The Cost of Pest Control

Last updated 16th March 2021

All you need to know about pest control including costs of materials, labour and time frames.

Pest Control

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How Much Does Pest Control Cost?

It’s difficult to provide a precise pest control cost as the rates charged by private companies vary considerably. So, all prices provided are rough averages taken from a variety of contractors of all sizes across the UK.

Typically to treat a single wasp’s nest will cost around £55, to treat carpets and furniture for fleas will cost from £80 to £150 depending on the size of the property.

For bedbugs expect to pay £135 to £215, ant control treatments cost around £60 but may need to be redone every few months, cockroach treatment for a two or three-bed house will cost around £50, rodent control around £100, mole or squirrel treatment around £80.

The actual price of pest control services will vary based on your location, the kind of pests you need to get rid of, the scale of the infestation, the size of the property and the type of pest control company you hire.

It always makes sense to try and get cheaper pest control services via your local council if possible. Local authorities are obliged under the Damage by Pests Act 1949 to control the rodent population in their regions. But many councils will offer additional pest control services so you should contact your local authority for guidance.

If you’re a private homeowner, you might not qualify for free pest control services from the council, but you may still find the council services are cheaper than the prices charged by private companies. You can, of course, try and reduce your pest control costs by going the DIY route.

Mousetraps can be purchased cheaply, and some chemical treatments are available over the counter in hardware stores. But for most infestations, particularly serious ones, it is more humane and effective to hire a qualified specialist that is registered with the National Pest Technicians Association or the British Pest Control Association.

The average material cost of pest control will depend on what type of pest you want to control. Materials for pest control may include fumigation, traps, poisons and tools. The average pest control specialist will usually charge around £150 to £200 per day.

Typically, controlling pests should not take a full day unless there is a major infestation. A brief insight into the job, the specialists will identify the pests and their location. The method of control will then be selected by the homeowner and the pest controller, who will then proceed with the job.

Some pest control jobs may be a continual process as some infestations are unlikely to be controlled overnight. The infected area may need retreating to control the pests.

Pest Control Prices

Type Avg. Cost
Mice & Rats £75-£125
Bed Bugs £135-£215
Cockroaches £50-£100
Fleas £80-£150
Wasps £50-£75
Flies £50-£75
Ants £50-£100


Supply Cost

The actual cost of pesticides, insecticides and other pest control treatments vary greatly depending on its use, availability and strength.

There are many treatments that you can buy in a hardware store that cost around £5-£10, but they may not solve your problem. These treatments are made to be much weaker than those at the disposal of a pest control professional because companies worry about the liability of any incidents caused by their products. After all, most of them are toxic to humans and other animals.

Here is a helpful table that shows the cost of different treatments you can purchase yourself:

Type of Treatment Used for Price
Aerosol Sprays Ants, Wasps & Flies £3-£6
Chemical Spray Ants and Bugs £4-£10
Traps Rodents £5-£20
Pellets and Poisons All Pests £5-£15


Additional Costs

The issues with some pests are further than annoyance or health fears. Some pests, like rats and mice, will begin to degrade the integrity of your home by burrowing deep into cavities and walls, chewing through wooden beams, or gnawing through cables and pipes.

In this case, you may need other contractors as well as pest control professionals, to fix the problems. You can take a look at some of our other helpful guides to find out more about rewiring a house or insulating your walls or loft.

Cost Breakdown Calculator

Individual costs of Rodent Control - Total Cost: £100

30%

Materials
£30

70%

Tradesmen
£70

0%

Waste Removal
£0

Labour Costs and Time Frames

Labour costs are usually included in the overall price, and how long it takes depends on what type of pest you have.

Type Duration
Mice & Rats 2-3 Hours
Bed Bugs 4-8 Hours
Cockroaches 1-2 Hours
Fleas 3-4 Hours
Wasps 1-2 Hours
Flies 1 Hour
Ants 1-2 Hours


What is Pest Control?

Pests find ways to get into your home, or the areas surrounding it, having an adverse impact on the comfort and structural integrity of your home. There are a whole host of different pests that can impact your home and in turn, a wide variety of treatments to expel them.

