this guide, you’ll learn:
What qualities are crucial in a Phoenix bed bug exterminator?
Are there licensing requirements for pest control companies in Arizona?
What should you ask your exterminator before committing to service?
What qualities should you avoid in a Phoenix exterminator?
Bed bug infestation rates are increasing in more populated cities around the United States, and Phoenix is experiencing more residential and commercial cases than ever before. A high population density and the prominence of tourism and multi-family housing is likely the culprit for a surge in bed bug reports.
The demand for proper bed bug extermination in Phoenix and the surrounding area is high, but many pest control companies in the city may not be prepared to deal with them. Some exterminators treat them like any other pest, which is often ineffective and can make your bed bug problem worse.
Below, we’re going to go over the qualities you can look for in an exterminator that often indicate competency and efficiency. We’ll also offer some tips on what to ask your exterminator and some red flags that may lead to ineffective bed bug treatment.
What Should You Look For When Hiring An Exterminator For Bed Bugs In Phoenix AZ?
While there is no way to guarantee you hire an exterminator that will solve your bed bug issue, choosing one with the below qualities will increase your chance of getting a pest control professional qualified to deal with bed bugs.
Experience in the Industry
First, you are generally better off choosing a company that has been treating pests for several years. In populated cities like Phoenix, pest control companies pop up to meet growing demand, and new companies may not be as experienced with challenging pests like bed bugs as you may like.
Of course, not all exterminators with longevity in the industry are equipped to handle your bed bug problem. However, companies with a longer track record are more likely to have extensive online reviews you can use to determine how effective their treatments are.
Experience with Bed Bugs
General pest control experience is a good sign that an exterminator is efficient, but they should also have experience specifically with bed bugs.
Bed bugs aren’t like other pests. They have different behavioral and feeding patterns than termites, cockroaches, fleas, and other household insects, and they need special treatment to be eradicated. Bed bug control can be challenging and often requires more than a simple pesticide application.
A qualified exterminator in densely populated cities like Phoenix, Glendale, and Scottsdale will likely be treating multiple bed bug infestations each week. They will have bed-bug-specific experience and will understand the importance of using monitoring devices and alternative treatments to provide the best solution to your infestation.
Require an Initial Inspection
Reputable exterminators won’t commit to pesticide application or treatment over the phone and instead will require a thorough bed bug inspection.
Bed bugs at all life stages are notoriously difficult to find. Adult bed bugs and nymphs are very tiny, feed only at night, and often hide in crevices, box springs, behind wall fixtures, in electrical boxes, and other hard-to-reach places. Property owners and renters may experience what look like bed bug bites or see bloodstains on mattresses, but these can't confirm an infestation.
Even trained professionals can struggle to identify the presence of bed bugs. They often rely on interceptors and other passive monitoring devices to determine if you have an infestation. No qualified bed bug expert will take your word for an infestation and will need to confirm for themselves.
Offer a Personalized Treatment Plan
Lastly, a knowledgeable exterminator will know that every bed bug infestation is unique. Especially in a hot spot like Phoenix, the pest control expert will need to develop a customized plan for your home or office.
The treatment protocol often includes a monitoring period to confirm the presence of bed bugs. Once verified, bed bug heat treatment or pesticide application is often used. The plan should also include follow-up inspections, additional treatments, and ongoing monitoring to confirm that the bed bugs were eradicated successfully.
Are There Specific Licenses For Bed Bug Removal In Phoenix, Arizona?
Pesticides and their application are strictly regulated by the Pest Management Division (PMD), a subsection of the Arizona Department of Agriculture. All commercial exterminators must be registered with the PMD as a Certified Applicator and be employed by a company licensed by the PMD.
Qualified Applicators require additional training and testing, and they can be responsible for instructing Certified Applicators during their training period.
Every pest control company in Arizona must be separately registered as an entity with the PMD as well.
Remember to check with the PMD before speaking with exterminators to see if any new qualifications or licenses are required.
What Questions Should You Ask A Bed Bug Exterminator In Phoenix Before Hiring?
Speaking with several exterminators before agreeing to hire one can help you secure the best professional for the job. We recommend you ask the below questions to qualify a pest control specialist before committing to their service.
Are You Licensed?
Most homeowners and business owners neglect to ask this question for fear of sounding offensive, but it’s a crucial piece of information. No reputable exterminator will mind you asking if they are licensed, and they’ll happily relay that their company and Qualified Applicator are both licensed by the Pest Management Division.
What Will the Extermination Cost?
