Post Bed Bug Treatment – The Dos and Don’ts

How to Eliminate Bed Bugs

What to Expect After Bedbug Treatment

In this article, we will examine various scenarios and the experience many people had after bed bug treatment. The follow-up actions are similar even though you are willing to exterminate bedbugs alone, or you hire PMC and sight contract for full eradication.

Realizing that your home has bedbugs is very stressful, but if you can call immediately to the best pest control company, or purchase the best DIY bedbug kit, your ordeal is not over.
Be mentally prepared for a war, not for a single battle!

Often, your place will need more than one treatment, spread out 2-3 weeks apart. Just be ready to be patient and to follow instructions before your life is back to normal.

Now, in 2019, as throughout the centuries, there is not one single solution that can guarantee 100% success in the first round. Bedbugs adapt. The products that killed them a decade ago don’t work now. Many people report that Diatomaceous earth (DE) kills the bugs successfully. Yes, I believe them.

I believe that in other parts of the country, scientists noticed that bedbugs in a lab developed a thicker skin and DE didn’t kill them at all. It didn’t kill the larvae, as they change their skin every 2 weeks while there is a food source and the time is not long enough for DE to kill them.

Using high-tech scanning equipment, scientists in Australia have discovered that in the battle between bedbugs and humans, some of the insects wield thicker exoskeletons, making them more resistant to insecticide.(Source)

Others report that heat and cold tolerance increase as well, and they manage to acclimate faster.

The only thing bedbugs can’t survive is an extremely high and extremely low temperature. This is the reason that a heat treatment has the highest rate of success.

With heat, you could even kill some of the eggs hidden deep inside bedding or crevices. If the temperature didn’t reach deep enough into every hole, or bedbugs manage to escape into the walls, they will come back, and your property will require a second round.

Bedbug life cycle and how they spreadAfter Bed bug Treatment: What to expect after applying pesticides and heat treatment bedbugs, exterminator facts did you know bed bug prevention exterminate Bed Bugs Pictures & What Do Bed Bugs Infestation Look Like

In the first two weeks or so you will notice bites two or three times a week. As the bedbug numbers increase, the bites become more frequent or regularly.

A single bedbug in your house, depending on their stage in the life cycle, will need to feed one to three times a week. As that bug begins laying eggs, a new generation develops fast. While passing from one to the next stage in adulthood development, they must start feeding on their human host, and the bites increase.

When the infestation gets to this point and is left untreated, your place already has a full life cycle of adults, nymphs, and eggs. You need to reach and extinguish dozens or hundreds of bedbugs in various stages of development, hiding all around your bed.

The longer the problem has been developing, the more follow-up services are expected. Bedbug eggs take two and a half to five weeks to hatch and the female bedbug can lay up to 10 eggs a day, so the longer the infestation goes untreated the longer it takes to correct. (Bedbug FAQ | San Jose Pest Control – Bay Valley Pest)

Why would I need more than one treatment?

Bedbug physiology, along with their typical behavior, makes them very hard to treat. So far, no chemicals and pesticides we have available today have a 100% kill rate.

As a result, most successful treatment plans are integrated pest management, where a combination of methods is used to kill an infestation: heat, spray, dust, and pesticides.

An adult unfed bedbug is skinny enough to fit in the smallest crack between the baseboard and a wall. The eggs are tiny, and the unfed nymphs are translucent and hard to spot.

As a result, a few weeks of waiting is necessary until the eggs hatch, and then treatment should start again to wipe out the next generation.

Any infestation differs in severity. If you or somebody from your household are very sensitive and you recognize from the skin reaction that you have a problem with bedbugs fast, you could easily win the battle.

If bed bug treatment occurs within the first two weeks of the infestation, there’s a real chance that if executed well, the first treatment would correct the problem.

As you can see, there are few IF’s in that sentence. 30% of people never react to bedbug bites. 60% respond 2- 3 weeks after they are bitten. Even after a visible skin rash, some people take a long time to figure out that the bites are from bedbugs.

Also, many people try to solve the problem alone, but didn’t do it well enough and just spread the bedbugs all over the house, into the walls and into the neighbors.

Some people attempt to treat infestation themselves for weeks or even months before giving up and calling a professional.

Many times, the professional pest control company is engaged in a much later stage when the initial problem has turned into a full-blown infestation.

An average bedbug outbreak takes typically from 2 to 4 treatments. If bites reoccur or are continuing into the third week, a follow-up treatment should be scheduled. Some customers have relief into the fourth or fifth week and then need their next follow-up.

When you know the bedbug life cycle, you could guess what to expect with your particular situation.

When the infestation is on the way, eggs, nymphs, and adult bedbugs are present, the well-established practice is to perform three treatments spaced apart three to four weeks. That is valid for all kind of treatments, heat, pesticide or even self-performed ones.