Pest control

Getting rid of pests often requires the efforts of a trained pest control professional to safely and humanely rid your home of the infestation. However, there are a number of DIY measures that you can implement to rid certain pests and ensure that they don’t return, which we will cover in this article.

Cost Affecting Factors of Pest Control

As is common with most contracting work, the price will differ depending on a variety of factors, mainly the location, severity or accessibility of your problem.

Firstly, as a general rule, prices are higher in big cities like London and Manchester and tend to higher in southern England. The price also varies depending on the extent of the problem, so if you’ve caught your mouse problem early, the price will be a lot lower than if you have many litters living in various spots around the home.

Rat infestation

The type of pest dictates the level of service needed as well. A deep rat infestation is much tougher to remove than a small wasp’s nest, for example. Depending on which type of treatment you are comfortable with, you may need to spend more for a more humane option, like catch and release, as opposed to using poisons and traps.

What Does Pest Control Entail?

There is nothing worse than having your home infested with unwanted wildlife! Rats and mice can cause damage to furniture and cables with their incessant gnawing, while at the same time posing a serious health risk.

Bedbugs feed on your blood while you sleep, cockroaches carry diseases and are disgusting, stinging insects like bees, wasps and hornets will, of course, sting you, ants will invade your house and get everywhere, while moles and squirrels will cause a great deal of damage to your home and garden.

There are a number of ways to remove pests including fumigation, traps and poisons, plus more natural methods like changing habitats to make them less attractive to infestation.

Traps and poisons may not be the most humane method, but they are an effective method when done professionally. There are modern traps available which are less brutal than the traditional mouse trap and can capture the animal so it can be released safely elsewhere. Pesticides can also be really effective when dealing with serious bug infestations and are often the best method.

But be careful if using pesticides on your own as they can be dangerous to other animals, including pets. When hiring a professional who uses pesticides, always check the chemicals they are using comply with the Control of Substance Hazardous to Health Regulation 1994 and the Control of Pesticides Act 1986.

Professional pest control

If traditional pesticide treatments do not work, then fumigation can be considered, but this should be reserved for only the most serious of infestations as the property has to be sealed off and vacated for a few days. It is also pretty expensive, yet is extremely effective!

A modern method of pest elimination called biological elimination can also be used in some cases. This involves reducing the number of pests without using poison traps or nasty chemicals.

Biological elimination means introducing predators into the environment that will hunt the pests in a natural way, bringing ecological balance to your property. This, however, won’t normally entirely remove a pest problem but will reduce it.

The easiest and most obvious way of removing pests is to take away their habitats or whatever else it is that attracts them to the area in the first place.

For example, leaving rotten food lying around in rubbish bags will, of course, attract rats, but if you stop doing this, they will have no food and will move on elsewhere! Keep rubbish in sealed or otherwise inaccessible containers to prevent attracting rodents as well as flies and other insects.

Prevention is always better (and cheaper) than cure, so avoid making your home attractive to pests!

DIY Pest Control

DIY pest control is a very clear option, especially when you have so many products available on the market. But, as we mentioned earlier, these products are often far inferior to that available to trained and licensed professionals.

Not only that, but correct risk assessments are also carried out by these professionals to ensure that the inhabitants of the home are kept safe during the treatment and are not being put in any unnecessary danger.

DIY pest control

They may also need to seek permission from local bodies in the extent of the infestation and treatment requires more industrial action, such as fumigations or the removal of walls. We would always recommend consulting with a pest control company first, before making the decision on whether to attempt treatment on your own.

Types of Pest Control

As we mentioned earlier, there are a number of different pests that are known to infest homes, with having different signs and symptoms and requiring different measures to rid your home of them. Take a look at the list below:

Mice & Rats

The most common pest that infests homes in the UK is mice and rats. They are active all year round and prefer to take up residence in a warm home with plenty of food nearby. Despite their small size and objectively cute nature, these rodents actually bring several health concerns with them, making infestations a potentially dangerous affair.

