Do I Need A Bed Bug Exterminator?

Do I need a bed bug exterminator?

Yes, yes, yes. 

There is so much misinformation online about how to get rid of bed bugs. Lavender dryer sheets will not keep bed bugs away, diatomaceous earth is not the organic miracle it is touted to be online, essential oils work for headaches and stress relief but aren’t that great at eliminating bed bugs. 

Most of the bed bug extermination pesticides that you can buy at the store aren’t good for eliminating bed bugs. Yes, they will kill a few bed bugs but trust me they will encourage the bed bugs to spread throughout your house faster than you can say “uh oh, I think I made a bad decision.”

Do I need a bed bug exterminator if I can just buy products online?

Let us take a good honest look at ourselves in the mirror. I am going to ask you three questions.

  1. Do you do your own auto repair work? You can buy all of your automobile parts online.
  2. Do you cut your own hair? You can buy professional hair clippers online.
  3. Do you fix your own garage door? You can buy a garage door repair kit online.

No. You hire a professional to assist with these tasks.

Could you fix your own car? Sure, given enough time, energy, money and patience you could probably do it.  Could you cut your own hair? You bet! It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to cut hair, but unfortunately cutting hair isn’t really the goal is it… looking good and feeling confident is the goal.

It isn’t the products that are used that will eliminate a bed bug infestation. It is how the products are used that will eliminate bed bugs.

It isn’t the scissors or clippers that provide a great haircut; it is how those tools are used by a skillful barber that makes the difference.

I have seen bed bugs severely impact the quality of life of individuals who have tried to “do-it-themselves.” Can it be done? Sure, but 95% of the time it will take longer, cause unnecessary stress, and if you consider that your time is worth something it will cost way more than hiring a professional.  

The three major concerns with trying to eliminate bed bugs on your own:

  1. Creating a Pesticide Resistant Bed Bug Population
  2. Pushing the bed bugs to other areas of the home.
  3. Health and Safety

How do I choose the right bed bug exterminator?

Eliminating bed bugs can be a big investment. An investment not only in money, but also in time and frustration. As a consumer you want to hire the best bed bug exterminator. How can you know which bed bug exterminator is right for you? 

Is the bed bug exterminator licensed? 

This should be a no brainer. You would assume that every company who promotes offers bed bug extermination services online or offline is properly licensed.  This is not the case. There are extermination companies operating here in the Bay Area of California that are not licensed by the Structural Pest Control Board. 

Here is our license information:


***Helpful Tip***  You can check to see the license status of a company by googling “Structural Pest Control Board License Check” or by visiting Type in the business name and click search. 

How did the bed bug exterminator make me feel when I called?

 Feelings aren’t everything, but first impressions matter.  Did the company answer their phone? Did the exterminator clearly understand your concerns? Were you satisfied with the questions they asked? Did they put you at ease?

Pest control is the ultimate service business and I feel like it is important to do business with people who express a bit of empathy. The customer service that happens before the sale is a great indicator of the customer service you will be able to expect after the sale.  

Did they offer a FREE onsite bed bug inspection or push to quote over the phone?

Customer service at its essence is serving the customer. I know that sounds redundant. Read it again. Customer service at its essence is serving the customer. Our policy is to offer our customers a FREE bed bug inspection. This allows our team to visit the property in person, properly identify the pest and provide the most accurate and competitive quote possible. Is it sometimes appropriate to quote prices over the phone? Sure, there are instances where a phone quote is totally appropriate.  It comes down to providing customer service.

How do you really research the customers’ reviews?

Online reviews can be a very emotionally charged topic. At HeatRx, one of our Core Values is Deliver Incredible. Every decision we make is scrutinized through the lens of the customer experience.  It hurts when legitimate reviews on Yelp get hidden by the “algorithm”. It hurts even worse when fraudulent reviews show up on your profile and are not removed by Yelp even after demonstrating irrefutable proof that they are fraudulent. It hurts. It is frustrating. 

So, in a world where online reviews aren’t always accurate what is a consumer to do?

Use online reviews a rough gauge, but make your decision based on YOUR interactions with the company. Ask for customer referrals and references. Many pest control companies use office management software that automatically asks for feedback after each service. Ask to see this data.

 You can find our unfiltered customer review data here:


Does the bed bug exterminator have adequate insurance?

Few consumers consider the status of a firm’s insurance policy until something goes wrong. Just as some pest control companies operate outside the licensing requirements of the State of California there are likely firms operating outside of the insurance and bonding requirements as well. Ask to see a copy of the Certificate of Insurance.

Every job doesn’t go perfectly. As you are considering bids, ask them about a situation where something went wrong. What precautions do they take to make sure things go right?