What to expect after pesticides and bedbug heat treatment

If you need to have your home treated for bedbugs, here are few things to consider:

  • Using heat or applying pesticides (alone or with the help of your chosen pest control company) are the primary methods of successfully treating bedbugs.
  • Heat treatment is more expensive but is faster, and is more likely to give results after just one fell swoop.
  • On the other hand, using all other specialized products (chemicals, pesticides or some homemade remedies) usually, requires multiple treatments.
  • The bad news is that despite how much you spent on initial treatment, you should be ready for several follow-up procedures.
  • If your exterminator used pesticides, it’s unlikely that all the eggs have been killed. More bedbugs are likely to hatch one to several weeks after your treatment. You may need two or three more rounds before all bedbugs are killed.

Is it normal to see bedbugs after treatment?

Yes, it is normal to see bedbugs after you treat them alone or between each visit from a pest control professional. The good news is that their number should be reduced after each procedure. Realistically, a bedbug infestation in your home should be eliminated successfully and entirely by the 3rd treatment.

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The reason a single treatment is almost never enough is that bedbugs are able of getting into many spots that are inaccessible.

Bedbugs typically feed once every week and could be hiding between meals when treatment is applied.

They could be hiding beneath window or door frames, under the edge of carpeting, beneath or between the floorboards, behind baseboards, and crown molding.

Be aware that boxes filled with belongings, items underneath beds, packed closets or stacks of papers prevented proper inspection. They also offer additional hiding places for bedbugs and allow them to survive for extended periods of time.

It is common to notice increased bedbug activity a few days after the treatment, mainly because at this point, you are well aware of the infestation and you are actively looking for them. In reality, their numbers usually decrease.

Follow up treatments with a variety of products will be necessary to achieve complete elimination of the bedbug infestation.

How long after bed bug treatment can I return home?

In average, the recommended time is around 4 hours. However, there are specific factors to take into account, such as the severity of the infestation, the strength of the chemicals used, the size of the house, air-conditioning, etc.

24 hours should be perfectly fine if it can be arranged. However, I would still suggest that you ask your pest controllers because they should be able to answer, considering all factors.

You need to respect the recommendations from bedbug exterminator, regarding the time of your return to your home.

It’s recommended to stay out of the treated home for the time that the particular chemical label suggests, then to use the house as usual.

You need to return to place. The reality is that you and your family are the necessary “lure” to attract surviving and newly born bugs over the poisons.

In many countries, any pesticide formulations must be accompanied with some approved label that defines the minimum interval between applying the product and when people can return. That’s a good indication.

Can I sleep in my bed after bed bug treatment?

It is important to continue sleeping in the room after the treatments. If the room is vacant, then the bugs won’t move around from deeper recesses. Bedbugs can live up to 6 months without a blood meal which outlives the chemical residuals.

bedbugs on beds can I sleep in my bed after bedbug treatment

Source: Solutions pest & lawn

Bedbugs come out when they detect carbon dioxide that is emitted from a warm-blooded mammal. So as our breath and other gases build up in a room the bedbugs will come out. If the bedbugs cannot detect a host, they will stay in their hiding places.

You should continue to sleep in your bed after the treatment. Many researchers found that it is an extremely important step. If the room is left empty, then the bedbugs won’t appear from their hiding places.

The problem is that no chemical residuals can last as long as bedbugs can. The same is valid for the heat. If any adults manage to hide inside the walls, it will be protected.

Bloodsuckers can live up to a year without a blood meal. Bedbugs come out when they detect carbon dioxide that is emitted from a warm-blooded mammal. So as our breath and other gases build up in a room, the bedbugs will come out.

There are many instructions on the YouTube about a homemade DIY lure. If the bugs cannot detect a host, they will stay in their hiding places. Just make sure that you outsmart them and invite them out again.

It is really strange that they sent a car into space, and still can’t come up with a reliable design of a bedbug lure trap, mimicking human breath. There are many research papers and pending patents, but nothing reliable on the market yet.

Your only chance is to keep sleeping in your bed and use traps. See more about bedbug traps and interceptors here.

What Should You Do When You See Bedbugs?

If you are using a pest control professional, you should trust them and not apply any pesticides on your own. The same is valid if you tackle the problem alone. Just read the instructions very carefully.

Bedbugs that are seen between treatments must be physically killed or removed from the house.

  • Use a vacuum cleaner to remove live bedbugs.
    Very often, they escape from the vacuum cleaners if they are without a HEPA filter. Just in case, keep that appliance in a plastic bag. Very carefully inspect the area where your vacuum cleaner is being stored. Many people realize that before they suspect that they are infested, they spread the bugs from the bedroom to the place where they kept the vacuum.
  • Physically kill and crush them.
  • Keep notes where bedbugs were seen. This information will help to understand changes in bedbug activity between scheduled visits better.