Their bedding, urine and droppings carry diseases like Salmonella, Weil’s Disease and Listeria, and they are known to build their bedding close to food sources, increasing the risk of food poisoning to humans. Separate from the health concerns, mice and rats constantly gnaw away at anything they can find in order to maintain the length of their teeth. This increases the risk of floods, electrical trips, fires and damaged woodwork.

It’s also tough to keep mice and rats out of your home, considering they can squeeze through gaps as small as 5mm. They also take residence in small spaces that provide enough shelter, warmth and have close proximity to food sources, so wall and ceiling cavities are extremely popular locations.

It’s fairly easy to spot the tell-tale signs of a mouse or rat infestation. You’re likely to spot the following:

  • Small black droppings around your home
  • A strong smell of ammonia due to their frequent urination
  • Grey smear marks on surfaces caused by the oils in mice fur
  • Evidence of nests in cavities, lofts, floorboards and cupboards
  • Damage and gnaw marks on cables, surfaces and food supplies

Treatment for these infestations varies greatly. Of course, good prevention is the best way to avoid an infestation, so ensure all small gaps 5mm or larger are fully blocked up with wire wool or similar.

To get rid of mice or rats yourself without using a professional pest control company will involve the use of poisons and traps from hardware shops. You must ensure that you follow the instructions to the letter as these types of poisons can be very harmful to people and pets.

Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are tiny insects shaped like brown discs that are about 6mm in size and were once falsely attributed to unhygienic homes, but their prevalence in recent times have proved this to be not the case. Bed bugs can be brought into the home after travelling, through second-hand furniture and are mostly found in places that have many short-term occupants like hotels, hostels or villas.

They hide in crevices and cracks of beds and furniture and stay close to the host, which is humans. Disgustingly, bed bugs feed on human blood, which is why they like to stay close by and reside in places that we frequent. However, they can survive for up to a year without food, so starving them isn’t really an option.

The bite of a bed bug leaves a red, irritated mark on the body and victims of bed bugs will wake from a night of sleep with several on them. Bed bugs are really the result of bad luck, and it’s impossible to take measures to stop them from entering your home, but treatment for a bed bug infestation is available.

A DIY method is to heat your home to as warm as possible, which may kill bed bugs, but it’s unlikely that you’ll get them all, so it’s advised that people suffering from a bed bug infestation to contact and enlist the services of a professional.

Cockroaches

Cockroaches are probably the first things that come to your mind when you hear pest control, but they are fairly uncommon in the UK. Cockroaches struggle to survive outside and therefore look to take up residence inside where they can.

They feed and anything from litter to faeces, and while they can survive for months without food, they can only survive for a few days without water. Cockroaches prefer humid environments to stick close by to pipes, sinks and stoves.

Cockroach infestation

Cockroaches are carriers of several diseases which they can pass on through the food that they touch, and we then eat, causing food poisoning and other illnesses. Preventing cockroaches is pretty simple and mainly involves keeping places clean and tidy, cleaning regularly and by blocking any unnecessary openings around the home.

Cockroaches are notoriously tough to expel yourself, living up to their reputation, so if you’re suffering from a cockroach infestation, you’ll need to contact a trained professional. They will remove them with a series of techniques and the use of insecticides, which are proven to eliminate the roaches and their eggs to stop any further problems.

Fleas

Fleas, in the UK at least, won’t pass on any disease to humans or animals, but they will bite and irritate both to the point of madness. They live on warm-blooded and furred animals, most typically cats and dogs, and feed on its host.

They lay eggs all over the place with common places being soft furnishings like cushions or pet beds. The signs are clear if your pet is itching excessively, you or your pet have visible bite marks, or you can literally see them on your pet if you look hard enough.

You can treat your pets for fleas by purchasing any flea treatment from a pet store or from a vet office. However, removing the fleas from your home is another matter altogether. A pest control professional will use specific insecticides to kill the flea population and its eggs from around your home, leaving all of its inhabitants comfortable and itch-free.

Wasps

These aggressive and feared individual plague the country during the warm months with a ferocious mission to sting us all. However, this isn’t really the case, as wasps only attack when they feel threatened, but when you find yourself with a wasp infestation, it’s hard to keep them calm.

