When people get their houses treated for bugs, a common question is – How Long After Bed Bug Treatment Can I Return Home?
And it’s a valid question considering that bed bugs treatment would involve some level of chemicals that are used to kill these little pests.
How long after the bed bug treatment should you return home?
Well, the average time you need to wait is 4 hours, but that’s not set in stone.
Several factors, such as chemical strength, the severity of the infestation, size, and room ventilation, are a significant factor that will determine how long you need to wait before coming back to your house after treatment.
However, you should also adhere to your PMP’s (pest management professional) instructions. Your PMP will inform you on how long to wait and how to determine that your home is safe to re-enter after the treatment.
All you need to do is to listen and do as told to keep you and your family safe.
Reasons To Wait After Bed Bug Treatment Before Re-Entering Your Home
If the pest management professional uses pesticides to fight bed bugs in your home, re-entering the house when the chemical is still oozing around can be dangerous to you and those living in the home.
Even if you don’t have an asthmatic family member, inhaling the chemical used in treating bed bugs is toxic and can cause an unavoidable respiratory problem.
So, you need to make sure the room is entirely free from the chemical. How can you know this? Ensure there’s zero chemical smell in any part of your home when you walk in after the treatment.
Another reason you should exercise some patience is to give the chemical or treatment used enough time to act.
Bed bugs are stubborn pests that take a lot of effort to eliminate. Once the chemical that kills bed bugs is released into their hideouts, you will find them running all over the place, trying to take cover.
As tiny and almost invisible that the bed bugs are, they are not the easiest pests to kill.
Bed Bug Treatment – What To Do After Re-Entering Your Home
If the bed bug treatment included pesticides, there are things you need to do once you step into your home (after waiting patiently for the chemical to act).
Let’s go through them quickly.
Air the rooms
Your first action after re-entering your home should be to air the room. You also need to do so for at least an hour thirty minutes (90 minutes).
Now how do you air a room? Simple!
Open the door and windows, and turn on the air conditioner, dehumidifier, and fan. If you have a ventilation fan, then you can turn it on too.
Remember, the reason you are airing the room is for the residual chemical in the room to go out. Also, you should never assume that your room is chemical free because you may not always be able to smell the chemicals.
You still need to air the room.
Wash the entire fabrics in the room
Another decisive action you need to take is to wash the fabrics (linens and clothing) in the room that was treated.
There’s nothing wrong if you do the same in other places that are closer to the treated room.
Ensure you wash your linens and clothing with hot water, and when drying, use a hot setting. Let the clothing dry for at least 30 minutes.
Get the room vacuumed and cleaned
After the treatment, you should get ready to clean the room thoroughly.
Washing the linens and clothing is part of the cleanup, but you need to focus on the floor of the bedbug-infested room. These pests reproduce and multiply rapidly, so you are going to find a couple of them on the floor (dead and alive).
Your PMP will let you know when to vacuum the room. You should also have in mind that bed bugs don’t die easily. So, you may likely find some of them alive but fighting for their lives.
Why is vacuuming an effective solution after bed bug treatment? After the treatment, you may find a couple of bugs between various objects and corners in your home.
With the crevice attachment, you can easily reach out and take them off those places.
Another cleanup process involves using mildly wet cloth (soaked in water and soap) to wipe your bed frame, nightstand, wardrobe, dresser, floorboards, and furniture in your room.
You can also extend this cleanup to other parts of the home. Don’t forget that bed bugs travel far, even though they have tiny legs.
Please Take Note: It is not advisable to start cleaning every part of your home immediately after bed bug treatment.
You can air the room but don’t vacuum or clean just yet. However, if you can, leave the room where the infection is highest locked for a while.
The thing is, most treatments can last for several weeks to work fully. They can take between 21 – 30 days. So, you need to wait this long before cleaning most of the floors and walls where your appliances are.
The things you can immediately clean once the treatment is over are horizontal surfaces that you utilize always.
These include kitchen countertops, coffee tables, dining tables, stovetops, and end tables. You can also talk to your pest exterminator about what to do post bed bug treatment to get it right.
Post Bed Bug Treatment – Why A Follow Up Might Be Necessary.
Bed bug treatment or management is not an easy process. It takes time to do the repairs, clean, and then administer the right treatment.
Let’s not forget you also have to spend a couple of dollars out of pocket too. Having a situation where the bed bugs aren’t annihilated after burning cash can be painful.
Your time and resources all gone, and let’s not forget the health implication of having these tiny creatures in your home.
So, a follow-up is necessary after the treatment. The reason for monitoring the bed bugs is to stop the ones that weren’t impacted by the treatment from multiplying. Also, if the pest exterminator uses a conventional method, a follow-up is still necessary.
If no follow-up is done, you may likely see the bed bugs return to your home quickly. Some people who have experienced this complain that the treatment wasn’t effective and may accuse the pest exterminator of being incompetent, which isn’t suppose to be.
Now hear this, even if you utilize a chemical treatment for bed bugs, there is a need to monitor the situation for the next two weeks. Some of the previously laid eggs will hatch during this time and introduce a fresh set of bugs into your home.
But if the eggs were adequately monitored, they will be taken care of before a new generation of bed bugs arise and spread to different areas of your home.
How Bed Bugs Get Into Homes Undetected
You have stayed in your precious home for over a decade and have never for once come across a single bed bug. Your home is clean, and you are always careful not to introduce bed bugs into your home.
Now hear this from me; bed bug infestations are highly contagious. Bed bugs may not be as invisible as viruses, but they spread from one place to another so fast. You can also use the word “travel fast.”
How do bed bugs travel fast? You, a friend or your relative, might be responsible for helping bed bugs spread without knowing.
Your friend or relative that visited your home a couple of months back may have lodged in a bedbug-infested hotel where the pests could make their way into the briefcase or bag.
When that briefcase or backpack goes to your home, the bed bugs disembark and find their way into your chair, bed, and furniture.
Why did it take so long to realize that there are bed bugs in my house? Good question! The thing is, bed bugs can survive for over a year without food.
Can you beat that? During this period, they tend to multiply quickly and find a comfortable place to live.
How You Make Your Home 100% Bed Bug-Free
Is it possible to have a home that’s 100% bedbug-free? The answer is yes.
When you do the right thing, bed bugs won’t come near your home.
Here are some of the steps you should take.
- You should check every suitcase that comes into your home, notably if you or your guest lodged in a hotel before heading to your house. If possible, you should vacuum all suitcases.
- Place your suitcase and other belongings in a plastic bag whenever you stay in a hotel.
- Do you have a pet? If yes, then you have to check their sleeping area regularly. Pet’s fur can harbor bed bugs. You should also take proper care of your dog’s coat.
- Inspect all old furniture thoroughly before bringing them into your home. Don’t bring an old mattress into your household without checking it carefully.
The answer to the question, “how long after bed bug treatment can I return home” should be clear to you at this point.
Also, I hope you have learned something new about post-bed-bug treatment activities and how to prevent bed bugs from entering your home.
You see, these tiny creatures are not good to have around your house. They feed on human blood and can cause various diseases.
So, if you have bed bugs in your home, do everything you can to wipe them off completely.
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