There are several types of bed bug treatments available to address bed bug infestations and ensure effective eradication. Bed bug heat treatments involve raising the temperature of the infested area to a level that is lethal to bed bugs, effectively eliminating all life stages. Chemical treatments utilize insecticides specifically formulated for bed bugs, targeting their nervous systems and leading to their demise. Another method is steam treatments, where high-temperature steam is applied to bedding, furniture, and other infested areas, effectively killing the bed bugs the steam has come in contact with. This method is the toughest to eradicate all bed bugs in the room. Finding and steaming every bed bug hiding spot is very challenging.
There are a variety of steps that need to be taken to clean after bed bug treatments. The steps depend greatly on which type of treatment was performed. If you used the steam method for killing bed bugs, follow the heat treatment instructions below. Let’s talk about some steps to take after bed bug treatments are completed.
Purchasing chemical online or in a hardware store is never suggested because the EPA has downgraded these products to the point that they are ineffective to eradicate bed bugs. If you have chosen the path of hiring a pest control company, these are the steps to take after a chemical bed bug treatment:
- Professional Follow-Up: After the initial treatment, schedule any follow-up treatments recommended by the pest control company. Multiple chemical treatments are often necessary to ensure the complete eradication of bed bugs, especially if the infestation was severe. Complete all treatments prior to clean-up.
- Wait Before Re-entering: Follow the instructions provided by the pest control professional regarding when it’s safe to reenter the treated area, usually a few hours to allow the chemicals to dry and dissipate.
- Ventilation: Open windows and doors to allow fresh air to circulate through the treated areas. Proper ventilation helps in getting rid of any lingering chemical odors.
- Avoid Cleaning: Refrain from cleaning or vacuuming treated areas for the recommended time period, usually around two weeks. This allows the chemicals to continue their residual effect which is crucial in eliminating any remaining bed bugs that hatch after the initial treatment.
- Monitor for Bed Bugs: Keep an eye out for any signs of bed bugs such as live bugs, eggs, or bites. If you continue to see signs of bed bugs after the treatment, contact the pest control company for a follow-up treatment. If your bed bugs did not die, it might be due to 12 strands of bed bugs having developed immunity to many chemicals.
- Wash Bedding and Linens: After the waiting period is over, remove and wash all bedding, linens, and curtains in hot water. Medium temperatures in a dryer will help kill any remaining bed bugs or eggs.
- Vacuum Thoroughly: Once the waiting period is over, vacuum the entire treated area focusing on cracks, crevices, and seams where bed bugs might hide. Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter to capture any particles including bed bug eggs. After vacuuming, seal the contents of the vacuum bag in a plastic bag and discard it in an outdoor trash can. Wipe down all hard surfaces, such as furniture, with a normal cleaning product.
- Mattress and Box Spring Encasements: Consider using CleanRest Mattress and Box Spring Encasements designed to trap any remaining bed bugs and prevent new infestations. Make sure to get high-quality encasements that are specifically designed for bed bug control.
- Declutter: Reduce clutter in your living space. Clutter provides hiding spots for bed bugs, makes it harder to see if the infestation continues, and to eliminate bed bugs.
While chemical treatments have their merits, at times, effectively targeting live bed bugs and their eggs, the introduction of electric or propane bed bug heat treatment takes pest management to a new level of effectiveness. Heat treatment serves as the ultimate assurance, penetrating even the most hard-to-reach crevices and hiding spots.
After a bed bug heat treatment, it’s important to follow several steps to ensure the effectiveness of the treatment and prevent any potential reinfestations.
Here’s what you should do:
- Wait for Cooling: Unlike precautions following a chemical treatment, it is safe to enter the room immediately after a bed bug heat treatment. The first thing that should be done is to turn off the heater and allow the machine to cool down. Once the bed bug heater has cooled down, it can be removed along with any additional equipment like cords and fans. It is recommended to uncover the vents, open the bathroom door, and open the windows in the room to allow fresh air to circulate. After the ambient air temperature falls below 100° F, Remove the sprinkler head covers.
- Inspect: After the bed bug treatment is completed, thoroughly inspect the treated area to ensure that bed bugs and their eggs have been effectively eliminated. Look for any signs of live bed bugs or eggs. With heat treatments, bed bugs and their eggs die within a few minutes. If they are found alive, a cold spot has been left in the room which allowed them to survive the treatment.
- Launder Bedding and Clothing: Wash all bedding, linens, curtains, and clothing that were in the treated area in hot water (at least 120° F or 49° C) and dry them for at least 15 minutes on medium heat. This will help eliminate any remaining bed bugs or eggs. If you have bed bug proof covers, be sure to remove them and launder according to the instructions from the manufacturer. Heating the encasements will damage the inside membrane.
- Clean and Vacuum: Vacuum the treated area to remove any dead bed bugs, their eggs, and other debris. Be sure to empty the vacuum bag or canister immediately after vacuuming. Thoroughly clean the room and begin using it immediately.