Everyone makes mistakes. It isn’t the mistake that defines a company or a person, rather it is how they respond to that mistake. 

Let me share with you a story of when something went wrong at HeatRx.

We were doing a bed bug heat treatment for a large apartment complex.  We check the temperatures approximately every 15 minutes, and during one of the checks, we noticed that a glass screen door had spider cracks all throughout. It was strange. We had done hundreds of bed bug heat treatments and never had this been an issue.

What did we do?

We called the client, explained the situation and created a plan of action to make things right. Our goal is to learn from every event. When the glass repair company came out to replace the pane of glass we learned the the cause of the cracked class was the glass manufacturer did not leave enough room for the supporting material to expand in heat. It was a fluke. Flukes happen. 

Were actual bed bugs found during the inspection?

Too many companies will provide a bed bug extermination service without documented proof that a bed bug problem exists. HeatRx will not provide a bed bug heat treatment unless we have documented evidence that the customer has a bed bug issue. A great pest control service begins with proper identification of the target pest. 

Customers appreciate when you tell them the truth during an inspection. Last year I performed an inspection for a customer in Palo Alto, she was convinced she had bed bugs. She invited multiple professionals into her home and received multiple quotes for a bed bug extermination treatment. After my inspection, I looked her in the eyes and said “I am sorry but I don’t believe you have bed bugs. I don’t see fecal matter, I don’t see molts, I don’t see bed bugs or bed bug eggs. A bed bug treatment will not solve your problem. Can I have your permission to take a look around your house on the outside?” She and I walked around and I noticed her crawlspace was totally open and I noticed raccoon tracks on the deck. I said, “Your crawl space isn’t secure and wildlife/rats are likely hanging out in your crawlspace. You don’t need a bed bug treatment, you need a handyman to seal up your crawl space and a regular pest control company to provide a generic pest control service.”  

She hired a handyman, received a generic pest control service and the problem was solved.    

What are the preparation requirements and what happens after the service?

Every successful bed bug treatment requires some preparation from the customer. This is true in almost everything. You will get a better haircut from your barber if you wash your hair before going in for a trim as opposed to going in with bed head hair. You will get a better automobile oil change if your car doesn’t smell like dead cats.  You get a friendlier response at a grocery store if you smile and make eye contact with the cashier. Preparation matters in just about everything. A bed bug treatment is no different. Ask your company how you can best prepare for a bed bug treatment. You can find HeatRx Bed Bug Preparation Guides here.

A successful bed bug treatment is rarely a one and done event. The after-service treatment protocol will vary from treatment to treatment and from company to company. It is a good idea to know the process prior to making a decision. You can find the HeatRx Treatment Protocols here. 

Does the company do good in the community?

What goes around comes around. Treat your neighbor as you would like to be treated.  Love your neighbor as yourself. These are all examples of the golden rule. These sayings may be trite and perhaps a bit clichĂ© but doing the right thing matters. 

One of HeatRx’s core values is Community Matters. HeatRx provides the community FREE bed bug inspections. We work with local churches to help members of their congregations who are dealing with bed bugs receive treatment at a discounted rate. 

It is personally enjoyable for me to donate to Malaika an orphanage in Uganda. While in college I met a wonderful soul while studying abroad in Sweden. She has a huge heart and a track record of blessing the lives of others. My friend, Marina V. handles the fundraising for the orphanage and every dollar gets to the students. Please reach out to her through Malaika’s facebook page if you’d like to get involved.   The orphanage just purchased a hand washing station and the children are learning the best way to wash their hands and stay healthy. 


Do I need a bed bug exterminator near me?

It is a good idea to hire a company that is within reasonable proximity to you. What is a reasonable distance for bed bug extermination? Well, it is a typical chemical bed bug treatment where at least 3 visits will be required to get adequate control I would argue that maybe 25 miles is the limit. You want the exterminator to be able to respond relatively quickly if extraordinary circumstances arise. Traffic is an issue in the Bay Area and commute times can make connecting for interior treatments a logistical challenge. When it comes to a bed bug heat treatment where the service team will be onsite basically all day I would say within 60 miles is probably alright.

HeatRx services the entire Bay Area of California. A few of the most prominent anchor communities are San Jose, Oakland, and San Francisco. We have serviced accounts in Mill Valley and Santa Cruz but those are outliers. Regardless of where you live, give us a call.  Depending on the situation, we may still be able to help you out. 

As a consumer, you should hire the bed bug exterminator that provides the best value possible. Value is a combination of price, trust, and quality.  You will find at HeatRx we are an incredible value. Give us an opportunity to earn your business, you won’t regret it!

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