How Much Does an Exterminator Cost for Roaches? Treatment Factors (Avg)

Georgette Kilgore headshot, wearing 8 Billion Trees shirt with forest in the background.Written by Georgette Kilgore

Pest Control | November 20, 2023

Man with money wonders how much does an exterminator cost for roaches and about the cockroach treatment costs and factors that determine the price of roach pest control and extermination.

How much does an exterminator cost for roaches?

As a home or business owner, you may have found yourself asking that common question.

While a dirty home full of food debris, in particular, is certainly the strongest candidate for a cockroach infestation, cleanliness actually has little to do with their presence, and even the most pristine homes can fall victim to these most unpleasant insects.

The roach’s reputation for its extremely resilient nature is well-earned, and once it takes a foothold in your house, getting rid of it can prove challenging.

While certain DIY treatments may be good for controlling smaller infestations or dealing with the occasional roach that saunters in, if you regularly spot roaches in your home, professional treatment is probably the smart way to go and knowing how much does an exterminator cost for roaches is a must.

How Much Does an Exterminator Cost for Roaches: Average Cost of Extermination

So, how much does an exterminator cost for roaches? The average cost of extermination varies greatly depending on your geographic location, the size of your home, the degree of infestation, and the specific treatment used.

Different estimates use different criteria. Some may base it solely on the size of your home, while others will give a price based on the specific treatments.

So below you will see some cost estimates based on these different factors. Again, with so many factors coming into play, trying to pin down the exact cost for your needs will be difficult, and take these numbers to be what they are intended to be…an estimate.

Some of these treatments may be specific to an exterminator while some may be appropriate for you to do on your own.

Graphic that shows the cost of roach exterminator by house size with the costs in y axis and house size in x axis.

When getting estimates from exterminators, make sure you have a full understanding of the quoted costs and what they cover exactly.1

Some may charge you to do an inspection and some may not. Most companies will offer a free service guarantee, while some companies will require you to buy a warranty. Inquire whether the price the company is quoting covers follow-up treatments if necessary or if you will need to pay an additional fee.

Average Estimate

The average estimate of how much does an exterminator cost for roaches is the range that most people will likely pay for their treatment because this range covers the ‘average’ client in terms of house size, most common treatments, etc., and comes in at $250 to $375.

High Estimate

If you have a more severe infestation requiring a costlier treatment like fumigation and/or you have a larger home, costs at the higher end of the estimate spectrum come in between $450 and $1,500.

Factors That Influence the Cost: How Much Does an Exterminator Cost for Roaches?

Below are the factors that influence the cost of hiring exterminators:

1. House Size

This one is pretty obvious. The more space an exterminator needs to treat for roach infestation, and the more extensive the infestation the more they will charge.

These figures are based on a one-time treatment and the range covers minor infestations on the low end and major on the high. If you require repeated treatments or you have a particularly bad infestation, the cost may be significantly higher.

  • 1,000 square feet: $100 to $150
  • 2,000 square feet: $ 250 to $350
  • 2,500 square feet: $350 to $500
  • 3,000 square feet: $500 to $650
  • 3,500+ square feet: $650 to $800

2. Treatment Type

The average cost for the type of treatment you need will often depend on how much of the treatment is required based on the size of your home and the degree of infestation. For example, if an exterminator needs to spray only two entry points as opposed to 10, the former will obviously cost less than the latter.

Fumigation: $1,000 to $3,000

If you have a more serious infestation, fumigation may be necessary to get things under control.2 The exterminator releases a gas, and you typically need to vacate for up to 60 hours, perhaps longer, while the gas dissipates. Whole home tenting can be significantly higher–up to $8,000–but this is rarely necessary for a roach infestation.

Gel Baits: $100 to $600

Gel baits are designed to trick the cockroach into thinking it is food, whereby it ingests the insecticide and dies. You place the traps around the home, and the cockroaches will bring it back to the nest where hopefully large numbers of them will consume it.

Glue Trap: $100 to $600

Glue traps kill cockroaches without using chemicals, but may not be the most practical of solutions if you have a more serious infestation. Essentially the roach gets stuck in the trap and eventually dies. If you do use this method, it may require multiple rounds of traps.

Roach Dust: $100 to $600

Roach dust, made from boric acid, kills roaches by attacking the nervous system. The dust has an electrostatic charge and will cling to their bodies as they walk over it. The roaches then ingest it while grooming themselves and will eventually die.

Spraying: $40 to $100

The exterminator will spray a powerful insecticide near entry points to your home and certain areas of the interior where they may be congregating such as the basement or under your sink.

Natural Treatments

DIY treatments may do the trick if you don’t have a serious infestation, and you are just trying to keep away the occasional visitor in an area where roaches are just everywhere.

If you have a more serious infestation, but you really want to attempt to handle the problem on your own before paying for a professional service, you may have some success, but there isn’t a whole lot of evidence to suggest these sorts of methods make any real dent in the problem.

Graphic that shows the cost of roach exterminator by treatment type such as fumigation, gel baits, glue trap, roach dust, and spraying.

Carefully read the instructions for any products you use, and be aware of any potential dangers. Even natural treatments can pose some risks, like an allergic reaction, or be dangerous to pets.

Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth (DE) is a popular choice for a natural insecticide.3 It is considered a desiccant, which is a substance that has drying properties. When used on cockroaches and other insects, it kills the bugs by dehydrating them.

Baking Soda

A mixture of baking soda and diced onions will make the cockroaches burst. Leave it out anywhere you have seen the roaches congregate. This may not be a good option if you have cats or dogs since onions are toxic to them.