Even with all the information given above, as pest control professionals, we have many frequently asked questions when it comes to eradication of bed bugs.
How do I know the treatment has been successful?
- The obvious answer is that there will be no more living bed bugs. There should be no more bites from the bed bugs, no more fresh casings, and no new fecal matter spots or blood spots on the sheets and mattress. A good rule-of-thumb is that you should not be finding any new adult bed bugs or bed bug nymphs 7-14 days after the bed bug treatment has been concluded.
Should I throw aways my mattress after the bed bug treatment?
- Under normal circumstances, no. If you have any doubts about the condition of the mattress, you can use a bed bug proof mattress encasement. A bed bug proof encasement will capture any bugs or eggs on the mattress that may have survived the bed bug treatment. If you were looking to purchase new mattresses due to the age or quality of the mattress, this may be a good time.
Is it normal to see bed bugs after a treatment?
- No, it is generally not normal to see live bed bugs after a bed bug heat treatment. You should not see any living, crawling bed bugs if the heat treatment was successful. All life stages of the bed bug should be dead and dried up. It is possible that you may see live bed bugs after a chemical treatment was done. This treatment can take up to one week to kill bed bugs.
How long after the treatment do bed bugs die?
- Bed bugs cannot survive air temperatures higher than 118°. Therefore, with a heat treatment, bugs die immediately. There should not be any living bed bugs if the heat treatment was done correctly, and the heat was sustained adequately. The cracks and crevices should reach 121° and the ambient air should be held between 130° and 145° Fahrenheit for three hours. After a chemical bed bug treatment, you should see some immediate knock down depending upon the specific chemical that was used. There will likely be a residual up to 7 days. If you are still seeing live bed bugs up to day 14, then the treatment was unsuccessful. If this happens, you will need to contact your pest control professional about having them use a different chemical due to immunity issues.
How soon after the treatment can I sleep in my bed and be in the room?
- It is imperative that you discuss this matter with your professional technician if you have had a chemical bed bug treatment. If the bed bug treatment was conducted using heat, you are safe to sleep in the room immediately after the room’s temperature has lowered to a comfortable temperature and once a post treatment cleaning has been done.
What is a good bed bug mattress encasement?
- When purchasing a mattress encasement, buy one with a secure zipper lock and an escape, entry & bite proof construction. Avoid encasements that are only bed bug resistant, or that are constructed of just a plastic material. At Bed Bug Heat Doctor, we recommend using a CleanRest Mattress and Box Spring Encasements. Be sure to call us for a free sample bed bug mattress encasement if you are a hotel, motel, apartment owner, or property manager.
What happens to the bed bug eggs?
- If a bed bug heat treatment has been done, the bed bug eggs will dry out killing the eggs and keeping them from hatching. Bed bug eggs and larva all completely die and cannot survive between 116° and 119°F. If a chemical treatment was done, some pesticides may not kill the eggs and a follow up treatment will be needed.
How can I keep from getting bed bugs again?
- Always check for bed bugs when staying at a place accommodating overnight guests, such as in a hotel, motel, B&B, etc. This YouTube Video will help you know how to search for bed bugs. When traveling, place your luggage in the bathtub or on a tile floor while inspecting the room. After inspecting the room, if no evidence of bed bugs is found, the room can be considered safe to stay in.
- Bed bug sprays are good for spraying a suitcase or travel bag to prevent bed bugs from crawling on them. We strongly suggest Lights Out Bed Bug Spray which contains no dangerous pesticides. It kills bed bugs on contact plus has a 4-week residual.
- To prevent bed bugs from invading your space again, be cautious when purchasing or using second-hand furniture, clothing, or textiles of any kind. Use 100% bed bug proof protective box spring and mattress encasements.
- Be sure to clear the room of any clutter and piles of clothing or debris. If you live in a multifamily home, seal cracks in the interior of your unit. If you live in a rental facility, report all symptoms and first signs of bed bugs to your landlord or property management company. Remember that bed bug infestations can be persistent, so staying vigilant and proactive is essential to preventing their return.
Will bed bug bombs help before or after a bed bug treatment?
- We would not recommend bed bug bombs that are purchased at a local retail store. The pesticide from a bed bug aerosol can will disperse into the air causing the bed bugs to retreat further into tight cracks and crevices where the mist cannot reach. They will not come back out until the spray is no longer active and the pesticide from the fogger will be rendered non-effective in the areas where the bed bugs are hiding.
If you continue to have issues or suspect a reinfestation, it’s best to consult with a pest control professional for further guidance and treatment. If you are using our bed bug heaters, feel free to call our professional pest technician. Educate yourself and your staff or household members about bed bugs, their signs, and prevention methods. The more aware everyone is, the quicker a potential reinfestation can be caught and addressed. We have many blogs and training guides on our website for your use at prevsol.com.
If you have any questions regarding how heat treatment for bed bugs kills them the first time, every time or what to do after a bed bug heat treatment, please feel free to contact our experts for helpful advice. Live chat with our actual staff now or speak with a representative by calling 844-364-3281.