What to do after my DIY bed bug treatment?

Bedbugs are stubborn and very difficult pests to exterminate. They could hide inside walls or cracks, and creep back to your home. Despite the bedbug treatment you were implementing, you will need to follow several additional steps.

We research the web and collect an extensive list of extra precautions to ensure that bedbugs infestation won’t happen again and cause you further problems.

And those are basically the following:

Re-Inspect the Affected Areas

Immediately after the extermination, you should examine again the places of your house affected by the bugs. Very closely inspect the crevices, cracks, and every small hiding place in them.

Some people need to re-implement the elimination method or to look for an additional way to eradicate bedbugs. (Follow the instructions on the label strictly!)

Your primary task is to prevent bugs from re-organizing themselves, breeding again, and spreading back into your home.

Check Adjoining Rooms

While the bedbug treatment is implemented, some of the critters will find refuge in areas adjacent to the place you just treated. Usually, one single treatment is not enough, as they are able to escape into another room or cover themselves under the wallpaper, inside electric sockets, or under the floorboards.

Be sure to scrutinize the rooms and areas next to the one being treated. You can’t check on every single possible spot; just keep that behavior in mind and check what you can around the treated area.(Source)

Do not bring your infected furniture back to the treated area without examining it very carefully.

Furniture offers one of the best hiding places for bedbugs. They are not disturbed. They could lay their eggs in small cracks, and at the same time, they are close to the food sources – sleeping humans.

When moving pieces of furniture from one room to the treated area, please, make sure that they don’t have the pests hiding somewhere.

Even a few eggs or an adult bedbug will start the infestation again. That will simply replicate all the difficulties you had to deal with.

After getting rid of the bedbugs from these items, spray them with a bedbug spray with a long-lasting effect. You don’t need to throw out bedbug infested furniture. The residual spray will kill any remaining critters and will ensure that you are bedbug-free.

Block the entry of bedbugs to your home

Preventive steps you should implement into your daily routine are the suitable ways to block the entry of bedbugs to your home.

Do not let items get inside your house without first inspecting them for bedbugs. The possible bedbug carriers are :

  • Handbags, school bags, luggage, overcoats, shoes
  • any items delivered by parcels, (online shopping, gifts, etc.)
  • bulky items on trucks

There are many big warehouses reported to have a bedbug infestation. The delivery guys who do a house clearance, or moving second-hand items around, haven’t got a chance to avoid spreading bedbugs from place to place, knowingly or not.

The same is true about ambulances, firefighters, or any visitors which job involves visiting many homes and offices during the day.

Just be aware of the situation and act with caution. We found that clear plastic boxes are extremely useful. You will need them during the treatment to store dry cleaning or washed bedbug free items.

After the successful bedbug treatment, you definitely will need them again. Many ladies get used to keeping their handbag in a plastic box, and not placing it directly on the hallway furniture. In the video above, they are talking of firmly sealed storage bins. It is useful, but not strictly essential. If the walls are slippery and if nothing touches them for bugs to climb out of, a plastic box will form a sufficient barrier and prevent bedbugs from escaping into the house.

The same is valid for your shoes, school bags, parcels, etc. And if you sprinkle Diatomaceous Earth or some other bedbug killing powder on the bottom of the boxes, you will have a great trap in place and a more secure house.

What to expect after bed bug treatment when I use PMC

I don’t know what the pest control company did in your home. You hopefully hold a written contract with clearly stated instructions. Even if you know the used pesticides, it’s tough for anybody to advise you, because they don’t know where and how they were applied.

So, the biggest recommendation I have is that you need to contact the pest control company that performed the treatment and they can provide you more information on what you should or shouldn’t do after their treatment.


In general terms, vacuuming probably won’t have a lot of effect on what they did in your home. You know, if you were going to vacuum your carpet and your house just like you usually would any other week, it probably won’t affect the treatment that was done already, but I can’t say it definitively. Use your common sense and check the contract clauses.


Regarding mopping, if you’re going to mop the floor, that probably won’t affect any pesticides that were applied. If they are using some powder as a part of room treatment, do not mop that area.

A traditional treatment for bedbugs, which a lot of companies apply, is a liquid pesticide on the baseboards in the house. So, if you’re going to mop right next to the baseboards, could that affect some pesticide efficiency? Possibly, but again, this all comes back to you knowing the pest control company’s recommendations.

Just ask them what they did and what you should and shouldn’t do.

Mattress Encasement

Encasements should be put on mattresses and box springs. Any surviving bedbugs in the mattress or box spring will not be able to escape the encasement or bite. Encasements also prevent bedbugs living in other parts of the room from establishing themselves in the mattress or box spring. These encasements will prevent any newly hatched bedbugs from biting you or getting out and will prevent surviving bedbugs from migrating back into the bed.