A wasp’s sting will at best give you a sore mark, but at worst send someone into anaphylactic shock as many people are allergic to wasp stings. Anaphylaxis is a serious thing that must be treated immediately as an emergency, so a wasp infestation can be very threatening indeed.

Wasp nests pop up all over the place and are built by thousands of wasps to provide a place for all of them to take shelter in. However, they sometimes erect one inside a roof or too close to your home, resulting in thousands of uninvited guests.

The earlier you locate the nest and enlist a professional to remove it, the less aggressive the squadron of stingers will be. A pest control company will decide on whether the nest needs removing, or whether it can be treated to send the wasps elsewhere without annoying or harming them. Either way, it’s not something that the layman should try to attempt.

Flies

These two-winged annoyances are often ignored and tolerated with a mere swipe in our homes, but we should be more concerned about them inhabiting our homes considering the health risks that accompany them.

E Coli and Salmonella are just two of the diseases that house flies can carry, and they are very active around the home, potentially causing a wide spread of infection.

There are obviously products like aerosol sprays to kill flies on-site, however, if the infestation is too prolonged, the eggs and larvae that may have been laid will far outweigh your ability to kill them on sight. Instead, a pest control professional will need to lay down insecticides to eliminate the fly problem from mature adults to premature eggs.

Ants

Ants hunt for sweet foods to bring back to the nest to feed the queen and the larvae inside the nest. Their social and hardworking nature makes them very adept at infiltrating homes to search for food, which creates a problem keeping them out.

The key to removing an ant infestation is to source the nests and destroy them; however, this rudimentary approach doesn’t always work, and in that case, a professional will need to assess the situation and suggest a different approach.

Pest Control Survey

Local councils and pest control companies run pest control surveys for those people that think they may have an issue but are not quite sure on where or what is causing the problems.

Wood infestation

Some companies provide these services free of charge with treatment, but if you chose not to have a treatment with the survey, you are likely to pay around £50-£60. During the survey, a professional will look around your home for clues or tell-tale signs that you have a pest infestation and will advise you on what action to take.

FAQs

Landlords are responsible for pest control for their tenants, including proofing to avoid further issues and the enlisting of a pest control company to rid the infestation within the home. This is laid out by the UK government in laws surrounding social landlords.
This is the use of inserting natural enemies of the pest that is current infiltrating your home, in the hope that they gain control over the prey and therefore rid you of your pest problems. They are primarily used in gardening and greenhouses.
This works in the exact same way as if you were renting a home from a landlord, in which whoever you pay your rent to, must resolve the issue with proofing and the correct treatment until the issues no longer exist.
For some pests, there are humane ways to rid your home of them. For example, there are rodent traps that don’t kill the rodents, instead of catching them for the pest control company to release them in a more natural habitat. You would then need to proof your home correctly to ensure that they do not return. This isn’t an option for all pests, but your contractor will advise you of all options.
You can, of course, look for the various different clues and symptoms left by different types of pests, but the best way to identify your pest problem is to schedule a pest inspection by an expert.

How to Find & Hire a Pest Control Contractor

The best place to start your search for a pest control contractor would be the local council listings, or with a simple search online. The key things to look for when searching for the best contractor is to ensure that they are accredited by the British Pest Control Association (BPCA).

This will ensure that they are trusted traders that have been certified to show that they are qualified to carry out pest control services on your home. You should also ask a contractor whether they are fully insured before enlisting them to carry out any work for you, to ensure you won’t be hit with problems down the line.

Sources

https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=506
https://www.pestuk.com/blog/bpca-accreditation/
https://bpca.org.uk/write/MediaUploads/Documents/Research/Exec_summary_2013.pdf
https://www.cleankill.co.uk/pest-control-inspection-services
https://www.rentokil.co.uk/pest-control/pest-control-prices/
https://bpca.org.uk/pest-advice/commercial
https://www.smartservice.com/smart-service-blog/pest-control-chemicals/
https://www.domyown.com/pest-control-chemicals-a-318.html