How Long After Bed Bug Treatment Can I Return Home?


Have you finally had your house treated to get rid of those tiny bed bugs that had been making your life miserable? 

In this article, we will see how long after bed bug treatment it is safe to go back to your home sweet home.

You must be puzzled, ‘Why do I have to leave the house for bed bug treatment?’ 

This is indeed a good question. The reason is that these treatments are not only deadly to bugs, but they are also harmful to human health.

The treatment involves the use of certain chemicals that can kill the pests. Only pest management professionals are authorized to carry out this procedure, who are properly covered in safety suits.

Let us dig deeper into the topic and find out the answers on the following:

  • How should you prepare for bed bug treatment? 
  • Why is there a need to leave the house for bed bug treatment?
  • How long do you need to leave home after a bed bug treatment?

How To Prepare For Bed Bug Treatment?

Before having bed bug treatment, you have to prepare your house for it. 

You can do it in the following way:

1.     Preparing The Kitchen

Put all the small kitchen items like crockery, snacks, or kitchen towels inside the drawers, sealed containers, or closed cupboards. You can also use plastic covers for covering the countertops. This helps in preventing the chemicals from getting into your food.

Remove everything from the top of kitchen slabs, fridge, counter, dishwasher, microwave oven, and stove.

Remove all the food from the fridge, and seal it in bags or containers to avoid mixing with the chemicals.

2.     Preparing The Living Room

Move everything, including the furniture, at least two feet away from the walls, and keep them in that position until the treatment is over.

Remove all the pictures and other hanging objects from the wall. 

Moreover, remove all the vases and flower pots from the shelves, and keep them in a safe place, perhaps in the garage.

Move away from your electrical appliances like TV, computer, and personal electronic devices such as phones, iPods, etc.

3. Preparing The Bedroom

Take every item of clothing and bedding and move them to a different room or put them in a specific place outside the house.

Move all the mattresses, sofas or chairs, and other furniture away from the walls.

Cover all the air vents with tape to avoid the chemical fumes from entering the room.

4. Preparing The Bathroom 

The bathroom is the most important place to prepare for bed bug treatment. 

You have to remove all the articles from there and keep them in the attic or somewhere else. You should also remove and wash all the curtains and bedsheets from the bathroom. 

Also, make sure to remove all the toothbrushes from the bathroom. Keep all the toiletries like shampoo, body wash, or soaps in the cupboards or drawers. Wash the towels, curtains, and floor mats as soon as possible and dry them at high temperatures. 

This was a brief guide on preparing your house for the bed bug treatment. When you are done with all these preparations, it’s time to leave the house.

But why do you have to leave the house for the bed bug treatment

Of course, it’s mandatory to leave the house for the bed bug treatment. 

And why is that so? Let’s find out.

Reasons To Leave The House For Pest Treatment

When you plan to have bed bug treatment in your house, it’s very important not to stay home during the process. 

The reasons behind this are as follows:

1.     To Ensure A Proper Spread

It’s good to leave the house at once before the pest control procedure.

This will allow the workers to do their job properly and spread the pest killer to every corner of the house.

Moreover, once the treatment is done, don’t just return at once. Give the chemical enough time to penetrate the whole house for effective results. After all, it’s not magic.

2.     To Stay Safe

The most important reason for not staying home during bed bug treatment is to stay safe. 

If you stay home during such treatments, you would probably inhale the chemical. 

This causes severe respiratory problems, so much that it can even lead to death, especially in infants and children.

When To Return Home After Bed Bug Treatment?

If the pest-killing chemical is still present around your house, re-entering would be very dangerous for you and your family.

Several factors determine how long you have to wait before re-entering your house after bed bug treatment. 

These factors are as follows:

1.     Strength Of The Chemical Used

The more powerful the chemical is, the more you have to wait before coming back to your house.

2.     Severity Of Infestation

If the population of bed bugs at your house is high, it will take more time to eliminate them. Thus, returning to your home would take more time.

3.     Ventilation 

If your house has good ventilation, the chemical fumes will get out, and you could come back inside of the house quickly.

The average time to return home after bed bug treatment is believed to be 4-5 hours; however, it is still recommended to stay away from the treated house for at least one night.

How Long Will the Bed Bugs Die After Pesticide Treatment?

You must be wondering how long the bed bugs die after pesticide treatment

If you are going for heat treatments or temperatures as high as 118°F – 122°F, the eradication of bugs is as quick as within 60-90 minutes. Whereas, chemical treatment takes around 6-8 hours to kill the pests, depending upon the severity of their manifestation in your house.

Things To Do Once You Come Back After Bed Bug Treatment

After the pesticide bed bug treatment, certain things need to be done once you re-enter your house.

1.     Proper Ventilation

Airing every room should be the first thing to do once you enter your house after the bed bug treatment.

You must be wondering how you should air the rooms?

Provide proper ventilation through ventilation fans, air conditioners, dehumidifiers, air filters. 

Most importantly, open all the windows and doors of the house.

2.     Wash Every Fabric

Make sure to wash each fabric that must have come in contact with the pesticide. 

Wash every clothing and linens and dry them at high temperature for at least half an hour.

3.     Get The Room Cleaned And Vacuumed

After returning home, grab your vacuum cleaner and damp cloth, get ready to clean up the entire house. 

Now, the question is how do you clean your house after the bed bug treatment?

The bed bugs are not easy to kill. You may find some of them alive and fighting for their lives. 

Vacuuming is the best option since it can reach every corner and spot of the house with its crevice attachment.

With the help of a damp cloth, clean all the furniture, kitchen counters, fridge, and other appliances.

Is that all there is? 

Well, the story doesn’t end here. These tiny bed bugs can multiply rapidly. So even if few of them or their eggs were left alive, they will reproduce again in no time. In this case, you will need follow-up treatments to eradicate these tiny creatures.

Staying away from your house is not easy, but living with bed bugs is the worst. Have patience, give some time to the treatment to work. 

Believe it or not, returning to a bedbug-free home would be one of the best things that ever happened to you. 

Good luck and be happy living in a bed-bug free home!

D. Hahn

DIY guru, dad, husband, blogger. When I'm not creating life hacks I'm teaching my kids how to fix stuff after their dad breaks it.

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