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The average nationwide price of a residential bed bug job rose from $638 in 2017 to $798, according to the PCT 2018 State of the Bed Bug Control Market survey, which was sponsored by Central Life Sciences. Forty-five percent of PMPs said that prices for bed bug services in their markets increased in the past three years. More than a quarter (26 percent) of PMPs now charge more than $1,000 for treatment (up from 22 percent in 2017).

But some markets are getting more price competitive, said PMPs. “We probably lose a few more (jobs) to price than we used to,” said Garey Clark, owner of Clark Pest Remedy, McDonough, Ga.

Property managers, in particular, are increasingly price sensitive. “Sometimes we give them quite a break just so we don’t lose them” to a competitor who could potentially take the entire account, said Dan Rao, technical manager of MD Weaver in Natick, Mass.

According to the survey, 58 percent of PMPs said that insecticides are the least expensive part of the overall cost of a bed bug service. Sixty-nine percent believe their customers understand the high cost of performing bed bug services.

The author is a frequent contributor to PCT.