We recommend asking the pest control company if they can provide a quote over the phone. Some experts can give some general guidelines, but no reputable exterminator will commit to an exact price without an inspection or without assessing the extent of your problem.
An entirely accurate estimate for service will always require an inspection and often a monitoring period, during which bed bug interceptors are placed to confirm their presence and movement patterns.
A professional who offers the same price to all customers over the phone is far less likely to provide effective service customized for your home or office.
How Long Will Treatment Take?
This is another question that can’t always be confidently answered without a thorough property inspection. The best bed bug exterminators will know that bed bugs are pervasive, especially in congested areas like Phoenix, AZ.
How long a bed bug infestation will require to eliminate is often specific to a given infestation. Some infestations can be eliminated in 1-2 treatments while others may take 4 or more treatments. The only way to provide a good estimate is to evaluate the infestation and begin treatment.
After steps are taken to exterminate the bed bugs, additional treatments and inspections are required to confirm that the bed bugs have been eliminated. It’s challenging for an exterminator to estimate how long a fully effective treatment will take in space they haven’t inspected yet.
What Can Be Done in the Meantime?
If an infestation can not be identified through a visual inspection, a good exterminator will usually require a period of monitoring, during which time full pesticide treatments shouldn’t be used. This information can be upsetting for homeowners and business owners to hear, as they naturally want their bed bug problem fixed immediately. In addition to needing time to properly evaluate the infestation, your better pest control companies may have a multi-day waiting time before they can treat your home.
You should ask if anything can be done while you wait for the pest control company to arrive. The best pest control experts will usually be sympathetic to your problem, and they may offer to do additional inspections to check for signs of bed bugs and identify bed bugs sooner.
They can provide other treatment options to give you some peace of mind, like mattress or box spring encasements or vacuuming. These services are less intrusive than full applications but can still begin the extermination process.
Check out this video to learn more about effective interim solutions:
Do You Offer a Guarantee or Warranty?
Lastly, ask the exterminator if they offer a guarantee or warranty. Eliminating bed bugs can be challenging, especially in a hot spot like Phoenix. Still, most experienced pest control companies will stand behind their work and you should expect at least a month or two warranty along with the service.
Red Flags To Watch Out For Before Hiring A Bed Bug Exterminator In Phoenix?
There are some warning signs you should keep an eye out for when interviewing exterminators. The red flags outlined below aren’t always indicative of an inadequate pest control service, but they can help weed out companies that are likely to be less effective in their extermination.
They Offer a Guaranteed Price for Service Over the Phone
Bed bugs are challenging to treat appropriately, and even experts likely won’t be able to give you an accurate quote for service without first inspecting your property.
Every infestation is unique and should be met with a customized treatment protocol. Additionally, any reputable and ethical exterminator will want to confirm the presence of bed bugs before committing to service.
Be wary of companies that offer quotes over the phone, as it’s often an indication that they won’t treat your home or office space in the most effective way possible.
They Require Heavy Preparation
The general consensus in the pest control industry for years was that homes and offices should be prepped for bed bug extermination. Preparation often included removing debris from bedrooms, emptying dressers and closets, stripping bedding, and standing up mattresses.
While this practice isn’t necessarily wrong, experts now know that it isn’t needed and can actually make the extermination more difficult. Heavy preparation can force bed bugs out of their hiding places and cause them to scatter to otherwise unaffected portions of your home. They're often referred to as hitchhikers and can easily be transported to other rooms if you begin removing things from your bedroom.
A company that requests heavy preparation isn’t guaranteed to provide inadequate service, but it can be a sign that they aren’t entirely up to date on best practices when it comes to treating bed bugs.
They Offer the Same Number of Services to Every Customer
Lastly, be wary of exterminators who guarantee extermination in a given number of services. These companies typically provide the same service to everyone and don’t consider the unique challenges that your specific property can bring.
If a company does offer a certain number of treatments, inquire further. They may include a given number and then require you to purchase more bed bug extermination services, which can end up costing you more in the long run. We recommend opting for a company that tailors its approach to your situation and guarantees eradication without the need for additional purchases.
Final Thoughts on Hiring Bed Bug Exterminators in Phoenix
The high bed bug infestation rates in Phoenix necessitate adequate and professional extermination services. You’ll have the best chance of solving your bed bug problem if you opt for a company that requires an initial inspection, offers a treatment protocol unique to your property, and provides a guarantee of results.
Be wary of companies that offer general services to everyone, require heavy preparation, or offer a quote without inspecting your property. Don’t be afraid to ask questions to understand how your exterminator plans to solve your bed bug problem.