What To Expect After a Bed Bug Treatment

What to expect after a bed bug treatment.

So, you have just had a bed bug treatment done at your business or place of residence – now what needs to be done? 

The answers to many questions raised about post-treatments will vary based upon the type of treatment – i.e. chemical spray/dust or a heat treatment. We strongly advise that if a heat treatment is not being conducted, a chemical treatment should always be conducted by a licensed and insured pest control operator.

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 away 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 that may have survived the bed bug treatment.

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 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.

How long after the treatment do bed bugs die?

Bed bugs cannot survive air temperatures of 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 & crevasses should reach 121° and the ambient air should be held between 130°- 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 treatment conducted for bed bugs. If the bed bug treatment was conducted by 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? 

Important things to look for in a mattress encasement are: secure zipper locks and an escape, entry & bite proof construction. Avoid any 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 Encasement. Be sure to call us for a free sample bed bug mattress encasement if you are a hotel or motel, apartment owner, or property manager.

What cleaning needs to be done?

For cleaning after a bed bug heat treatment, we recommend that you thoroughly vacuum the entire room. You will need to vacuum under the furniture, vacuum chairs and sofas prior to returning the seat cushions to their places, vacuum window sills & door thresholds, vacuum along the edge of the mattress piping, vacuum behind the headboard, vacuum the baseboards & wall plates, and anyplace where the bed bugs may have been hiding prior to the treatment. When you finished using the vacuum cleaner, it is important to change the vacuum canister bag. If you elected a chemical treatment, you will need to confirm with your professional technician what clean-up is required and what clean-up is permitted.

Do bed bugs get worse after a treatment?

If a chemical bed bug treatment was conducted there is a possibility that some of the bed bugs may have developed an immunity or resistance to certain chemicals. This can happen if a bed bug survives a chemical treatment and lives to reproduce. The offspring of that bed bug can acquire a resistance to certain chemicals. Under those stated circumstances, bed bugs could become worse after a treatment. However, that is not the case with a bed bug heat treatment. Bed bugs do not become worse after a bed bug heat treatment. The reason bed bugs do not get worse with a bed bug heat treatment is because heat kills bed bugs without any chemical resistance. When a heat treatment has been concluded, there will be no more bed bugs to get worse if the bed bug heat treatment was done properly.

Does the treatment include pesticides?

Yes, if a chemical spray or dust has been used, then a pesticide most likely has been administered. Be sure to verify with your professional technician if chemicals have been used or not in conjunction with the bed bug heat treatment. As we have stated earlier, chemicals are not needed to assist in a heat treatment, and on a normal basis, would not include any pesticides. Some companies may choose to do a pesticide after a heat treatment for a residual – not to kill the bed bugs, but rather for protection in the unlikely event that a bed bug was missed. The chemical pesticide can be used to deter bed bugs from living in the area if reintroduced where it can repopulate.

What happens to the bed bug eggs?

If a bed bug heat treatment has been done, the bed bug eggs will dry out and kill the eggs, keeping them from hatching. Bedbug 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.

Is a follow up inspection needed or recommended?

It is always good to have a follow up inspection to ensure the bedbug problem is completely eliminated. A good window for a follow up treatment is between 12-16 days after the initial treatment.

How can I keep from getting bedbugs again?

There are precautions that can be taken to prevent getting bed bugs again. First, always check for bed bugs when staying at a place accommodating overnight guests, such as in a hotel, motel, B&B, etc. Our YouTube Video will help you know how to search for bed bugs. When traveling, first place your luggage in the bathtub or on a tile floor while inspecting the room.

If you see a single stray bed bug by itself that may have fallen off a garment or satchel, you can simply use a bed bug spray to kill it. Also, 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.  Lights Out Bed Bug Spray contains no dangerous pesticides. It kills bed bugs on contact and will act as a residual for up to 4 weeks after application.

Also, in preventing bedbugs from invading your space again, be cautious when purchasing or using second hand furniture, clothing, or textiles of any kind. Use protective box spring and mattress encasements. The encasements should be certified to be 100% bed bug proof.

Be sure to clear the room of any clutter and piles of clothing or debris. If you live in a multifamily home, seal cracks into 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. 

Will bed bug bombs help before a bed bug treatment or after a bed bug treatment?

We would not recommend bed bug bombs that can be purchased at a local retail store. The pesticide from an aerosol bed bug can will disperse into the air causing the bed bugs to hide further into tight cracks & crevasses 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.

Many times, using a bed bug bomb will force the bed bugs to go further into tight cracks and crevasses where they will escape the chemical. One technician opinioned… “aerosol bombs will only annoy the bed bugs and make them worse!” So, unless you have an empty & enclosed laboratory, you may want to reconsider to keep from having angry bed bugs. 

You should be able to rest easy after a successful bed bug heat treatment. For assistance in choosing the correct bed bug heater that is most appropriate for your specific needs, call and speak with one of our professional technicians at 844-364-3281.

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