Laundering and clothing

In regard to laundering, whether it be clothes or personal belongings, that shouldn’t play much of an effect on what the pest control company did.

You probably have laundered and bagged your clothing earlier, before the treatment started. Now, for a while, you have two options.

You can choose to live out of those bags until the bugs are declared eradicated.

The second option is to put the clothes back if evidence of the bedbug infestation was seen in the closets or dressers. This is much more comfortable, but you may have to dry and launder the clothes again if bedbugs are back.

That being said, bedbugs are not typically found on clothes in closets and dressers.

But please remember, before you do anything you should always contact the company who performed the treatment.

Your Cooperation

When choosing a pest management professional (PMP) to deal with your bedbug infestation, it is essential to cooperate fully and follow all steps that are specified by them.

According to research, when a homeowner cooperates in the process, the eradication process is much shorter.

Once inside, air the rooms for an hour. All treated rooms should be well ventilated. Depending on the chemicals, some PMC could advise you not to walk barefoot in the treated areas at least for the first 48 hours after extermination. (Source)

Bedbug Interceptors

Bedbug Interceptors are small plastic trays with an outer and inner well and are a fantastic bedbug monitoring tool. They are placed under the legs of the bed and are useful in evaluating the outcomes of a bedbug treatment and suitable for detecting early stages of bedbug infestations. If there are any live bedbugs left, you will spot them either in the outer or inner ring of the interceptor.

What to do after bed bug treatment [step by step]

KILLS BED BUGS ON CONTACT. 100% Natural formula

KILLS BED BUGS ON CONTACT. 100% Natural formula

Keep doing laundry on a regular basis. Wash and dry at the highest possible temperature. Some people even DRY, wash, and dry their laundry again. That way they are sure that the first hot, dry cycle killed the bedbugs and the wash and second dry finish them entirely.

Make Your Bed Less Desirable for Bedbugs. To stay on the safe side after a bedbug extermination, you can cover mattresses and box springs with zippered covers for a minimum of 4-5 months. Check our guide for the best 2019 mattress encasement 

  • Place washed clothes onto a clear leaded box or plastic bags
  • Do not ever re-use any bag that had any infected bedbug content in it to prevent re-infestation
  • Throw out used bags immediately
  • Place electrical covers back onto switches and outlets
  • Do not use a wash of chemicals
  • Do not bring used beds or furniture into the house
  • Vacuum the area around the bed daily and keep your vacuum in a plastic bin or garbage bag, unless your vacuum has a HEPA filter
  • Do not put your items in closets or drawers again, until Pest Control Operators tell you that you can do it (or you are confident that bedbugs are gone for good!)
  • Do not vacuum around baseboards or another area where dust is applied. The powder is there for a reason and let is stay as long as pest control operator advice you so, or according to instruction on the label if you do the treatment alone.

Be sure that you know the rules of the agreement and contract if you hire a bedbug professional for the job. Not complying with all steps in the contract will void the warranty of the treatment and bedbugs will win the battle.

How much does bed bug treatment cost?

The harsh truth is that bedbug infestations cost money. It could be very expensive and unsuccessful, or less expensive and successful. It is up to the property owner to find the right balance between price and time needed to solve the problem.

I prefer to trust people who work with the pest control companies, who know their staff and know what is used for that particular season and what is not.

Please, share in the comments your experience and what was the most challenging job for you during bedbug treatment. Your advice would help many people facing this complicated and expensive task in winning the battle with their dreadful infestation.

I’d love to hear what you think

I’m probably leaving out some information. What other tips can you provide about this issue? Let’s beat the bed bug! Share your story in the comments.


About the Author

Hi! My name is John, a chief editor here at Get Rid of Pests. I want to help you get rid of pests for good so you can start enjoying a bug-free life again. If you have enjoyed what you have read, please show your appreciation by sharing this post on your favorite social network below. Thanks, I appreciate it!

  • Ray says:

    Will dry cleaning my suits kill the pests?

    • pest says:

      Well… Dry cleaning does kill bed bugs which are found on pillows, beds, sheets etc. But the bug infestation will not be only on these. Once your room is infested, these bed bugs gets into small spaces between furniture and you will not notice it. So, if you have bed bug infestation, it is better to hire a professional service or do the infestation of the entire room all by yourselves.

  • Julie says:

    Hi, I have bumps, or bites on my legs, stomach and arms. Occasionally I get them on my face. They are not in a row or cluster. They are spread out. The bites resemble black heads, with the center being hard. They look like a burn, in the healing stage, and upon peeling off the top layer of skin, its an open wound. My father who is in his late 70`s, says they are bed bug bites and that I got them from his home. I have never seen a bed bug in my home. Could they be bed bug bites, or are there other insects that could be causing them. I need to get rid of what’s causing the bites, then I have to take care of my father’s home, as he wants me to move in and be his caregiver.

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