Plain old hot soapy water can be a good addition to your natural treatment arsenal. Use it to give a good scrub anywhere you find droppings to eliminate the chemical in them that attracts other roaches.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil has various properties that make it a useful natural treatment for a variety of problems from soap scum in the sink to toenail fungus. When it comes to roaches, it may work on two fronts. It has a very strong smell the roaches find unpleasant so you may find success in spraying it around your home–mix ¼ cup of the oil with 2 cups of water.

You can also spray it directly on the roaches as a substitute for chemical sprays. It soaks into their exoskeleton and suffocates them.

What Smells Deter Cockroaches?

While cockroaches are game to eat pretty much anything they can find, it appears they may find certain items unappetizing due to their scent.

Some things to try include corn mint oil, catnip (the minty odor), citronella, basil, thyme, garlic, and lavender. Cleaning your floor with a mix of lemon juice and water may help.

These sorts of DIY methods may be helpful for keeping roaches away but are not fixes for a significant infestation. You really don’t want to focus on ‘repellents’ until after you have gotten the problem under control.

Signs of Infestation

Seeing cockroaches in your home doesn’t necessarily mean you have a serious infestation. This is especially true if you live in climates that are warm and humid all year round. In these areas, they are pretty much everywhere all the time, and they may simply work their way into your home on occasion.

But if you regularly see any of the signs of infestation below, then you may very well have one, and you may need to call in the big guns of professional treatment.


Cockroaches eliminate waste like any other animal, and if you see larger amounts of it, you may have a problem. Small roaches have droppings that look like coffee grounds or little specks of black pepper. Larger roaches will leave droppings that are small, dark and cylindrical in shape, with ridges running the length of them.

Musty Odor

Roaches have a musty odor and if you smell this strongly, that means there are lots of roaches around.


As cockroaches mature from baby to adult, they shed their skin anywhere from five to eight times. If you see a lot of these skins around, you probably have a more serious infestation.


A roach egg sac may contain as many as 30 roaches just waiting to bust out into your home! These sacs are called oothecae, and resemble reddish, brownish, or blackish-inflated beans.

Smear Marks

In most areas, cockroaches will leave behind brownish smears on surfaces.

Preventing Cockroach Infestation

If you had a bad enough infestation you required professional extermination services, being diligent about preventing another one becomes doubly important.4

Graphic that shows the signs of cockroach infestation such as droppings, musty odor, skins, eggs, and smear marks.

While certain elements contributing to an infestation may be out of your control, and even strict adherence to the best practices may not be enough to keep them away completely, a real effort in this regard will take you a long way. It will take vigilance and consistency, but not having to deal with these most unwelcome of visitors is well worth it

  • Clean kitchen appliances regularly. Cockroaches will happily feast on the grease and stuck-on food particles of your toaster, microwave, deep fryer, and the like. Give your fridge, underneath the sink, stove, and dishwasher a good scrubbing
  • Neglected kitchen cabinets that have been collecting crumbs of all kinds, or are full of forgotten open packages of food are a favorite spot. Give them a good cleaning out.
  • This may be a tough one, but limiting where in the house you eat is helpful. The more places a cockroach can find crumbs or a spill, the more places they will go in the house, spreading the infestation.
  • Regular vacuuming is important. It is best to do the kitchen nightly, and the rest of the house two or three times a week. Not only will this eliminate food sources, but you’ll also vacuum up pheromone-containing egg sacs, feces and the like that will attract new roaches.
  • Use sealed containers instead of a food’s original cardboard packaging. Roaches can squeeze into the smallest of crevices and easily make their way into your cereal, cookies, or crackers.
  • Wipe down kitchen surfaces nightly
  • Use a tight-fitting lid on the garbage
  • Regularly clean outdoor trash cans and keep them as far away from the house as possible.
  • Seal cracks and crevices where they can enter from the outside
  • Use weather stripping on windows and doors, and door sweeps
  • Keep an eye out for egg cases under furniture, in the kitchens, etc., and remove them

What Is Considered a ‘Severe’ Infestation?

There is no objective standard for defining a ‘severe’ infestation, but there are some indicators. If you believe you have a more serious roach problem, it is best to pony up the money for an exterminator rather than handle it on your own, if you truly want the problem solved as quickly and effectively as possible.

Roaches tend to prefer the cover of night to do their business, but seeing them regularly during daylight hours could suggest a more serious problem, as could seeing them in multiple areas of the home. These bugs give off a musty scent and if you smell it strongly, you likely have a more severe infestation.

To deal with this, it is important that you know the answer to the question, how much does an exterminator cost for roaches.

Frequently Asked Questions About How Much Does an Exterminator Cost for Roaches

Where Are Cockroach Nests?

Cockroaches have an affinity for warm, humid, moist places in particular. The most likely spots for a nest include basements, bathrooms, kitchens, behind refrigerators, under furniture, and the various cracks and crevices found in the home.

When Is the Worst Time for Roaches?

Because cockroaches thrive best in warm, humid weather, you’re most likely to see them in the spring and summer, and if you live in a warm area like Florida, they can pose a year-round problem. Like many other bugs, they hibernate, or die off,  in the winter, but these hearty creatures often take refuge indoors during colder months and will do just fine. Though you probably won’t see as many.


1US EPA, O. (2015, October 5). Tips for Selecting a Pest Control Service. US EPA. <>

2Structural Fumigation. (n.d.). Retrieved October 25, 2023, from <>

3Diatomaceous Earth General Fact Sheet. (2013). <>

4Cockroaches Management Guidelines–UC IPM. (n.d.). <>