Here's How Much You Can Expect To Pay When Fumigating Your Home

Homes with a serious infestation of bed bugs, termites, or other pests may benefit from fumigation, an aggressive strategy that treats an entire home at once. Though typically considered the last step in pest infestation treatment, it can be necessary to restore a safe home. Pest control costs range widely on numerous factors, but most people can expect to pay between $1 and $4 per square foot. If you have a 2,000-square-foot home, you can expect to pay an average of $5,000 for the process. Costs can be higher than this, however, depending on additional work that must be done.

Other factors affect the cost of treating your home for pests. Most often, the home's size and the infestation's severity play the biggest role in costs. However, some pests may require more aggressive treatment, like termites which can burrow deep into the home's structure, and bed bugs, which are resistant to many insecticides. It's not uncommon to need more than one pest control application prior to the use of fumigation as well, and that adds to the total cost of getting rid of pests in your home.

What factors to consider about the cost of fumigating a home

Fumigation is a purposefully invasive process that aims to treat the entire structure, getting into as many cracks and holes as possible. One of the first steps is tenting the home, which requires the placement of tarps over the entire house, which helps to keep the fumigation chemical, a type of gas, within the space and provides more control. The larger and taller the home, the more tenting difficulty exists.

There's also an initial pest inspection fee most exterminators charge. This fee ranges from $50 up to $400, but some pest control companies will eliminate the fee or reduce it if you proceed with the treatment. In some homes, there may be a need to do some repair work before the fumigation, such as sealing off any vents and doors where there's a concern for the fumigant to escape. There may also be a disposal fee that's not a part of the fumigation costs.

What happens next may be up to you. Most fumigation companies will clean up and ensure your home is safe to live in. However, you still may want to pay for professional cleaning and sanitation, which could be important if you have anyone in the home sensitive to pests or chemicals. Finally, you may need to rent a home or a hotel for a few days while the treatment is conducted. These costs vary significantly by region.

Alternatives for fumigating your home and their costs

Fumigation is typically the last step because of its high cost and dangerous chemicals, but prior to this, you may try various other treatments. Heat treatment can be effective in some homes. It involves closing off the home, using extremely high temperatures to target the pests, and then cleaning up afterward. The cost for this ranges from $1 to $3 per square foot for bed bugs, for example.

If the exterminator determines the problem is localized, whole-home treatment may not be necessary. Spot treatment, a common treatment for termites, involves drilling into the area where the pests exist and using a chemical to eradicate them. It's less expensive at $200 to $900 per location, but this is dependent on the method used.

Chemical treatments involve the application of a chemical directly to the infestation as well as a perimeter around the home. The cost is dependent on the type of pest and the size of the home, but typically costs, charged by the linear foot rather than square foot, are around $3 to $16 for a basic treatment. Bait station treatment is sometimes considered for smaller infestations and typically costs $7 to $11 per linear foot. It requires routine monitoring as the pests take the poisoned bait back to their nests. Keep in mind that, in many cases, you'll work through several of these treatments before fumigation, adding to the total cost to treat your home for pests.